May 27th

May 27th

A delicious Chinese meal and a comfy bed at the Yun Long Hotel in Mwanza, Tanzania are especially enjoyable after a busy day’s work! Our team split up today: Halie and Maddie visited the orphanage in Fonelisco and the rest of our group traveled to the Bugando Medical Center here in Mwanza. Halie and Maddie had a wonderful time connecting with the sweet children at the orphanage and witnessing the progress that is being made throughout the facility. Just recently, Hope Ministries funded the construction of a new dining room at the orphanage to save these dear children from having to eat outside under the trees, sometimes in the rain. Maddie presented her teaching project today as well and skillfully sought to build upon the students’ understanding of mathematics.

Today was our team’s first visit to the Bugando Medical Center, or “BMC”, and it was exciting to see the size and structure of this facility, which is also the second largest hospital in Tanzania. Upon our arrival at about 7:30am, we received a verbal report from the night shift regarding the condition of each patient. After report, we visited each patient at the bedside, made assessments, and discussed their plan of care with the attending physician. It was about 12:30pm when our team made our way to the “theatre”, more commonly known in America as the surgical department. BMC just recently added several new operating rooms to their surgical department and our team had the privilege of working in several of them. All of us had the opportunity to observe several operations and Frank, Luke, and I all had the opportunity to “scrub in” on these procedures.

Although I have observed several operations throughout nursing school, today was my first time actually assisting with a surgical procedure. I had heard that “scrubbing in” was quite different from simply observing and, even though I wasn’t quite sure if I was mentally and physically prepared for what “scrubbing in” would be like, I was also beyond excited for the opportunity to grow in my medical skills! The operation that I assisted with was to apply an external fixator to a patient who had been hit by an oncoming vehicle, which resulted in a broken tibia and fibula. The operation was successful, I had an amazing experience, and I pray that God will continue to provide this patient comfort and healing!

We were warmly welcomed into Tanzania 13 days ago upon our arrival, but I’ve found that our team has been continually welcomed everywhere we go. We are not regarded as foreigners from another country, but family members that the medical professionals here want us to teach and compassionately accommodate. The BMC so graciously welcomed us into their OR today and their generosity shaped and transformed my nursing knowledge; for that I am incredibly grateful! When an emergency cesarean section came into the OR, the BMC surgeon whose was operating eagerly welcomed Caitlin Mundorf and I into the room to observe the procedure. As a result, I felt that I had a small, but beautiful part in welcoming a new life into the world. As the people of Tanzania continue to welcome us into their community, culture, and medical facilities each day, they are inspiring me to always be striving to do the same in all areas of my own life.

Alexa De Ruyter