July 11, 2012
Day 2 of no power and no running water at the house. For those that haven’t put it together yet, this also means the toilet doesn’t work. There are also about 10 people living in this house right now… You do the math.
Once again, started the day off with rounds and some interesting cases. You see a lot of infectious diseases here and I’m learning more about TB, malaria, brucellosis, etc. than I ever would have back home. The hospital matron, Neema, who is a wonderful lady, is quite protective though and tries to keep us away from the TB cases because our lack of exposure. It’s frustrating, because I don’t want to be viewed differently from the Tanzanian students here, but I understand her point as well.
Because the hospital had power again today, it meant that the postponed operations were now back on the roster and we subsequently spent most of the day alternating scrubbing in on surgeries with Dr. Julius. We got to assist with hysterectomies, appendectomies and a fairly complicated laparatomy due to a perforated bowel following a piki piki accident (yikes- trying not to let all the piki piki injuries we see get to me!). Very busy day, but learned a lot.
In the evening, Neema (the hospital matron I mentioned above) invited us to her home for dinner. She told us she would teach us how to make the traditional Tanzanian dishes of chapatti and ugali. Neema began by saying that here in Africa, we do not need to measure ingredients “like we might back home” but everything is done by feel and experience. So, we all huddled in close together in her kitchen, crouched on the floor and began to mix together the flour and water with our hands. Soon enough though, Neema’s power was lost too. Hakuna matata (no problems)- candles were lit, head lamps came out and we continued learning how to roll out the dough on circular wooden boards. When the first chapatti was delicately placed on the frying pan to bake, my mouth was already watering. Truly, we were so lucky to have been invited. Neema had also made a traditional bean dish and kale, and we really feasted that evening. Much much better than any restaurant food we’d been having! Many thanks to Neema and her family for being so welcoming towards all of us. It makes you feel that much more at home, even when far from home.
On the way back home, we decided to have a late night group stop at the hospital bathroom, as our power and water were STILL out… we got through 2 people using the hospital toilet before the hospital’s water was shut off as well! GAH!!! Hahaha. TIA.
Night nigh everyone,