Week 4 Volunteering...

Bagamoyo Travel Blog

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It is getting a little harder for this to be my journal, as I seem to forget a lot by the time I actually am able to sit down and write about it...but I guess that is better than nothing!
Our last week volunteering FLEW, just like we thought it would.  One of the 'highlights' was being able to see an African hospital.  Shamsa, one of our students, has had a bad cut on her big toe for the last few days.  I was putting Bactine on it everyday, and then covering it with a bandage that has triple antibiotic ointment on it.  But then the next day, she'd always come back to school with the bandage off, and sand and dirt caked inside the cut again.  After about 3 days of this, her big toe was starting to look really big and infected.  We decided we should probably take her to the hospital and get it cleaned and get medicine for the infection.  Since I had a bike, I was the one who got to take her (which I was glad about...She's a real sweetheart, and I felt like I had been kind of taking care of her).  After being explained where the hospital was, I set out with Shamsa on the back of my bike.   We found the hospital.  Soon after getting there, I realized I know very little about this girl!  I don't know her age, where she lives, etc.  Since I didn't have a medical record for her, the nurse had me go outside the hospital and buy a notebook that would be her medical record...It cost about 8 cents.  I brought it back and she wrote some things in it...Then we went into another office, and the male doctor asked me more questions about her that I didn't know, and he prescribed three things for her:  2 pills and a daily dressing.  We had to go to three different rooms for the three different prescriptions.  She was a pretty happy go lucky while waiting in line for the pills...singing!  talking!  coloring with the markers I happened to have in my purse.  When she had the dressing though, she was crying pretty hard.  They took a small razor to cut the skin away from her nail, and then put a few different liquids on her cut.  They put a bandage over it, and told us to come back tomorrow for another dressing.  We hopped back on the bike, and went back to school.  She got a gumball on the way home as a reward :)  Such a cutie!  But...... next day:  No bandage.  Sand and dirt in her cut again.  BACK to the hospital! :)  What an experience. 

Also in my last week, I got a few fun cooking experiences with Happy, our cook!  She taught me how to make two different things: Tanzanian pancakes (a lot like crepes) and Chipati (soooo good!).  I will have to get the recipes from her, so I can make them once I'm home.  For both of them, she used a special circular pan.  The chipatis were quite an experience!  There is a lot of love that go into making chipatis!  She is a great cook...She's only 20 years old, and has gone to school for cooking, so she is trying to teach the older cook (Elizabeth) how to cook.  They're both so sweet.  There is so much more that goes into cooking here that we take for granted...for instance, they cook on a charcoal grill, so half the battle is just making sure the charcoal is the right temp, and making sure that enough air is getting on the charcoal.  Really interesting.  Mom, maybe we'll have to experiment!

I learned how to play a traditional Tanzanian game, called The Bao Game!  It is a game that we see at a lot of the markets.  It looks a lot like Mankala (sp?), but has two rows for each person playing.  Small balls, called baos (from the baobab tree) are used as game pieces.  Fun!

We went to a "Beachy Fire" at Seaview on our last night.  It was a bittersweet evening...The SeaView guys were very sweet...They arranged a kind of 'private' beachy fire at SeaView for us and some of their friends.  It was very sweet!  We got to hang out with a few of the teachers we had taught with as well (Temela and Hadija). 

It was weird saying goodbye to Happy, Elizabeth, Barnabas, Kristin, and Dougles, and some of the other volunteers.  We had such a great experience with them all.  It is always more difficult saying goodbye to people that you may never see again.  It's also weird when traveling, because it seems almost like you have this special connection with these people in this place...hard to describe.  It is a situation that will probably never be re-created again.  There's something really beautiful about that, but also hard to say good-bye to.  It was also strange saying goodbye to the kids.  We only spent two weeks with them, but I already find myself wanting to see them again, to see what they are doing then. 
It was just really hard to leave Bagamoyo...I will always  have great memories of this place.  The people have been nothing but sweet to us, and so welcoming.  There is just a lot of love in this place.  I feel really lucky for my experiences here, and for all the amazing people that I have met....Kwaheri...

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