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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Friday, 23 Sep 2011

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Today the Dr Subi arranged a ceremony to celebrate the official handing over of the crate. When he mentioned it the other day, it sounded like it would be a thrown-together quick little affair with just a few of us. This morning the rest of the crew had gone on ahead to the hospital for the 7:30 am daily meeting. Karen was presenting to the group on the basic of how to do a ECG. I stayed home to put together something to say for the celebration which was scheduled for noon.

When I arrived at 10:00am Dr Subi met with Karen and I to tell us all of the things that needed in the speech. He also mentioned that my speech would have to be typed out to be handed out to the press and others. I looked at the clock with a feeling of dread.
Karen and I asked for a space to use and borrowed Dr Subi’s laptop for the rewrite. When we finally finished we had two pages. It was almost noon but by now it was appearing that things wouldn’t be starting on time. Dr Subi came to have a look at things and we began the next rewrite. By the time we were finished we were up to three pages. I wouldn’t be able to remember enough of it so knew I would have to read it. The thing that would save me here was that I would have to use a translator so I would be able to read ahead as she spoke.

The event started three hours late and was something that would have taken us weeks here in Canada to prepare for. They had built a stage in the parking lot near the shipping container. The sides, back wall and roof were decorated with layers of folded fabric. There was a floor, a head table and chairs. There was a sound system, the press, all of the local dignitaries, and representatives from the various groups that were receiving some of the contents. There was a traditional dancing and aerobic group, music and an audience!

The celebration was great, I didn’t screw things up too bad on my speech and then we were fed a meal in the hall near the hospital! By this time, I was getting a little stressed that we still hadn’t had time to buy the tickets to Moshi.

Following the meal, Dr Subi asked if I could come to his office to attend another meeting, this time with the education people. It was late and I was tired but I knew were running out of time for these meetings. Everything went well and we were out by seven with plans for next Thursday and Friday out in the field. Karen and I were looking at our
“To Do” list and wondering how we were going to fit everything in.

It was nice to come back to the Resthouse and enjoy our first glass of wine on the trip, out on the back deck with the group. Great Day you guys! Cheer!