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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2013

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

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Tuesday, February 12th

Today the group headed over to the hospital for grand rounds at 7:30am. I went over a bit later with a bag of adorable little hats for
the new-borns in the delivery area. (Thanks Carol!) We got some great shots of some of the babies wearing them but had a tragic reminder of just how fragile life can be over here. A few feet away from where the babies were, was the body of a pregnant woman who had been looking forward to the birth of her second child. She had just passed away a short time ago. The staff at the hospital didn’t even have time to assess and treat her because she had just arrived minutes before she died. In a place like this, women are often in serious trouble before they decide they should go to the hospital rather than give birth at home. There is only one public hospital in a district of almost one million and transport is a big obstacle for the villagers who live far away.
After we left the delivery area, we went to visit a little three- year-old girl who we’d met the day before. She had broken both of her femurs and was laying there in traction, with still a month to go. I wanted to give her some toys to play with to help pass the time. She was a little afraid of us so we didn’t stay long!
We went to visit the Amani area next and spent some time putting up some posters to brighten the clubhouse. There was going to be some sort of HIV presentation in the room so we couldn’t stay in there for long. I keep missing meeting up with Flora but we’re invited there for clinic on Thursday (which the kids will be at.) The co-op ladies have been planning a presentation for us to talk about their business plan also.
We headed back over to Pineridge at beer o’clock and Major Matala came by for a visit. It was great to see him again. He always has a lot of interesting information about what’s going on around here. He also said he would arrange for us to visit the mine on Saturday.
We headed up to do some shopping after he left. I had $300 to spend from some of the families who support kids out in one of the districts near Kahama-town. We had to make a few trips (in the heat!) to buy all of the rice, beans, oil and sugar, etc. that we’ll be distributing tomorrow. We even carried some of it home African-style, on our heads!
When we got back for dinner, we had an uninvited guest sit down at our table trying to sell us soap. Glen gave her a little bit too much attention so she really got into her sales pitch. (I think he thought if he used the soap maybe he would look like the ripped black guy on the package.) We were planning on how to get rid of her when someone noticed what the writing on the package promised. Children might be reading this but let’s just say that if you apply “Ivan Pen Soap”(enriched with herbs) with a little warm water and soap to the area it mentions and follow the application directions you will have the results you want in 3-21 days. Needless to say, some of you might be getting this product for Christmas. Our sales lady went away smiling after we bought up all the soap she had!!!
Dr. Andrew finally got back from Dar es Salaam today. He came by for a visit and we were able find out that the shipping container has finally cleared and will be here in a couple days. I really need to get everything that’s not crate-related done before it comes because it will be a full-time-job to get the necessary things sorted and distributed before I go. On that note…….nina usingizi…bed time!!