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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 18 Feb 2013

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapMonday, February 18th,

Today, everyone headed off for grand rounds and I met with my friend Joseph for a trip to the bank to deposit $900 I’d saved for him. I first met Joseph on my trip in 2009. He’s waiter at the Pineridge and has been our salvation on these trips. Joseph is one of the most resourceful, thoughtful, caring, generous people I’ve ever met. He helps us with everything we need and would never ask for anything in return. I made a decision on my last trip here that I would like to help Joseph get a better education so he can find decent employment. Joseph works long hours as a waiter and makes less than $100 per month. He supports his family with anything he has left over after he pays his living expenses and will never be able to change his situation without some help. He’ll need two years of upgrading and then will be allowed to attend a vocational school for training to work at the mine.

When we visited Joseph’s parents yesterday, they thanked me for helping him saying that they never had enough to pay for him to get an education and are so grateful for him to have this chance. They said that the whole family depends on Joseph and when he has a good job, he’ll be able to help them.

To prepare for Joseph’s schooling, we went out and bought English workbooks which he’ll work on until school starts in the fall. Joseph and I had some other shopping to do and went to the market and few stores. We get so few vegetables here; I wanted buy some in the market and make a salad for everyone for dinner.
It was such a great day; Joseph seems to know everyone and we talked to so many people. I had lots of chances to practice my Swahili although sometimes I felt like I was ‘the entertainment’ as everyone around us would laugh and join in the conversation!

Joseph and I also went down to the radio station for Nancy to arrange for an ad to try and find her lost her phone. We won’t talk about how many other things Nancy has lost since we came. (I guess I can’t talk, I’m wearing a nurse’s scrub to bed and someone in Kigali is wearing my nice leopard skin nighty that I left a St Famille.) Anyway, it was a blast at the radio station. I met all of the announcers, most of the staff, answered a lot of questions about what it’s like in Canada, had a great tour of the station and even got added onto one of the announcer’s Facebook page. I don’t know if Nancy will get her phone back but I met some great people!

It was beer o’clock so we came back to Pineridge and but then received a call from Dr. Andrew to come to his office. One of the nurses from the 2009 trip, Liz Ross always rallies the residents of her home town, Kaslo, BC, and fundraises to buy items for the delivery room. We order the items while we are here so we can see what we purchased and get pictures. This year we purchased a 5 boxes of Hemocues (to check for anemia), four ambu bags, (for resuscitating a newborns, ) and two delivery kits. Thank you LIZ!!!