Habari ya kazi, or “how is work going?” as we would say in the U.S. — this is a common greeting here in daily Tanzanian interactions. I cannot believe that today marks the end of my fourth week here at KCMC hospital. Though I have been in Tanzania for a total of 8.5 weeks at this point, each day still seems to fly by. Each day I am continuing to learn new things about the people, culture, and medicine here, making this experience invaluable.
So… What have you been doing?
Each day, I go to the hospital in the morning for breakfast then speak with my mentor about activities for the day. Usually, I shadow Anesthesiology residents and observe surgeries in various departments. I attend rounds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from time to time, and even speak with patients. My mentor has been very accommodating, allowing me to develop a holistic understanding of how the hospital operates. I have learned the process from the minute a patient enters the hospital to the point they leave. In between surgeries I often ask questions, trying to understand procedures and why different drugs are used for each patient. After surgeries are done for the day, I have been working on entering the data I have talked about in previous posts. I am nearly finished with transferring the data from books to a computer database, and I am almost ready to analyze trends to see which alterations may save money for the Anesthesiology department in the future. I have also begun helping enter data for the chief resident’s dissertation on pain management, which has been an equally interesting experience.
What do you do for fun?
Now that there are other students that live at the house with me, I am able to do more activities for a more affordable group price. This past weekend I went to a coffee and banana farm, and I learned the process of making coffee from picking the bean off the plant. The farm is at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the volcanic soil mixed with the perfect altitude and climate make for the best cup of coffee I have ever tried.
The World Cup matches also have been keeping us pretty busy — they are always fun to watch with the locals. We plan to visit other cities nearby, and even visit different national parks, waterfalls, hot springs, etc. In addition to safaris being less than a 2 hours away from here, there is a lot to do for entertainment on weekends.
I only have a few weeks left in my internship, and I look forward to continuing my learning experience!