Caroline and Eva:Bloggy blogs

These past few weeks have been an amazing experience. So far everything has gone smoothly and we’ve learned so much already. Tanzania has so many great components; one of our favourite things is the friendly atmosphere. The people here are always smiling and kind wherever we go locals come, shake our hands and welcome us to their country by saying ‘karibu‘ which is Swahili for ‘welcome’. We have always wanted to come to Tanzania together and its surreal that that it’s actually happening and going so well!

We started out with an incredible safari to two of Tanzania’s most well known and highly recommended wildlife parks. The first wildlife park we went to was called Tarangire National park, where we stayed at our favourite tented lodge. The best part is that it has a panorama view of the park and of animals splashing below in the river. Next we went to Ngorongoro Crater where we saw a larger number of animals. Seeing such exotic animals living alongside each other in their natural habitats was unbelievable.

Since we’ve been in Kilema I’ve noticed that it continues to improve and the people are doing very well. Our first full day in Kilema was the distribution day. Distribution day is when the O.V.C. ( Orphaned and Vulnerable Children) kids come to get supplies for the new school year. When we got there fairly early that morning, there were already many kids lined up to get their supplies. We had them wait while we got everything set up, and by the time we were ready to let them in we had over 100 kids but not all were registered in the program to get the supplies. There was a steady flow of kids who came in to get black school shoes, socks, skirts or shorts, shirts, sweaters, notebooks, pens, pencils and shoe polish. It felt great to be able to help the kids out. This was the first distribution day. We had another one where instead of giving out school supplies we have out beans, flour, ground up corn, oil and soap.

A couple of days ago, we joined in on a Medical Caravan at Pamoja Tunaweza. A Medical Caravan is when doctors from all around North America go to neighbouring villages around the district of Kilimanjaro, set up clinics and give free medical attention. Pamoja Tunaweza is a project affiliated with an NGO(non-government organisation) called CACHA that specializes in women’s health care, but also has a free clinic in Moshi for children and men as well.

Here is a summary of how our day went. We had to wake up rather early (about 6:30) to start the day, then got on a bus with a bunch of other volunteers and doctors to go to the small village outside of Moshi. The clinic that was already there was very small but well maintained, and had ample staff and supplies. Our friends Hannah and Sid were part of our team working triage. Triage is where registration, and blood pressure and weight are measured. We were assigned to blood pressure and weight. It was interesting how many people had problems with their blood pressure yet weighed so little. We had two rather alarming situations. The first was when we took the blood pressure of a middle aged man, and it was almost 200/110 which is abnormally high. The next one was a teenage girl who was sitting there perfectly normal and had a pulse of 160. That just shows how people are living with such extreme conditions, without even knowing it.

From the moment we got off the plane to exploring the rural villages to helping in every way we can, this trip has been unique and incredible. We’re so happy that so far we’ve been able to have many unforgettable experiences and hopefully many more to come.

– Caroline + Eva (:

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