Tancan 2013 Medical Mission

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August 19th 2013
Published: November 6th 2013
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Monday, August 19th, 2013

The wheels on the bus go round and round part 2 ….

So today it is time to say goodbye to Songea and hello to Mbinga and Mbangamao. It is a bittersweet day. I am going to miss the sisters of St. Norbert’s clinic, especially, Sister Mary Grace and her kindness and dedication. I am going to miss the children around St. Norbert’s clinic, collecting empty water bottles, skipping on the red dirt and chanting goodbye school bus as the bus drives on bye. But today is a new adventure and we are off to the mountainous region of Mbinga and Mbangamao.

First stop is Mbinga and the De Paul primary school. At De Paul primary school, we were warmly welcomed by the children and community singing Karibu Sana and placing lays’ around our necks. The community performed various songs and dances for our entertainment and then presented the Tancan 2013 group with a chicken, eggs and kitenges (sarong) to show their appreciation. We were very touched by their warmth and kindness.

Afterwards, we served and ate lunch with the children and then got a tour of the school and playground from the children who could speak English. Then we were back on the road for an approximate 2 hour bumpy ride to Mbangamao and De Paul Secondary school. It was quite an adventure. It felt like our bus was going to get stuck in a ditch at any moment. That was how bad the road was. Nevertheless, through God’s guidance and our experienced bus driver we were able to drive up the hills and reach the school.

At the De Paul Secondary school, the students greeted up with a military style entrance and numerous entertaining dance performances choreographed by Father Charles, a talented Indian priest.

We then got our first glimpse of the government clinic in Mbangamao where we would set up our clinic for the next 5 days. An evening campfire, dinner buffet, music and dancing concluded the night.

We really were spoiled at De Paul Secondary school. The staff cleared everything out of the administration building to make room for our sleeping quarters. Renata, Colleen, Monica and I shared a room, where we each got our own beds. The staff also provided hot water for us in the morning and evening to take a shower. They went above and beyond what I expected.

Tomorrow, the Tancan 2013 team will be providing a medical clinic to the students of De Paul Secondary School. I can not wait. Until then !

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