Page 11 of MaRs BaRs Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 27th 2013

Tuesday August 27th- Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 Ruaha National Park Safari…. Its Safari time! The Tancan 2013 group took two safari vehicles to Ruaha National Park. Seven of us traveled with tour guide Eddie while the rest of the group traveled with tour guide Jacintha. We saw numerous elephants, giraffe, zebras, impala and kudus and learned about their mating habits and way of life. The safari vehicles went up and down through the bush as we searched for hidden animals. At one point the other group’s vehicle got stuck while searching for a leopard. We missed spotting the leopard that time but later on in the day we came across it lying under a tree. It was not keen on getting its picture taken and slowly walked away. I felt like a paparazzi, taking pictures and ... read more
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TANCAN 2013 Trip (August 10-31) 481

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 26th 2013

Monday August 26th, 2013 Bus ride to Iringa….. Today was a long bus ride from Mbangamao to Iringa. We did not have the luxurious coach we had for our first road trip from Dar Saleem to Songea. However, it got us from point A to point B. We first arrived in Songea, where we met the sisters for the last time and took any of remaining luggage stored at the clinic. We also said goodbye to Shirley, Virgil, Martha, Elizabeth and Suzanna, who were leaving us. Shirley and Virgil were going to Kenya to meet other sponsor children from their parish and Martha and Elizabeth were going onward to Kenya to go back to work at the Chalice office in Kenya. Suzanna was going back to Dar Saleem, where she works in a CIDA organization. Then ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 25th 2013

Sunday August 25th, 2013 Mass, school blessing, sponsor child visits and Canada vs. Tanzania basketball game…… Today was officially our last day in Mbangamao. At mass, we were greeted by the bishop and the priests in the region (Father Varghese, Father Matthew, Father Pachai, Father Simon). The church was decorated with streamers, for the bishops welcome. It looked very festive. After the mass which was spoken in Swahili, the bishop, members of the congregation, and the Canadian team headed back to the school where the bishop gave a blessing on the newly built De Paul Secondary School library and computer lab. The computer lab will not only provide educational resources to De Paul Secondary school students but also the government students in the community. It is a great tool to provide students with the education they ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 24th 2013

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 Last day of Clinic …. Clinic Day 5: Today, I was in charge of the gift table. I had to make sure that there were enough gifts for the clinic children. Our supply was diminishing. It was a fairly slow day. I played card games with the student volunteers at the clinic and talked with other members of the Tancan team. At the end of the clinic I handed out candy canes to the student volunteers not expecting them to go crazy and surround me. They were normal while we played card games. I guess when it comes to free candy all civility goes out the window. It was a free for all, and chaos unfolded as the volunteers swarmed me while grabbing the candy. I was glad when all ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 23rd 2013

Friday August 23rd, 2013 Mpepai …. Clinic Day 4: Today, the entire Tancan team journeyed to the village of Mpepai to provide a medical clinic for the surrounding community. Out of all the villages around Mbangamao, Mpepai had the largest community. They had their own parish, with Father Simon and Father Pachai as their parish priests. The clinic took place at the local school. The clinic had a late start (T.I.A: This is Africa). We did not start HIV briefing and testing until late afternoon. In the meantime, Renata, Susan and I were practicing pricking each others fingers. A nurse showed us how to get the most blood out while pricking the fingers. You need to use your finger nail as a tourniquet and dig your nail in the finger while yo... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 22nd 2013

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 Mobile Clinic Day and meeting Taitus and Conason….. Clinic Day 3: Today Renata and I got the chance to go on a mobile clinic to Mtetema Village. The road up to the clinic was a long bumpy ride. It took over 2 hours to drive there, even though the distance was not very long. The clinic was set up in the village school, community hall, and church. Every community event took place in the same room. The room had multiple purposes. It is incredible how the Tanzanian people do not waste anything. They take pride in what they do have and find ways to use the things they have for multiple purposes. When we were giving the children Frisbees to play with, they not only used the Frisbee ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 21st 2013

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 Elderly Clinic day …… Clinic Day 2: Today was the elderly clinic day. Since there was limited HIV testing today, Martha and I ran an exercise clinic for the elderly. We explained the importance of exercise and stretching. We then performed a variety of stretches with the elderly to help with their circulation and aches and pains. It was a lot of fun seeing their happy faces, and them trying to mimic our stretches. Afterwards, we gave them advil to help with their chronic aches and pains. Today was a slow clinic day. Not a lot of elderly in the community came to the clinic (I guess they did not get the memo). I spent most of my time enjoying the company of the student volunteers at the clinic and ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 20th 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 Mountain clinic begins….. Clinic Day 1: Today we ran a medical clinic for the De Paul Secondary School students and afterwards engaged in social learning activities with the students. The clinic had a late start (TIA: This is Africa). When the students finally arrived, the HIV team started rolling. The lab tech at the clinic did not speak much English and was very quiet. It was difficult to carry on a conversation. He did not want to explain the purpose of HIV testing to the students, so we got help from Martha, one of the chalice workers from Kenya to help us. We were working non stop and when we finally stopped for lunch we were told that we would start the social learning activities right away, even though the ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 19th 2013

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’ ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 18th 2013

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 Community Lunch at Neema Orphanage, Mural touchups and meeting sponsor children First thing today, the group headed of to mass Tanzanian style, at St. Norbert’s Church. The choir and people were singing and dancing (like a gospel choir) and the church was packed, not like the churches in Canada. Unlike masses in Canada, men were seated on the left side of the church and women were seated on the right; one of the customs in Tanzania. There was a lot of spirit, faith and love that filled the church. Even though, I did not understand the mass because I did not speak Swahili, I felt the love and devotion of the people to God. The people seemed generally happy to be there, and their happiness and praise to God was contagious. After ... read more
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