Page 12 of MaRs BaRs Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 17th 2013

Saturday, August 17th, 2013 Breakfast with the elderly, its painting time and Songea market shopping….. Today we got some much needed rest and social bonding time. We headed off to the St. Norbert’s Church next to the clinic where we were greeted by the elderly of the Songea community. They were wearing the baseball caps and Canadian pins they received from the clinic the day before. We served the elderly breakfast where they wanted 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar in their tea. That’s a lot of sugar!!!! They are just as sugar crazy as the children. Their sweet-tooth may partly be because they have a lot of sugarcane. They can never have too many sweets. That may partly be a reason why their teeth are so bad (the sugar rotting their teeth and the lack ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 16th 2013

Friday, August 16th, 2013 The Last Day of Clinic in Songea and it is Party Time !!!! Songea Clinic Day 3: So today marked the last day of clinic in Bobambili, Songea. We assessed the elderly in the morning and pre and post natal mothers in the afternoon. The day was slow in the HIV briefing and testing room. Not many elderly and mothers wanted to have HIV testing. Apparently, pregnant mothers already receive HIV testing at the hospital before their children are born to reduce chances of the virus passing to the child. I spent the majority of the time checking out the other different stations (Social Learning and Counselling, Hygiene Briefing, Nutritional Assessment and Triage, Nutritional Briefing, Vitamin A and Deworming, and Eye Care and Dental Brie... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 15th 2013

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 Things are starting to roll… Songea Clinic Day 2: Today went a lot smoother than the first day of clinic. We started the clinic on time and were able to end on time. In total we assessed and educated 302 children today. It was a sadder note for the HIV briefing and testing team. There were a lot more positive HIV cases today than the day before. We had about 15 positive cases of HIV today. Suzanne said that the children would be referred to the hospital and would start anti-retroviral treatment if they were below a certain T cell count. There was one case where a teenage girl tested positive for HIV. She was very upset. Sister Mary Grace and Adamu were very empathetic and compassionate to her situation ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 14th 2013

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 We are open for business…. Songea Clinic Day 1: Today was the official first day of the Tancan 2013 clinic, at St. Norbert’s clinic in Bombambili, Songea. We will be screening and promoting preventive health education to the children of the community for the next two days of the clinic. The third day of the clinic caters to the elderly for the first ½ and expecting mothers and their children for the second ½. We had a late start (TIA: This is Africa) but when things got rolling, they really got rolling. The HIV team worked non-stop, explaining what HIV was, why get tested and the importance of prevention. With the HIV team, fingers were pricked, blood was taken on the HIV test strips, and... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 13th 2013

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 A Tanzanian welcome, ribbon cutting and meeting the rest of the Tancan 2013 team… Today is going to be a jam packed day. We are first going to visit De Paul Primary school and then tour the newly built clinic and meet the our Tanzanian clinic volunteers First we headed off to the De Paul Primary school. The school was conveniently situated within walking distance from the inn we were staying at. Walking out in the Tanzanian sun, I felt the heat on my skin and the red dust in my shoes and in the air. My shoes were starting to turn red and my eyes were starting to burn from the dust. At the school, we were greeted by over 200 screaming children running at us singing Karibu Sana (Welcome) and ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » South » Songea August 12th 2013

Monday August 12th, 2013 The Wheels on the bus go round and round ….. Today we will be on the road, for a 16 hour bus ride from Dar Saleem to our first site in Neema and St. Norbert’s clinic, in the region of Bobambili, Songea. Wow!!! That’s long. However, with the lack of sleep in Dar Saleem and the fact that Tanzania is 7 hours ahead of Toronto, I slept most of the way. On the way the group stopped in Morogoro, where the Vincentian seminarians treated us to breakfast. I got my first taste of ginger beer, which was delicious. We met a few local priests, and learned that the seminary in Morogoro is where many of the seminarians in Africa receive their education into priesthood. We were then on the road again. We ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City August 10th 2013

Saturday, August 10th - Sunday August 11th, 2013 Its Flying Time!! We woke up early the next morning, had our continental breakfast of Belgium waffles (yum!), yogourt, oatmeal, coffee and tea and our first malaria pill. Then it was off to the Buffalo airport, where we checked in our luggage and went through security. Renata, got stopped because she had too many liquids in her suitcase (Pepto Bismol, Acne Medication, etc.) I guess she did not get the no liquids or gels memo. Luckily, nothing was confiscated. Our flight out of Buffalo was delayed by 45 minutes. We were worried because we could miss our connecting flight from Washington to Zurich. However, the airline attendant ensured that we should have enough time to make our connection. When we reached the Washington Airport w... read more

North America » United States » New York » Buffalo August 9th 2013

Friday August 9th, 2013 Our Tanzanian Adventure Begins !!! The day has finally arrived! After weeks of collecting monetary and material donations, my sister Renata and I are going on our first much anticipated medical mission to Tanzania with Chalice, a Catholic and Nova Scotia based sponsorship organization, dedicated to spreading and sharing God’s message of love and charity to those in need. Chalice, ranked by Money Sense Magazine as a Charity with an A rating in the field of international aid and development provides education and support to more than 47, 000 needy children and elderly across 55 programs sites in 15 countries. We will be joining Tanzanian staff in providing medical clinics to the communities of Songea and Mbangamao. I am assigned to the HIV briefing and testing team whereas my si... read more

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima August 25th 2012

Day 15: Saturday, August 25th, 2012- Cusco to Lima Today, it was time to say goodbye to the andean mountains of Cusco, Peru and hello to the more bearable lower altitude of Lima, Peru. I immediately felt better, when we reached Lima. My stomach did not hurt, and I felt my appetite returning. We took the Green Taxi from the Lima Airport to our hotel, Mariel in Miraflores. At the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a peruvian tourist agency next door. We booked a tour to see the Ballestas Islands, and the Huacachina Oasis for the next day. Then we headed of to see the Huaca Pucllana, an Archaeological Complex in the city. We wanted to go inside but we were too late. So we headed back to the Parque Kennedy (Parque Central), to ... read more
On the way to Ballestas Islands

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco August 24th 2012

Day 14: Friday, August 24th, 2012 This morning we said goodbye to the Intrepid group at Hostel Buena Vista and headed off the other hostel where we were staying that night in Cusco, Hostel Pascana (our original hostel in Cusco). Then we headed off on a city bus (which is basically a van, they leave when the van is full) to Pisac to go and explore the inca ruins. When we got to Pisac, we met a couple from the Netherlands, and we took a taxi together up to the Pisac ruins. Renata and I estimated that the ruins would take about half a hour to explore. Were we ever so wrong. The Pisac ruins are enormous. It seemed like we were walking forever, trying to find the exit. It took us about 2 hours to ... read more

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