My 1st Experience in Arusha, Tanzania.

When I arrived in Tanzania I knew three words. “Jambo” (Hello- kind of), “Poa”(Well/Cool), and “Asante” (Thank You). My first experience in Tanzania was the Elective Africa Driver, Peter, teaching me twenty more words in Swahili on my ride back to Arusha. Not only did I find countless people excited to help me improve my Swahili, I found people willing to teach me about Tanzanian culture, cuisine, and medical care.  The orientation provided by the program coordinator, Fabian, showed me the city of Arusha. Our cook Harriet taught me how to make ugali and chapattis, two of the trademark foods of Tanzania. The nurses in the labor ward showed me what is involved in prenatal care, which included testing for HIV, checking hemoglobin levels, and checking blood pressure. They also taught me the steps and tools needed to deliver a baby. The more involved I became, the more I learned. After doing night shifts for a week they even walked me through actually performing a delivery. In minor theater I learned how to sterilise equipment, dress injuries, treat burns, lance abscesses, and remove stitches. The hospital staff was always willing to explain the reasons behind their actions, and excited to teach me new words in Swahili.

Mary Davis

Princeton University