It was our first evening when we stayed out a bit a longer. It wasnt even that late. We had been to Tanzanias biggest market and looked for a restaurant on our way home. Here no restaurants open before 18:30 and we had to sit and wait on some stairs before a buffet we had walked by opened. Then, when it was time we were the first ones to devour it.
Full of food, happy and pleased we walked home. The one kilometre left felt easy peasy and with jokes like "wooo we never been up this late" and, when entering our neighbourhood Upanga "we made it! We are safe!". All statements followed up with supportive laughter. Little did we know.
We had just walked by a few guards that greeted us and asked "How are youuuu?". We were just about to cross the street. We were just about to enter the street we live on. We were about 50 metres away from home. When suddenly all we see is a car.
Or, from my point, all I saw was a car driving sooooo close I thought it was about to run over Anton and Frida, who had to jump away. The next thing I hear is a scream from Jenny. The next thing I see is how a man, halfway out through the car window, grabbing something and how Jenny's somehow almost following with the movement of the car. Next thing I see is Jenny standing free with only the strap of her bag in her hands.
The car steps on the gas, takes a turn and races out of sight. In the same moment the guards, that only seconds ago greeted us, understands a piece of what is happening and starts running after the car. One with his baton out and ready. Though they soon saw that the battle was already over and lost.
The whole scenario was over in under a minute. It all happened so fast. And the four of us just stood there, on the side of the road, completely frozen. Not comprehending what had just happened. People started coming up to us, asking about what had happened and what we had lost. Saying that it was a shame but also something that occurs pretty often. And we just stood there.
When we got home we started blocking her phone, the bank ID and the logistics. We also realised that Jenny was the one carrying the keys to our room. Where we really have all our stuff. So, after a way too adrenalinpumped night Frida made the couches into beds for me and Jenny. And with a pill from our dealers secret stash we soon fell asleep, despite the heat, the nerves and the squeaking leather of the couches.
The next day we were supposed to have our second day on our internship at the hospital. Instead Jenny and I had to stay home. Waiting for a locksmith that our host had arranged to come and fix the door at 10.
Until, finally, a man named Mustafa (aka "the locksmith") came. He arrived around noon. Came inside the apartment. Wondered if we had tried all the spare keys. Felt the door. Then said he would be back with a carpenter since they would have to break the door in nicely, without destroying it. The carpenter were currently at the hospital but will come around 14:00.
So we continued to wait. And realised how little one can do when you can't leave the apartment and have nothing cause all is locked up in your room. When Anton and Frida finally came home it was to a bored and somewhat bitter company. Though we had made a dance. When they got home we switched so Jenny and I could go out for some lunch. And with food and a drink/beer later- life seemed a bit easier.
When we got back to the apartment life was even better. We arranged with a movie, coffee, chocolate and Ahlgrens bilar while waiting for the carpenter. And waiting isn't too bad sometimes.
Finally help came. Theý broke the door in. And we could finally reach our stuff, brush our teeth and change our clothes. Which is a welcoming thing to do when it's at least 30 degrees outside, and same or more indoors.
So in the end, all is well. Jenny has some warrior-bruises and I believe we all are a bit traumatized over the happening. The worst part is that our photographer lost her camera.
Five days in Tanzania somehow feels like weeks in Sweden. So warm, so sweaty, so many new impressions, so much people and so much Swahili. On the streets we can't go anywhere without hearing a "Mambo!", "Jambo!", "Rafiki!", "Mzungo!" or *insert any swahilian word that I don't know*. In rare occasions we also get a "Hello". Or, if you're Anton, you get a "Oh Big man".
We have begun our internships at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). First day was all administration and paper work and pay for our stay. Second day was a whole lot of waiting. Waiting for out contact person to show up. Waiting for him to finish his work to show us around. Waiting for him to talk to the people in charge on the wards to let us be there. Waiting for someone to talk to us. To let us know where to go or what to do.
We have wished for the wards we will be having internship at. During our weeks we will be visiting Maternity Kangaroo Mother Care Ward (KMC), Pediatrics, Emergency Department and Main Theatre/ICU. Jenny and I have started at the KMC and Anton and Frida at the Pediatrics ward. We both spent about two hours at the wards one the first day. And, I can only speak for myself, but after two hours at KMC we felt as if we had seen it all. The moms spent their days laying in bed with their small children in the chest. Only feeding every third hour. And not really doing anything else. BUT we have more days to come so maybe we will be proven wrong. Anyway it is interesting and fascinating to see these small children, weighing no more than 1kg.
Frida and Anton seems a bit more pleased at the Pediatrics ward where they get to see different diseases. Though they don't get any explanations of how they treat them or really what they do with the sick children. Other than that almost a third of them dies.
Today was supposed to be the second day for the four of us at MNH. But instead two of us had to stay home all day waiting for a locksmith. Which is another story.
Couldn´t have said it better myself, thank you Toto for finding words with a rhythm. And folks, suddenly it happens. Not only am I (once again) doing a new attempt to blog but I (once again) have left Sweden and my comfort zone. This time for Tanzania and four weeks at a hospital in Dar Es Salaam. And not any hospital but the hospital that travel books and the locals recommend anyone who is sick to avoid. To not go to. To not seek help there. That’s where I, Jenny, Frida and Anton decided to spend our second to last internships during our studies. Another party of friends are currently in the same country but at another destination. They are in Moshi, which I have no clue how to spell or pronounce, but somewhere close to Kilimanjaro. The eight of us will later meet up on Zanzibar to discuss and exchange experiences, catch up on sun, swimming and, if wi-fi allows, Game of Thrones.
It’s been a few years since last time I wrote but I will, once again, do an honest attempt to share mine and my fellow travelers experiences. So that anyone of you back home that are interested and way too curious to wait for the powerpoint-show can be up to date. And some of you may question why I write in English. I could say it´s all about how English is a much more creative language where one can really paint a picture with words compared to Swedish. It could be that reason. Or, it could be that I bought this mini-pc in a small store in Bolivia and therefore the keyboard is missing some of the swedish letters.
Anyway, let me present the crew I am sharing this experience with. We have Frida, a happy girl from Stockholm who has been up to a little bit of everything before she started nursing studies. She has been traveling through Russia, Mongolia, India and more on her own. Also she’s studied some criminology. And much more. She is one of those friends that keeps on dropping new facts about herself all the time. In Dar Es Salaam she has currently taking the part of our personal yoga teacher. And our dealer. For this trip she got a whole bunch of pills against anything and everything from her doctor parents and gladly shares them.
Jenny, also brought stuffs to share. She brought 15 stuffed animals in her luggage that we will be able to give to children. A few of them also served us quite well as neck pillows on the airplanes and uncomfortable chairs in Addis Abeba. She has been backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and fallen off her motorbike in Thailand. Also she knows almost all the names of different yoga poses and eagerly learns the unknown. On our trip she has so far taken the only place as photographer. After only two days here she is by far the person with the most pictures taken. It probably will be a few of her pictures shown later on in this blog.
Anton is the one who probably get the most attention down here. He is blonde, almost 2 meters tall and looks like our bodyguard. At least if you should ask the man who fixed us ID-cards at the hospital. He has been backpacking through Asia, interrailing in Europe and eaten noodles for almost every day when he was in Austrailia. He is not a big fan of selfie-sticks and completely froze when I in January put on my safari-hat and said I got the whole trip figured out.
We live in an AirBnb-apartment owned by an Abdul. It is close to the hospital and today we also found a nearby pool where one can go and cool down after internship-hours. Today was our first day at MUHAS, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, where we arrived one hour late but still earlier than our contact person and fixed all paper work. Tomorrow the real adventures begin when we will put on our scrubs and do our first day at the Muhimbili National Hospital.