After being on a bus for 8 hours we are now in Iringa. Although the bus ride was long we were able to see the beautiful landscape of the area between Dar Es Salaam and Iringa. There were rolling hill and beautiful baobab trees. For a short time we went through a national park and could see giraffes, elephants, impala, and buffalo from the bus. We live in a beautiful world and although it was a long bus ride we appreciate the wondrous things we saw. We are excited to see what Iringa brings us!
We attended the Tanzanian Public Health Association’s 31st Scientific Conference and Annual Meeting this past week and it was very educational. The theme was “Social Determinants of Health and the Millennium Development Goals” a topic that we have covered in class. Thus, the information was a further elaboration to the many things we have learned while taking our rigorous course load. At the conference we were accompanied by doctors, nurses and other health professionals. We as students tried our absolute best to have stellar presentations and represent our school well. We all submitted abstracts and was accepted for presentation. Our topics ranged from the perception of Malaria, relationship between conflict and HIV and the role of various organizations in health promotion. We created a 15 minute power point presentation which we presented in front of 50-60 extremely intelligent and honorable people. Some of the people in the audience worked for hospitals, World Health Organization (WHO) and other important organizations. We enjoyed ourselves although we were stressed and nervous. Everyone was welcoming and encouraging.
As our trip comes to a close we are working hard to end strong. We have been presenting at the 31st Annual Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting for the Tanzanian Public Health Association. Today 4 of us presented papers and accomplished something great by doing it. After the conferences we all went out for dinner. We are close like a family so we said jokes about each other, bonded and said what we were thankful for. We all are thankful that Professor Quaye is with us and showed us so much love and enlightened us with so much knowledge.
We have moved from our resort to Stone Town. We are staying in a beautiful hotel that is not to far from the city center. Every morning we woke up and explored the town. We were frequent visitors of the shops as we tried to find precious gifts for our family and friends. In addition to shopping, three people got a few dreads. It was very interesting because there were many white people in the town visiting. As a result we were not stared at as much and Mzungu was not yelled at us to grab our attention. It was very interesting and fun.
After a few relaxing few days we went to stone town to explore and learn. First we went to Jambo Farm to learn about the different spices of Zanzibar. Some of the highlights include seeing and smelling a yang yang tree, which is what Chanel no. 5 is made out of. Also, Cinnamon is considered the queen of the spice because every single part of it can be used. We also tried the different fruits and watch a “butterfly man” climb, dance, and sing up the tree. It was amazing. It was a phenomenal sight to see. After the spice tour we went to a church that was originally a slave market. We sat in the basement where slaves were kept right before being sold. After being in the small cramped space we moved to the sanctuary where people were sold. It was interesting that the alter is now built on the spot that many people were auctioned off. We then had a walking tour and saw the beautiful doors and the historic buildings. Stone town is an amazing place and we loved learning about everything.
We arrived at Zanzibar and was delighted to see a change of scenery. The plane ride was short and it was cool to see the Indian Ocean out of the window. We arrived at our hotel which was beautiful. The pathways were lined with trees and there was always a view of the beautiful ocean. There was also a pool and a delicious restaurant. The restaurant and the pool is where we spent most of our time. There were many funny jokes and beautiful moments shared sitting at our large table in the restaurant/lobby area.