Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I leave for TZ at 3 am tomorrow. Couldnt be happier about it. Our time there looks like it is going to be unreal. A lot of it will be spent learning from African health experts about different endemic diseases, then visiting clinics and hospitals where the actual work is being done. On my previous trips to Africa, I have mainly spent my time trying to fit in and experiencing life exactly as the locals do. I think this trip will be different because it is solely focused on our learning about disease and malaria so we can partner with african communities in the long term to create sustainable change. As I think about the difference that will mean for me in experiencing Tanzania, I think the best I can do to give the people dignity is to bring my best mind and talent to focus on what I will learn, and swallow the fact I will not be experiencing life the way tanzanians for the most part do. Since I cant have the close live-with experience I had before, I am planning on throwing myself totally into what the doctors and experts teach me and grappling to retain as much as possible. To be as effective as possible to make as much change and save as many lives in the long term as possible. I think that is my best bet to deal with being driven around in an air conditioned van.

London has been absolutely fantastic. I have learned so many new things, and had a lot of fun in the meantime. Today during a media training session we were broken up into groups and we all had to create our own movies. I am very proud of my group's, it was called "The Chase" and involved a harrowing scene on the tube where we got yelled at by a security guard. The other fellows are brilliant and incredible leaders from their perspective communities, but they are also a lot of fun and it is nice to have time to be silly in between the very important work of inter-religious dialogue and learning about malaria.

One of the leaders said a very interesting thing the other day; "Sub-Saharan Africa is currently enslaved to endemic disease. So working to fix the broken healthcare systems and get people proper treatment is a modern day form of fighting slavery. I LOVED that.

More to come from the gloryland. aka Tanzania.


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