From Finland to Tanzania

A nursing adventure

Tag Archives: Art in Tanzania

Karibu! Welcome

I left Finland early morning and arrived safely in Dar es Salaam.

I arrived at about 3am to the airport and getting the visa was easy, as long as you don’t expect an orderly queue like in Finland 🙂

I waited at the airport for a while probably looking bemused and tired.  Then my AIT ride came and we drove about 45 minutes from the airport to Bahari Beach – my accomodation.   The roads are quite bumpy and in a bad state and the road users seem to make up their own rules, but we got there 🙂

 

I finally arrived. The accomodation is basic but nice

There is a small bar where you can buy beer and water

 

There are also small classrooms where children come to learn English

The first morning I had an orientation around Bahari beach, the local market and wood carver’s market.  We also went to the mall and travelled by minibus and tuc tuc.  The traffic is almost always busy and there are always traffic jams.  The best ways to travel are by tuc tuc and minibus, but the fastest way is by motorbike taxi, if you have the nerves!

Two weeks to go!!

Now that summer has pretty much disappeared from Finland,  I am getting quite excited to leave, but with so many things still to do and my summer job still going on, I don’t have much spare time to organize the small things.

I have taken my malaria medication test-run and I didn’t get any terrible side effects, except maybe headaches.  I finally got round to taking the cholera vaccine which is a liquid suspension which you have to drink in two separate doses 1-6 weeks apart.   It tastes quite weird 🙂

I got confirmation of my grant from school and all fees are paid to Art in Tanzania.  My visa application is ready and now the biggest thing to worry about is packing. Here is AIT’s packing list:  http://www.artintanzania.com/volunteers/packinglist.pdf .  Luckily I have 30 kg weight limit!  Is it too early to pack ?

 

 

 

 

Two months to go….

So, with about 2 months to go before I leave I have finally booked the flights 🙂  I still have some fees to pay with Art in Tanzania and some paper work to send them.  Most of my school documentation is ok, so now just the information about where I want to go in Tanzania, what projects I want to participate in and  make my visa application. Most of the official paperwork I have received through Art in Tanzania and send back via them.  They have been very helpful with my many (many) questions.   A three month visa costs about 50USD and you can pick it up at the airport when you arrive.

From the school side, I have now informed my teachers and international co-ordinators about this blog and about the specific dates I will be away and what I am going to do in Tanzania.  I still need to think about what things I should prepare, like work shift schedules and the information for the professional practice assignments.

I applied for a grant from the school earlier in the spring, but have heard nothing yet.  So, if you are thinking about going on exchange, don’t rely on the grant to pay your flights etc.  You might not have time!  I also applied for the Kela study grant (opintotuki) and had the decision back already, so at least I will have a little something in my bank account.

I am already looking into what free time activities I could do in Tanzania and also what practical training places might be good for me.  One of the medical placement directors has recommended I spend most of my time in Dar es Salaam as there is a shortage of health workers there.  They also have an HIV/AIDS awareness programme there which would be an interesting project to participate in.

People keep asking me if I am nervous or scared to leave.  Well, yes.  A little.  I suppose it’s the  furthest I will have ever travelled by myself.  I have been in Finland so long that it feels like home and to think of going to a new place and trying to be a nurse on a different continent in a different culture is quite daunting…….

…….But I can’t wait! 😀

Progress so far…

So, with less than three months before I leave to Tanzania, the real work has started.  I was officially accepted to the Art in Tanzania Project to do a medical internship, which includes my 3 months of practice.  I’m so excited already!

I visited the doctor to get my vaccinations, which included hepatitis, yellow fever, meningitis, typhoid and an optional one that I will get for cholera seeing as I will be working in hospitals.  Also, I got my malaria prescription for Larium.  The doctor usually recommends a 2 week trial for this as there are potentially bad side effects.  So I will try these in the summer before I leave.  The vaccinations and malaria medications are quite expensive, so anyone thinking of going to Tanzania should include that in a budget plan and remember to take your vaccination card with you!

 

 

Next step: Book flights!