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Tuesday, May 28, 2013, Issue 65

Work the World winner gets ready for Tanzania

Road to Tanzania

By Kimberley Balsdon

Find out more about Work the World.

So, it is now the week before I fly off to Tanzania! And saying that I am excited is by far an understatement! What with exams and placement I have been very, very busy and everything has been a bit of a whirlwind, but now all that is out of the way I think it is actually beginning to properly sink in that I am going away on Saturday!

I’ve had lots to do in order to get myself ready for my six weeks and it’s all been happening so quickly.

Sorting everything out with Work the World was really easy and they were so helpful in organising it all, they rang me a couple of weeks ago to confirm all the finer details, including my accommodation, the people I will be living with and the hospital I will be working in – Ocean Road Cancer Institute.

I had to sort my flights out by myself, but I used STA travel so this too was easy (also used them to book a two week safari after my placement, couldn’t let the opportunity go amiss)!

There have been quite a few injections I’ve had to get, to my dismay, as I really dislike them; I’ve needed Hep A, typhoid, meningitis ACWY and yellow fever. Yellow fever is a necessity as they won’t allow you into the country unless you have a certificate to say you’ve had it!

Another important thing I’ve had to get in anti-malaria tablets. As the country is largely Muslim I need to make sure that my shoulders and chest are covered when in public and shorts come well down my thigh, this has meant buying some new summer clothes – definitely not an issue!

Then there’s been all the general holiday stuff that’s needed when going away, but it’s been quite difficult to plan how much of everything I’m going to need, as six weeks is a long time and I’ve never been out of the UK for more than two weeks at one time!

I’m very excited to get out there and see it all now. I’m expecting things to be very different and I think that at times, some of the patients and cases I see will be very trying and sad. Practice out there will be very different, so I’m going to try to leave what we do behind and go with a very open mind when it comes to the treatment techniques I’ll see.

Being able to work alongside the locals will be very exciting and learning more of a new language, especially such a lovely sounding one, will be really amazing! However, I am a bit apprehensive about how the locals will take me and the lack of Swahili that I can currently understand.

Experiencing local culture, food and the sights in my free time will be great too, and I’m planning to do and see as much as I can whilst I’m out there!

Follow Kim's adventures via her blog.

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