Karibu! My dear grandmother’s friend who lives in Dar es Salaam taught me that saying. It means greetings/welcome in Swahili. Thank you for joining me on this very exciting journey I will be pursuing! I can’t believe everything that is going on in my life! So much has happened in such a little amount of time that it is hard to process everything so quickly. But I am so blessed and humble for everything that is happening. I am currently writing my first blog in good ole’ TN on my porch next to my cat. As I look out into the woods and watch the breeze blow through the trees and feel the cool wind against my face I try to figure out how to say what I am feeling. In a little over a month, July the 14th, I will be leaving for Africa, where I will be interning and working as nurse. My first 9 weeks will be at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam. At this hospital I will be exposed to many clinical rotations. I am very interested to see the comparison and contrast in the hospital’s there compared to US. My first two weeks I will be in OB, my next two weeks mental health, the following two weeks will be in ER/trauma, and my last three weeks in the city hospital will be in pediatrics. My last week in Africa, week 10, I will be doing the Kidodi village experience where I will be staying with a host family in the village and working in the Kidodi Village Rural Healthcare Clinic. My heart bounds with joy and fear when I think about all of the things I will encounter. I will be traveling by myself on a flight that is about 24 hours long. I currently am finalizing all of my vaccinations and prepping myself to learn Swahili.
Almost a month ago I graduated from Belmont and I begin working as a camp nurse in Wisconsin in two days. I will be there for a month right before I leave for Africa. Yesterday I took the state licensure to become an actual registered nurse (RN). It takes about 48 hours to hear whether you passed or fail; so fingers crossed! With all of that going on, the reality of working in Africa for almost 3 months has not felt as real. However, as the days are getting closer my heart beats faster and it is becoming more of a reality. The main thing I am most excited for is just getting to know the people. I love engulfing myself into other cultures. When I am in Africa I will be the farthest away from home I have ever been as well as for the longest amount of time I have ever been away from TN. By being away so long I feel that I will be able to really live the culture that I am going to be going into. Although I do not know anyone else who will be doing Work the World, which is the organization I am going with, I am excited to see what is in store. One of my main goals is to really get to know the people in Africa and make the most of every second I am there. I will be working in the hospital from 8AM-4PM, Mon-Fri. I will have the evenings free and the weekends free. During those free times when I am not learning in the hospital I hope to really explore the area and become friends with the local people who live there. I will definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone but that is the only way we can truly grow. I guess the next time I will be writing will be right before I leave! I’ll talk to ya soon! And thank you so much for joining me and reading my blogs! I can’t wait to experience this Lumos Journey with you!