This past Saturday we left our little family at the Victoria Lodge and headed to Musoma for a weekend excursion. It was a nice change from our usual routine, and we returned yesterday relaxed and ready for another week in the schools.
We left mid morning on Saturday, and stopped at the Julius Nyerere Museum along the way. He was the first president of independent Tanzania. We toured through a museum with an impressive collection of artifacts from his life, and then through the grounds of his family home, where he’s now buried. The grounds have beautiful views of the surrounding hills, but our time enjoying the landscape was cut short after Del was stung by some mysterious kind of African wasp. Of course none of us had remembered to pack our Benadryl cream, but we managed to find an antihistamine tablet in one of our purses, and she was good to go.
After our stop at the museum we headed into Musoma, and stopped for lunch at the Rahema cafe. This little restaurant served mostly western food, so we ordered pizza, burgers and guacamole, which was all pretty amazing. There’s a great shop outside the cafe, where customers can buy clothing and accessories made by local women. Profits from the restaurant and shop are put towards helping disadvantaged women and children in Tanzania. We all took the opportunity to pick up some gifts for our friends and families back home.
We made our way to the Afrilux hotel after a brief stop at a supermarket to pick up coke zero, wine, and nutella (all the necessities). The hotel is in the middle of the main town area, so is quite different to our quite environment at the Victoria. We enjoyed the busy atmosphere, as well as the air conditioning. That evening we watched the sunset on the beach at the Tempo hotel, while eating fried eggs over french fries, which apparently is a dish of choice here. Pretty delicious.
After a bit of shopping on Sunday we returned to Bunda to do some laundry and get a head start on our lesson plans for this week. Our class at Kunzugu on Friday went very well. The kids were really engaged with the material, and asked insightful questions. It didn’t seem as though they had learned much about reproductive systems in school thus far. We found that separating the girls and boys helped to improve the comfort level a bit, and encouraged students to ask questions that they may not have wanted to ask in front of the whole group. Today we’ll be bringing the class back together for a review of Friday’s lesson, and then moving on to talk about various types of contraception and the importance of protecting against STI’s and unplanned pregnancy.
We hope everyone at home is enjoying the May Long! Happy Victoria Day!
Yesterday was the last day of talking about Gender Equality, Human Rights, and Assertiveness in the face of abuse to both Kunzugu and Rubana Secondary Schools. In these lessons, we taught about the equality of men and women (even if sometimes they have different gender roles), the importance of human rights to individuals and their communities, about the existence and necessity of natural laws and rights that all people have regardless of its legal status in a community, and that abusiveness exists but can be challenged as a norm in our world today.
While doing extensive research on human rights and abuse, I had the opportunity to overview the Tanzanian Legal Code and its contents. I found this very fascinating, considering I am starting Law School at the University of Manitoba this September. I was able to teach the students a little bit about their legal rights within their country and community, and I found this extremely rewarding.
Today, we are holding our first class on Puberty. It seems like a lifetime ago I was in Grade 6 health class learning about all the changes that boys and girls go through, so I needed a refresher in the material before I could go on to teach the class.After discussing the lesson with the Badili Team, it seems as though all of us (except Delaney the Nurse) had to go through a crash course in human anatomy. Being the only boy, it is a little intimidating taking on the responsibility of accurately portraying the lesson material to all of the boys, but now I am confident about today and am sure that all will go as planned. As a team I believe we have worked well together to prepare ourselves for this next phase in our lesson material. In about an hour, we will be teaching the Puberty Unit to Kunzugu Secondary School for the first time. After the weekend, we will be updating the blog with some feedback from our most recent lesson.
Kwa heri (Goodbye in Swahili),
Hey everybody! We are on our eleventh day here in Bunda, and are becoming quite settled. We have tried nearly everything on the menu and have discovered Chips Masala. We have named it Afripoutine. It is simply fries coated in this delicious African Masala sauce. We have also enjoyed fried plantains which taste like big fries! We tend to go between beef and fish for the best source of protein, and eggs are a must. In the dining room where we eat, they always have a old school soundtrack consisting of Celine Dion, Ashanti, Backstreet Boys, Ja Rule, and Nsync, and Mariah Carey. We have alot of fun singing along to the music and playing cards while we wait for our Afripoutine.
Delfina (social worker at CPAR), visited both schools and let them know that the program would run much smoother and was intended for a much smaller group of students. Both schools had to narrow down the student groups to 15 boys and 15 girls from each school. We have had one day of 30 at each school and it was very nice, and felt like we connected with the students on a more personal level, which is our primary intention.
I was invited to joingthe nurses and Delphina to go to Manyamayama Hospital. I met with the department nursing officer, and she gave me a tour of the hospital. The labor wards are closed off with the windows open. The moms sleep in the same bed with the babies. Some have IV Pitocynon running (synthetic oxytocinon to help the uterus to contract). They rest and learn how to breastfeed before they go home. I saw brand new baby twins that were born that morning. I was also taken in to see the OR which was super exciting. They have autoclaves, a washing machine, and a septic and non septic OR. The nurses wear white, dresses for girls and pants and tee shirts.
We met with the department of health officer, and he told me that the HIV rate three years ago was 3.5%, and now it is at 5.8% which is an alarming increase. As a soon to be nurse, I forget the immense importance of primary health prevention which is education and teaching before disease. I tend to focus on the disease, symptoms and treatment. We are in a prime spot to make a serious difference in these kids by educating them about risks, and hopefully decreasing transmission rate. Our hope is that these students will be leaders and pass on what they’ve learned not only to the students that had to drop the class, but the rest of the school as well!
Bye for now!