So many faces and names!

On June 7, we met with a bunch of people whose names largely escape me. But very memoreable is Mama Kapenda from TAHEA who is a force of nature – you can see what kind of work she’s doing with her great team here:

We drove together out to Magu District Council about 2 hours out of the city of Mwanza to meet with the Deputy District Elected Director (the actual one has given me permission to work in his district under his license) and Dr Kahema who is a very central figure to the ongoings at Magu District Hospital and the volunteer activities with GPN. We were there to hand over a new binocular microscope to the leader of the Kanyama Village dispensary Dr. Winnie. We headed out to the place the clinical kinesiology students (Global Peace Network education program) receive their theoretical training. We went to the spine centre at Magu District Hospital that GPN set up where I will have to figure out how often I want to be there – to treat patients while the students observe me or vice versa.

There was also a handing over of medical textbooks from Canada to the teachers of the program. We had lunch before driving back to TAHEA headquarters where we discussed their internet connectivity issues (much learning is done online now), the vehicle GPN gave them years ago that is on its last legs, my visa situation and possibly setting up a community clinic. There are many good people out there trying to stretch ressources. Mental note: ask friends to bring second-hand medical text books with them when they visit, hmmmm.

A different world, indeed.
On June 8, we met with two Clinical Officers from Ilemela who already graduated from the Clinical Kinesiology course taught by GPN. Their needs were fairly simple: They don’t have a room for this kind of therapy, so they have to borrow a bed in the labour ward – when they don’t have any premature babies occupying that space, that is. I daresay we face different issues as chiropractors in Europe…

I’ll be heading out to Ilemela hopefully next week to see how I can help with the physical aspects of practicing and also fine tune clinical skills of those very eager and lovely Clinical Officers I met today.

With Mama Kapande and Dr Kahema I went to the Immigration office to see how we can convert my 90 day visitor’s visa (of the humanitarian and charities variety) into something more long-term. There was some driving around (where I had a good sense of the layout of the city, yay), some waiting around, there was a lot of people in a very tiny office (Tetris in 1:1 scale), and the scribbled notes from the immigration gentleman state that: letters will have to written to the Labour Department about all the things I’m capable of and certainly will do in Tanzania, and subsequently an online application to the Immigration Services. I’ll get right on writing a draft, as it could take a while to get all the approving departments to sign off on this.

We met with Julius from Village of Hope, who’s another force of nature and involved in many community outreach activities. He turns out to be my neighbour, so there’s coffee at his place tomorrow morning (might take care of a kink in his neck while I’m there). Also, he mentioned a lack of clinician for a limited time period, so I might be able to get working there at last part time. Check them out here:

Lastly, we met with Emmanuel who’s a former street child who has been very successful in helping and informing cerebral palsy families on how to manage and care for their child and their family; with support from GPN. He was also looking for someone (me?) to help him out with the more physical treatments as he’s trained in the mental aspects – he will next add nutrition to his portfolio of aspects of caring for CP families.

All in all, my impression throughout in all my meetings with these folks is that GPN is a trusted partner for many individuals and organisations here; that GPN is very keen to help but also good at managing expectations and hell-bent on providing documentable value for money from funders.

Needless to say, this Canadian-based non-government organisation accepts donations, big or small, all is welcome if you want to support this important work 😊

Pic is taken from the car of the illustrious U-Turn supermarket, a hallmark in town.


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