I will be flying out to Tanzania for 3 months from the 15th Feb to 10th May. When I am in Tanzania I will be mainly in a Primary School working with disabled children. This will be in a south western region near Mbeya by Lake Malawi.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Malaria,Matema and Malawi

Wed 30th March-At school we spent the morning going around the dorms and putting presents on all of the childrens beds-little things like pens, notebooks and key chains most of which Charlotte had brought out with her from Holland. Some of the pens had string so that they could hang around your neck and it was so lovely to see that the children kept wearing them for days after. In the afternoon we moved into our new house but Charlotte was ill so I tried to clean, make beds put up mosquito nets whilst she slept. In the evening when she was not any better we decided to go to the Clinic and unfortunately her malaria test came back positive.
I spent most of the next week at our house looking after her. She went to hospital on the Saturday night and was given some stronger medicine which made her even more sick so she took a while to recover entirely.
Thurs 7th April- After finally sorting out our problems at home of no water and no electricity-which in true African style was not a quick process-and Charlotte recovering from Malaria, we were told that it was a Public holiday and didn't need to go into school anyway! so we decided to go to Mbeya to do some food shopping. After spending a very long time in the mini market(which seemed like mini heaven to us after Tukuyu) we bought some luxuries like cornflakes, brown bread even splashed out on some peanut butter and nutella! We paid a visit to some friends who invited us to stay the night and then go to Matema beach with them for the weekend. We decided that we would go straight onto Malawi afterwards for rest of the week.
We took a dalla dalla (mini bus) back to Tukuyu early on the Friday morning so that we could spend time at the school, we arrived to find that they had set up a TV in the Physio room and were watching the Pope's funeral! We did some puzzles and played ball games with the children before returning to our house. Frank and Matteo picked me up and we drove to Matema beach, which is on the Tanzanian side of Lake Malawi. After supper it started to rain and at about 10.30 we decided to to go swimming in the dark despite the rumours of crocodiles! By this time it was really raining hard and we were in the water for a few minutes when the resorts generator was switched off. So it was now pitch black and later on our way back to our rooms we only just managed to see the palm trees in front of us before walking into them.
The next morning we rented a canoe and went out across part of the lake to go snorkelling- it was so much fun. When we got back the others had arrived from Tukuyu and we spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the beach and swimming. In the evening a guide took us to the "crocodile river" so after a long walk there we were extremely disappointed to not see anything at all!
Four of us stayed an extra night and left on Monday morning. We decided that instead of spending 3 hours in the back of an incredibly uncomfortable and overcrowded pickup we would take a taxi so that it would only take 1 hour. Unfortunately I seem to have a bad luck with public transport and about half an hour into our journey the taxi ran out of fuel! So we had to wait for 2 hours before we could go again! We finally reached Kyela where we had to go to the Police Station to report a friends missing wallet. This clearly is not such a simple task as we had to wait for another 2 hours whilst they made a report. Finally they said they were finished and we asked for part of the report that we could take with us so that she could claim insurance, so the man then had to go and write this out and came back after half an hour with a handwritten piece of paper. He then refused to let us have it because he said we needed to take it to an internet cafe and type it up before they would sign it as otherwise it doesnt look professional enough! We were so frustrated that everything was so slow that we said we would come back and pick it up some other time!
We finally made it over the boarder and into Malawi much later than we intended but we found a room to stay in before it was dark and everything was fine!

Unfortunately I have run out of time and they are closing now so I will have to continue my tales of Malawi next time! x x x

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


After spending last weekend in Mbeya with a very nice family I was slightly reluctant to return to Tukuyu. However, on the monday morning I met Charlotte, a Dutch girl who is doing some research at the school for her thesis at Uni. We were both so pleased to meet each other so that we would not be alone anymore and decided to share a house together. We are planning to move in tomorrow-it is a lovely house with garden big rooms etc the only problem is that there is no furniture! We bought mattresses today and have got a little electric stove to cook on so we should be alright!
Last Wednesday we painted the Physio room and I was delighted to see the disabled children painting and enjoying it so much!I had a bit of a fight on my hands to get permission for this as most people immediately dismissed the idea of the children being able to help but in the end we came to an agreement that we would get some painters in to teach them and to complete the second coat to ensure that it looked good! Today we have been rearranging the furniture and trying to get rid of some of the clutter. At the weekend Charlotte and I went to Mbeya to meet her friend and we stayed for a night and spent the following day by the pool of a coutry hotel called Utengule which I used to go 10 years ago!
We also went to a Leprosy village and after meeting some of the lepers and shaking their hands, the Dr we were with asked us if we knew much about Leprosy. He then went on to tell us that it is very contagious and that you can get it through touch and inhalation! So we were slightly angry that he hadnt warned us before! However, after washing our hands and texting some people to find out if this was true, we found that thankfully he wasnt entirely correct!
I will try to use my computer skills developed through many years of ICT lessons to load my pictures onto the web if i fail i will try email and if I am really rubbish you will have to wait until i get back home!!

Friday, March 18, 2005


I have been rather busy since I last wrote so I shall try to give you a brief summary of my travels! I continued working in Iringa hospital for two weeks and then stayed with a very nice English family who have a farm just outside of Iringa. From there I arranged a safari to Ruaha National Park with another guy and had a fantastic time there. The lodge we stayed in was amazing and it was all very beautiful-the manager is called Ethan and after chatting to him for a while we realised that he had stayed with us in our house in Dar es Salaam on a school trip about 9 years ago and that we had also been in Mombassa with them! Also met Matteo, an Italian on the day I left who is working in Mbeya for the company my dad used to work for!
After leaving Ruaha last friday I stayed in Iringa until sunday and had an crazy night on Sat at Ruaha Disco with volunteers working for SPW! Travelled down to Mbeya on Sunday with Matteo and stayed with him for a couple of nights before coming here to Katumba to the school.
I arrived in Katumba feeling very anxious. Everyday I have been going into the school to the physio room . There are over 90 disabled children who board at the school. I have been rather disconcerted with the conditions here. Next week I am planning to tidy and paint the Physio room with the childrens help and see about having shelves or cupboards made for the children to have somewhere to keep some of their things. It is now the easter holidays for most of the children although the disabled stay here for the whole time. so I will be coming in to attempt to offer some entertainment!
I did say this would be brief so i do apologise for going on so much! hope you are all well
Take care

Monday, February 28, 2005


Thankfully the Physio was keen on letting me come into the hospital and is giving me some training so that I can help more with the physio side of things when I go down to the school in Katumba. I have really enjoyed being in the physio department-although some of their methods would definately not be allowed in the UK! One of the most painful experiences so far has been with an eight yr old boy who fractured his elbow and now has contracture so his elbow has stayed bent, and as the physios do not have any sedatives they have to force his arm straight in order to put a cast on it. The boy was crying and screaming and had to be restrained by his dad and the other physio! thankfully my physio wasnt quite so harsh with my elbow!
I will be working at the hospital for the rest of this week and then will travel to the school in Katumba at the weekend.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

First few days

The first thing that struck me when I got off the plane was the heat-I left England when it was 2'c and arrived at 11.30pm in Dar es Salaam where it was 30'c was a bit of a shock! In Dar I have been staying with a family friend at their house on the beach. The sea breeze is the only thing which is making the heat bearable. I visited the disabled hospital in Dar only to be told that I am not allowed to come in to see any patients as they dont want any more white people in there so at the moment I have to stay outside! However I am hoping that will change as they have got an eye clinic there as well so I thought that maybe I might be able to go and watch some operations or something.
I am planning to head down to Iringa on Tuesday with an Australian girl who is working there for part of her gap year and meet up with a physio working there and see if I can go on some rounds with her! I dont know when I will next have internet access but I hope that everyone is well and it is so lovely to hear from you.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


I am writing this with just over 1 week until I leave. I have been getting all my stuff ready; sorting visas, having injections, getting insurance etc and yesterday made a purchase of a rucksack so that I look like a proper traveller! I am not sure exactly what my work out in Tanzania will involve so I am excited as well as being slightly nervous!