September 17

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Moshi Tanzania – week 1

Jambo (Hello)

I arrived in the dark last Thursday to Kilimanjaro airport and was driven about 35km to my new home in Moshi Tanzania on the compound of KCMC. When we arrived at the house, it was more than one could have asked for. It was beautiful!! There are 4 houses in my compound area. To my right, is a couple from Holland. Ruuk, is a resident dermatologist and Mieke is a GP working out in Moshi at 2 different locations (they are here until Jan 2015). And to my left, a German couple who arrived yesterday. The gentleman will be setting up a pathology lab at RDTC (3 week stay). My roommate, Mafalda arrived home yesterday. She has worked at RDTC for the last 4 years. We hit it off instantly!!

Friday morning, Ruut took me down to KCMC to RDTC to meet the team. It’s a short 15 minute walk (I get to walk to work everyday!!!!) On Friday’s in the clinic they see children, so the clinic was jumping. Mondays are infectious disease patients and Wednesday are general patients. It was a quick visit on Friday. Then off to the Vodacom and grocery store. I’m having some issues with getting wireless, thus no picture attached. (I got a camera that requires wifi to download pictures). Hopefully by the next posting, I’ll have some downloaded photos. The weekend was quiet, but I did experience my first “Hash” Sunday afternoon tagging along with Ruut and Mieke. It was a 7km run/walk followed up with beverages and food.  Ex-pats and some locals. Apparently they have them every other Sunday and the next one will be the 300th. That one will take place on the lower part of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The week started a bit slow. Monday was a short day and it starting raining around 3 in the afternoon and did not stop until Tuesday morning. Apparently that is not normal. Tuesday, I was invited to attend the rounds for a Tropical Disease program with visiting residents from the UK and Europe. RDTC had 10 patients, in which an RDTC resident provided a brief history and symptoms to the UK/European residents and they needed to make a diagnosis. Plantar’s warts (in the foot), vitiligo, folliculitis, impetigo, an albino who had a huge tumor removed from the side of her face, with a skin graft, the previous week,  and an 11 year old girl with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) were some of the patient diagnoses.  Later in the day, I ventured into town with Mieke and she introduced me to the daladala (a small Toyota van that holds as many people as they can stick in, even standing up). We went to the grocery store. The downtown area is about 10 minutes from KCMC.

Wednesday (today) started out on the right foot as we had our first meeting about RDTC’s needs for the data, that they have and development of a database for the albino data they have been collecting since 1992. This is to support the clinic and to support more PWAs (People with Albinism). Tomorrow I will get an opportunity to start looking at the data.

Later this evening, I’m headed to an aerobics class. Aerobics is international!!!

I hope that everyone is well. I very much appreciate your support, thoughts and emails.

Asante