Submitted by Shawna O’Hearn, Director, Global Health Office
While Shawna and our colleagues are in Tanzania we will be posting a series of “Blog posts from the road”. This first one presents Shawna’s initial thoughts upon returning to Tanzania. Photos will be added as soon as we are able to transfer them. Enjoy! more updates to come later this week.
With all great intentions, I had planned to blog each day upon arrival in Tanzania. While a daily journal was put together, the internet has reminded me that there are not always the same amenities when we travel outside our urban contained world.
I have to start with two personal reflections (actually observations) that have been growing over the last week. First, while everyone has a mobile phone in Tanzania (actually many people have more than one phone as they have multiple network providers so people will have a phone for each provider) the difference between Canadian mobile users and Tanzanian mobile users is……Tanzanians aren’t on them 24-7! They walk on the streets with their heads up and look at life, people and where they are walking. You don’t see anyone with their head and fingers buried on an iPhone or Blackberry. A lesson that we need to remember in Canada.
My second reflection relates to my personal life and my December marathon goal. I am in the key weeks of training for a marathon and was worried about being able to run during my time in Tanzania. My worries were not necessary. I have met people of all ages and level of running abilities as I ran in the rain and pollution of the city (Dar) and the dust and uneven roads in Ifakara. There are people who will cycle with me as they return home from their fields, others who will run for a few miles to keep me company and some of my team members joined me on their bikes for my 20 mile run on Saturday morning. I have always loved to run and the last year of injuries has been challenging to be out of my training routine. I must thank the running groups in Dar, the people of Ifakara and my colleagues for their support and encouragement over the last few weeks. You will be with me as I cross the finish line in Sacramento in December! Asanti Sana!