By: Matt Jalink, Dalhousie Epidemiology student
This is another update from Matt Jalink (Intern), one of two Queen Elizabeth Scholars who are now in Tanzania for the summer. Thank you Matt.
It’s hard to believe that my time working at PASADA is almost over. I’ve become used to my daily routine of dala dala rides to and from work, going for chai (tea) with my co-workers, and practicing my Swahili with the staff. I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as an epidemiologist in training, applying my skills gained from coursework in a workplace scenario. My position at PASADA included a wide range of responsibilities such as laboratory work testing sputum samples for tuberculosis, primary data collection in two slum areas of Dar es Salaam, and presenting my findings on the projects I have been consulting on to the entire PASADA staff.
I have been fortunate enough to explore more of Tanzania during my time off. Zanzibar is a fascinating island with a labyrinth of small pedestrian only streets and incredible old architecture dating back to the colonial era in its capital, Stone Town. My favorite getaway is to a southern district of the city called Kigamboni. Despite only being 15 minutes via ferry and Bajaji (three-wheeled taxi-like vehicle), this beautiful white sand beach with cool refreshments is not known to most wazungu (foreigners) and is an excellent spot to relax and play beach volleyball with local youth.
Ninapenda Tanzania (I love Tanzania), and have made both professional contacts and good friends during my stay. This opportunity the QES scholarship has given me is invaluable. Working in Dar es Salaam has solidified my intensions to work and be actively involved in the global health community. After graduating from my masters I plan to continue working abroad and would love the opportunity to return to Tanzania. One such avenue is a contact-tracing project I have designed for PASADA to occur in Dar es Salaam. If funding can be obtained, my wish to return and work in Tanzania will materialize much sooner than I’ve anticipated!
Tutaonana Baadaye (We will see each other later).
The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program (QES) aims to build a dynamic community of young global leaders in Canada and across the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth Scholars engage in projects both at home and abroad, encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences. Queen Elizabeth Scholars undertake projects that provide meaningful learning experiences, with the potential to create lasting impact. Dalhousie University has teamed up with its partners in the Caribbean, Uganda and Tanzania to develop an international student mobility project, funded by QES, for current Dalhousie students and students in other Commonwealth countries looking to study at Dal. The Global Health Office manages the relationship between our partner associations and Dalhousie, collaborating with many units across campus, and within the QES network, to make these projects possible.