Friday, May 13, 2011
Time in Tanzania
My three weeks in Tanzania exceeded by far any expectations I might have had. I had unreal experiences, worked with exceptional people (both Americans and Tanzanians), and learned invaluable life lessons. We had three weeks of successful clinics including eyeglass, HIV, general medical, and veterinary clinics. I was able to spend about equal time in all but the veterinary. Animals are not my thing. :) Close to 1,000 people received glasses, approximately 600 people were HIV tested and counseled, and close to 700 people were seen in the medical clinic.
While the eye clinic was pretty straightforward, there’s not much more satisfying than seeing a person’s eyes light up when they put on a pair of eyeglasses and can really see for the first time. The HIV clinic could be challenging and disheartening, but a huge fight against the spread of HIV is education and having people know their status and we were able to do a huge amount of testing and so much valuable counseling.
The medical clinics were incredibly rewarding to be a part of, but working with the local doctors, nurses, and interpreters was a treasure. They are such resilient people, and while they may not have much, what they have, both physically and vocational skills, they give fully to their people. They showed me what it means to live passionately and wholly for what is true and right. God has blessed me with the skills and passion for nursing and I love that it’s a profession that can so easily and greatly affect the world we live in. I cannot thank One Nurse At A Time enough for helping to make this opportunity a reality for me. After this experience, I look forward to the next time I am able to use my nursing overseas to change the world. I plan on continuing working with e3 leading medical clinics overseas and working more in depth with their HIV and sustainable community program.
Suzanne Browning, RN, BSN, CCRN. Suzanne is an ICU RN with experience in Medical, Surgical, Transplant, and Neuro units. She is currently working as an ICU travel RN doing short-term assignments across the country. In addition, she serves on the medical board as the Coordinator of Strategic Partnerships for e3 Partners Ministry. Along with her role on the board, she organizes and leads medical clinics overseas in third world countries, most recently including Bolivia and Tanzania. When not traveling, Suzanne's permanent residence is in Seattle, Washington. Suzanne volunteered as a ONAAT nurse with e3 Partners Ministry in Arusha and Tabera, Tanzania. They held three weeks of successful clinics from May 8 through May 30, 2010.