In the Life of a Fickle Intern

March 3, 2014

Adventures Abroad Begin

Filed under: Daily Lowdown — dailymedicine @ 20:26

Hello from Dar Es Salaam! With internet! I am in Tanzania this month for an elective international medicine month. The months leading up to March were really busy, balancing life and work and life all over again. This trip abroad was exactly what I needed to maintain some sanity from my undeniable senioritis. Now that I have a little more free time, I can blog!

Nineteen hours and some odd minutes later, my friend (and classmate) and I land in Dar Es Salaam. The initial heat hit us like an oven. Coming from the East Coast where there is almost a foot of snow on the ground, this was a bit of a shock. The drive to the apartment was…dark. Apart from the main roads, there are very few street lights. There were people just walking and hanging out on the streets in the dark all along the way. I have no idea what to expect from this trip. This is my first time to Africa. My initial impression is that it feels like any other developing country…a little crowded, a little dusty, a little congested with a lot of culture and hospitality.

Today was supposed to be our orientation day, but our tour guide, an attending from our home hospital who has been working here for a few months, got stuck in another country due to a flight cancellation. Because we were banking on having someone show us around, we were left moneyless (Tanzanian schilling), foodless, and internet less with no resources and no maps. With only granola bars to hold us over, we got antsy pretty fast. Luckily, an old copy of Tanzania Lonely Planet was in the apartment. After some perusing, we ventured out of the hospital campus (where our apartment is conveniently located) to find an exchange bureau which lead to a grocery store and ultimately a vodafone kiosk where we got a sim card for internet. Though that sounds simple enough, it took us the good part of the afternoon navigating the city without useable money, a map, or even Swahili. All in a day’s worth! And it totally played out in our favor because now we are once connected via cyberspace to everything we are used to, aka Google Maps and Tripadvisor.

As always, I am a bit jetlagged. At 3’o clock AM, I am ready to get the day started. If only other people were awake!

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