Review Volunteer Chuyang Zhong in Tanzania Arusha at the Health Care program
1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country. Describe each situation:
Airport Pickup: coordinator was waiting for me at the airport patiently for almost 2 hours and helped me to get the visa
Orientation day: coordinator took us out for a tour of the city and to the grocery store for some basic needs
Work introduction: I was introduced to the local doctor the next day and I chose to work in medical ward because I was a internal medicine doctor. In fact, volunteers were allowed to choose whichever specialty they liked.
Availability: local ABV Coordinator was always availble and ready to offer help
Friendliness: the staff and I became good friends
2- What was the most positive surprise you experienced?
At the program: Even though medical conditions were poor as expected, doctors and nurses still kept on offering their best help to patients. I was really touched by this.
At the accommodation: Living conditions are better than I thought. I got clean bed, sheet, blanket and mosquito net. I lived with another ABV volunteers and we shared a big bathroom.
There were 7 other ABV volunteers who worked in hospital or school. We had a great time together. It was a good way to make friends from all over the world. Amazing experience.
About the country: People were friendly
3- What was most difficult/cultural shock to experience?
At the program: I did not feel any cultural shock. However, practice medicine in Africa is absolutely different from U.S. Lacking of medical supplies, testing machines; I only got limited information at hand. Sometimes I felt frustrated because I cannot figure out what’s going on and my patient was dying. Sometimes we tried our best and used all our “weapons” but still cannot save the patient. Sometimes I knew what the best for the patient, however because of economic reason, the patient and family just asked to be discharged. This was African medicine.
At the accommodation: None
The country: None
4- Any tips for future volunteers, give as many details as possible…
Clothing: T-shirt, jackets, a lot of socks... (So dusty and impossible to keep socks clean).
Donations: Of course as many as possible. Can also donate money and help the hospital buying supplies.
Weather: Cloudy and windy. Chilly at night. Temp 60-70 F
4.1-Other things volunteers should know, about what to bring, what to do in country, what to eat, transportation, other:
a.- Laundry can be done at Nakumat. 5000 TSH/2lb
b.- A lot of different restaurants. Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Burger….
c.- Be open-minded and embrace your destiny in Africa.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I came and I experienced. It was amazing to meet people who shared the same interest and ambition. We drank, laughed, played cards in African wind and chatted under starry sky. I stepped out of my comfort zone and discovered other aspect of myself. This trip was totally out of my imagination and I was so grateful.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security in detail:
Comfortable and relaxing accommodation. Delicious meals. Good security
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: Other volunteers from all over the world
Country: Relaxing life style
Tours: Savanah and animals
8- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling, did you contact them?
Communication (Phone/emails/Online chat/reminders): I got emails and enough information for this trip.
Website Information (easy to find, steps to follow, etc): Easy to find and follow
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?