My geography of Africa can be a little rough too. Tanzania is on the East side of Africa, famous for being home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti (I’m still figuring out exactly what that is) and adjacent to the tropical island of Zanzibar that rests in the Indian Ocean- this is what I really have my eye on. And soon it will be our home as well.
Jason and I accepted positions with the Global Health Service Partnership, also known as Seed Global Health. It is a public private partnership between the Peace Corps, Seed Global Health and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The intention of the program is to address the shortage of health professionals in many parts of the world. We will have the opportunity to be educators in our various disciplines for one year, I as a midwife and Jason as a primary care doctor. We will be teaching at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in Dar Es Salaam. We don’t yet know exactly what we will be teaching, where we will be living, or even when our plane will touch down in Tanzania. Welcome to the literal unknown.
We have spent the last week finishing work (Olivia), graduating residency (Jason), packing our home and everything we own to fit into the basement of our home before our dear friends move in (both). After putting the final items in storage and handing over the keys yesterday, we spent our first night of many in a bed that is not our own. We have been buoyed by love and affirmation from all directions as we prepare for this next adventure ahead. As we touched up the paint on our home we reflected on the day we were surrounded by family and friends who helped us paint our then new home in April of 2013. As we hosted a farewell party last weekend, our yard was filled with so many young children, many of whom are under three and new additions to the world since our housewarming party three years ago. As I packed our spices and struggled with getting rid of food I was reminded of the last time we did this five years ago, when we moved from San Diego to Boston for a year and then on to Portland after that. The adventure continues.
We are each carrying two 50lb bags with us to provide all the clothes and teaching materials we anticipate needing for the next year. And full hearts, of the love and community that surrounds us in Portland and beyond and that send us off into this next adventure. Check back soon for more details about how the RHC will continue our work as our locations evolve.