Ego, Expectations and Trees in the Woods.
The trees here are truly incredible. Towering, magestic, weaving wavy paths through the sky. Whenever I feel un-grounded in my time here, I just look at the trees. The trees here feel better than the trees at home. They just seem more powerful and free than our trees. With the exception being trees on the Semiamoo Peninsula in BC. Those trees are just as incredible.
We have run into an ideological barrier in the project. Namely, after screening many of the Upendo HIV Group, and seeing some serious cases, we have come to determine that we are not capable of handling their care. Moreover, we cannot be sure that it is ethical to bring them in for screening, when we cannot fulfill their expectations of care. We don’t have anyone to tell us if our suspected diagnoses are correct; we have no one to instruct us how to go about getting lab tests. We have no charts or files on these patients, or their last medical histories. We have a translator who on occasion, decides not to ask the questions we want her to ask, because she’s tired out (or other reasons). We are in existential crisis as to our reason for being. It doesn’t help that whenever we walk anywhere in town in our scrubs, people say “doktari!” (doctor) and seem to treat us with a lot of respect… stroking our egos for work that we do not feel we are doing.
And so, we do what seems logical: go on safari this weekend and promise each other we won’t talk about work!
This is not entirely true. We are talking nonstop about how to ameliorate this situation. Because we are not learning much, and we are not really contributing much, we are looking into new projects, new ways to contribute, new philosophical foundations and objectives for our time. We are looking for a way to ground ourselves in Arusha. To create the roots for a better project to grow. This is a healthy renewal for MedOutreach and we’re doing our best to make something of the situation. But the safari… we are excited for the moral boost. Pictures to come.
Miss you all, xox Kelly