Chemchem actually turns out to be the name of ‘spring’ or ‘origin’. In the previous blogpost I butchered the word but it’s still the same place we went swimming before. As time progresses and I get more used to the place I sometimes find myself wondering of alone as I usually do. As every person I change with the time. When I travel it underlines and brings out the traits in me that haven’t changed. I find myself exploring, swimming and splashing around like a little child in any place big enough, hiking and climbing up to the top of hills to look down from a mountain. I find myself mystified by sunrise and sunset, it’s colours and the gentle light. I find myself reading. I find myself talking to people trying to understand and to learn. Listening to their opinions and stories. For the three weeks he was with us: Dr. Markus, the gastroenterologist who went with Charlie, Marie and me to Mtwara amazed us all with his stories from all over the world. The ones I loved the most were the ones about how wild Tanzania used to be back than. How they roamed the bush with Range Rovers to reach even the most rural and excluded areas and how they improvised to help each and everyone to the best of their capabilities. He left to help establish a training center in a smaller hospital in the west of the country.
This is the third time now that I hiked up the mountain behind the Benedictin’s quaters and I am sitting here right now, the wind in my ears surrounded by an amazing view while I am writing this. Lately I have been talking more and more with the Tanzanian doctors and nurses that I have known for three weeks now. As I was lying here on my back gazing into the ever blue sky I am very grateful for being here and so very grateful for these conversations. Yesterday I had a conversation with the doctor and two nurses from the intensive care unit (ICU) about faith and tolerance, the ambivalent nature of what we decline as beauty, miracles and the different circumstances we were brought up in and the different ways we were taught. I was greatly reminded of ‘Nathan der Weise’ and the ‘Ringparabel’ since we all believed in something else but after talking for a few hours it became clear that we talked about the same things only with different words. That wasn’t the case for every regard but no one tried to tell the others they were wrong. We just listened and tried to understand.
I have by now seen another birth that luckily didn’t have any complications and the best part is always going to the postnatal ward the next day and finding them rested, happy and healthy. Sometimes I do wonder though. This girls had only been 18 years old. She had been very very brave especially when afterwards there were complications with suturing a ruptur she had endured in the process of giving birth. Impressive is also how Midwifes have a power of their own with their knowledge of different positions, tips for the patient and their experience.
The other side of trying to help people as doctors are the moments you can’t. There are amazing doctors here. Sometimes equipment will be missing, often the patients reach this hospital too late for all different kind of reasons and they have to go on afterwards. Wherever in the world you practice medicine, when something goes wrong we will ask ourselves if we made a mistake, if we could have done anything differently.
“Sometimes you do everything right and things still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.” (by Angie Thomas, author of ‘the hate U give)