I’ve started and re-started the begininng to this first journal many times and finally decided that it should have more of a conversational approach – after all, this might be the only portal through which family and friends can follow my trip. Despite exchanging promises to make the occasional skype call and even an e-mail every two days upon the insistence of my concerned mother, this might after all be my only link to everyone back at home.
I decided I wanted to go on this trip almost a year ago – during the spring of my sophomore year while taking an introductory to global health course. During the class, we had the chance to learn about malaria through the personal narratives of visiting Tanzanian doctors. Their unique perspectives in diagnosing and treating the disease within the limitations and cultural restrictions of Tanzania was key to my understanding of how health encompasses several complicated and interacting factors. During the course, I developed my passion for global health and an appreciation for trying to understand the intricacies and multi-dimensionality of health issues in the context of developing countries where the burden of disease can be staggering.
During the first portion of my two month stay, I will be taking a course at Kilimanjiro Christian Medical College where I will have the opportunity to research and develop a public health case study with a team of Tanzanian medical students. It’s only been a week since I wrapped up a particularly challenging and trying semester at Cornell but I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity to challenge myself and learn outside the confines of everyday life.
Off we go!