Well I have now been trying to finish this blog post since Thursday at lunch... Time really flies by here.
Thursday concluded the first week of Swahili lessons, and surprisingly I think I have learned a decent amount. I wrote a paragraph about myself in Swahili for homework Wednesday night. Friday however, made me realize how complicated Swahili can get. In Swahili there are 9 different "noun classes", each with different prefixes for adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc, that change between plural and singular within the same class as well. So as we were learning adjectives, we came to the conclusion that we could only really describe people. Now, with two more days of lessons, we are beginning to get into a couple of other noun classes. Today focused on market language: buying and selling, bargaining, fruits and vegetables, spices, etc. Tomorrow we will actually spend the morning in the Tengeru market with the goal of buying as much fresh food as possible with a set budget of about $8.
Beyond the classroom -
On Friday we all traveled to Mt. Meru Hospital to have an introduction to what to expect when we move to our hospitals next month. It was a truly exciting day! As we got there they rolled out a few pieces of broken equipment, mostly oxygen concentrators, and we went straight to work. We cracked ours open to find it had been messed with before - someone had taken a couple of cables from the circuit board. After fiddling around with it for about an hour and jerry-rigging it we were able to get the air compressor to turn on and talk to the circuit board. Unfortunately it would only turn on for about 30 seconds before automatically shutting off and sounding an alarm. We figured out it was a low pressure alarm and began to check every tube for leaks or blockage. After finding none we came to the conclusion that a previous persons work on the circuit board - soldering on a new pressure sensor - was causing the problem. Because of the unlikelyhood that we would be able to rectify this problem, and the good condition of the tubing, compressor, and zeolite canisters, we stripped the concentrator for parts. By the time this was finished it was 4pm and we went home for the day.
Woke up and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading to the market down the road with a couple other students. The rest of the group should be here later tonight around 8pm, and then orientation and classes start tomorrow!
I have been without Internet for the past few days because I have been traveling across England and then in Paris. While I know it is not about Tanzania or medicine or even engineering really, I feel a bit obligated to make a post about it all and to share a few pictures.
This is my second time in England and it was my first in France. The two countries really have so much in common and yet are wildly different. They both have such grand history that seems to be ingrained in not only their capitals, but in the areas around them. For instance, in England, there seems to be this... fluidity between towns and cities. While every city and town I have been to has had its own unique aspects - accents, colloquialisms, weather, etc. there is this sameness in the architecture of the main buildings, the general mannerisms, there is not gigantic culture gap like I am used to in the States. It is not as if driving from DC to South Carolina where it can feel almost like an entirely different country. While there are elements that individualize every area or town or city, the continuity between them is rather delightful.