As I sit in the lobby of our lovely “home base” Moivaro Lodge, I have some time to reflect on the past 16 days of my third Phil Simon Tanzania Project adventure.
A myriad of emotions are always experienced on this trip; 2016 was no exception. Ranging from exhilaration upon entering the vast Serengeti for the first time to witness the teaming masses of gorgeous animals on this endless savannah, to deep sadness and frustration at witnessing a young girl brought in to our clinic by her mother; far beyond treatment and near death with tetanus.
As Kim Shriner, the founder of this project, counseled me after my first trip in 2012, “the work we do here is about showing up year after year, giving what we can and promising to return.”
The difficult emotions are far outweighed by the indelible mark Dr. Shriner has left with her unending commitment and passion for the Tanzanian people and their country. She has sponsored a young man through medical school, begun a fund raising campaign to build a new medical clinic in the town of Kisongo, taken a new tack this trip by widening our educational outreach to doctors and nurses here at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Arusha and beyond, and just announced her plan to support a female Tanzanian ‘clinical officer’ through medical school.
Impressive. Inspiring. Life-affirming and life changing. It is an honor and a gift to be a part of this work.