Posted by Megan Kraa, 25 November, 2014

Our time in Rwanda has come to an end. It has been an eye opening journey and it was sad to say goodbye. On Friday we packed up all our equipment at the hospital and prepared for it to be transported to Tanzania. It was sad saying goodbye to the children but is rewarding to know they are well and are being discharged with a new chance at life. Three of the children were discharged on Friday and the rest will leave accordingly.

All of the team had the weekend off, some went and climbed a mountain to find the gorillas, others explored Kigali and then some flew to Zanzibar to enjoy the beach. Hopefully it’s enough R&R before the next leg of the African adventure!

Gorillas

Yesterday morning 13 of us woke up at 4:30am and pilled into two buses (one with our luggage and equipment). Bleary eyed and tired the team started the approximate 12 hour trip to Mwanza, Tanzania. It only took two hours to get to the Rwanda/Tanzania border. Dr Godfrey spent some time chatting with the border police which seemed to make them happy and eventually they let us through.

Tanzania BorderBus Ride

Bus RideBus Ride

It was amazing to see the contrast between Rwanda and Tanzania almost instantly even though they are neighboring countries. Rwanda is green, hilly, temperate in the 20’s (so it can get chilly). It was literally within moments of driving across the border to Tanzania, the temperature rose at least 10 degrees, the road’s turn red from the sand (still trees), the houses turned into mud huts, and a flatter landscape was visible. Rwanda is very different to the Africa I imagined, Tanzania on the other hand, although we have only been here for a few hours is a lot more like the Africa I envisioned as a child.

Bus RideBus Ride

Everyone placed bets how long the journey would take, in the end it took around 15 hours by road. We were all grateful to get the hotel, have a shower, eat some food and then get a good night sleep.

This morning we are heading to the hospital to unpack, familiarize ourselves with our new base at Bugando Medical Center. If everything goes to plan, surgery will start tomorrow. We are all excited to be apart of this new project, and the 14th country Open Heart International has visited!

Tags:  East Africa,