Home from Tanzania

Dear Gilchrist Hospice Care Family:

Cathy Hamel, Wayne Barth and I have returned safely from Tanzania, tired from 31 hours of travel, but energized to move forward with our partnership. To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement. We are grateful to have spent time in meetings with our colleagues from Nkoaranga Lutheran Hospital’s Palliative Care Team, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s Palliative Care Program, and from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s Diocese of Meru.

Wayne Barth, Gilchrist Controller, helping load one of the six suitcases of supplies the travelers brought with them.

We came away with a deep respect for the work they do on a daily basis and for the passion they show for helping the poor and dying in northern Tanzania. We were again humbled by how little they have. Basic wound care supplies, compression stockings and sleeves, lab coats, soap, hand sanitizer, gloves, stethoscopes, notebooks to record patient visits – things we take for granted – are often not available to them. We took six fifty-pound suitcases of supplies with us, for which they were deeply grateful.

We will share more about our experiences soon. For now, here are some words from our Tanzanian friends and colleagues:

“Hi colleagues greetings from me and my family. I really hope that you arrived safely at Marland we are still ok here and busy as we have started working on the project write up etc. Thank you very much for your endless Effort of supporting our palliative and hospice care unit. May our God continue to bless you abundantly. Many regards. To all of Marland family .”  jerry morgan [from Jeremiah Saruni Kaaya, Hospital Administrator, Nkoaranga Hospital.

From Dr. Paul Mmbando, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania – Palliative Care Program Manager:

“Hello Robin, Wayne & Cathy:  It is my hope that you have a safe travel back home after such a wonderful visit in Arusha! I must say it was a blessing to have you visit ELCT PC program and also make some visit and meeting with us. Personally, i would like to thank you for your thoughtfulness in so many fronts as well as gifts which remain memorable for a partner and a friend we have in you!…Your visit here (“Safari yenu hapa tanzania”) was such a blessing to us!  It is our hope that we shall have more opportunities to meet again and advance our noble cause in supporting the people with Hospice and palliative care needs.  Many thanks and Blessings.”

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