I figured I’d start from the beginning, and fill you in on how this big move came about! Looking back, I can so clearly see the hand of God, guiding this journey, opening doors every step of the way!
This past fall I was finally able to return to Tanzania! When I left ten years ago, I made a promise to my 22 year old self that I would someday return, and be able to offer more to this wonderful country!! I was finally able to fulfill that dream, and return as a pediatric oncology nurse and help a local hospital set up a new cancer clinic.
I spent six weeks in Moshi, TZ, working with the Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania at one of the local hospitals, KCMC- Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, helping them get ready for the new Cancer Care Clinic that was going to be opening up in December. I was able to help them by creating various forms for chemo protocols, and giving presentations to the cancer nurses and nurses in other departments regarding cancer, chemotherapy, and common side effects. It was an incredible time, and another life changing experience!!
I can’t go on without mentioning an important piece to this story… a very unexpected piece that completely caught me off guard.. in the best way possible!! But, isn’t that the way God works- surprising us when we least expect it! Well, this piece- his name is Joel, and he has been one of the best surprises in my life! He was the icing on the cake to an already amazing time in Tanzania this past fall, and things have only gotten better since! God truly works in mysterious ways.. and I can’t wait to see how this adventure plays out…
Ok…sorry, got distracted there, ha!! Back to the story….Once I was back in the states, I expressed interest to the Foundation that I was interested in going back to TZ to work in the clinic, for a more extended period of time. I simply put it out there, and prayed that if this was something I was meant to do, God would open the doors to make it happen. And boy did he ever! In April, at the FCCT Symposium and Gala, I heard from the CEO of the Foundation that they wanted me to come back to TZ to work as an educator for the clinic and at the nursing school. I would be helping with getting the nurses certified in oncology, setting up education/competencies for the nurses, and doing some work at the nursing school related to oncology lectures and setting up clinicals in the cancer clinic. I would be going under a grant, funded by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and all of my expenses would be paid for an entire year! I was absolutely humbled and so grateful for the opportunity!
Another huge blessing was being able to attend the FCCT Gala with my parents. They were able to finally get a small taste of why I love this organization so much, and all the people involved! I believe this was a huge turning point for them, in accepting that I was leaving for a year, and feeling more at ease with what I would be doing and who I would be with! My dad, especially, really took to the Tanzanian doctors that are working there.. he has even continued to email with them! Haha!! I love it! 🙂
So, in September of this year, I will be heading back for An.Entire.Year. What?!! It’s still a little crazy to even write!! Even though I have moments of “what am I thinking?!”, I have more moments of peace and excitement! I’ve never felt more sure about what I am supposed to be doing, at this specific time in my life, than I do with this! Africa gives me a peace I’ve never quite experienced, and the simple life they lead there is so refreshing. When I’m there, I feel like I’m where I am supposed to be- and isn’t that just the best feeling in the world?!
I can’t wait to share my experiences with you all, and let you live it through my eyes. Hopefully, little by little (kidogo, kidogo), you will feel the same peace and contentment that I feel, and it too, will slowly change your life, the way it has mine!
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite African moments from last fall….