Recovering in Tanzania!

Tanzania, country so diverse and unique who could refuse a trip there? This was our thinking as we booked a tag-on vacation to our Congo trip. It turned out to be a truly serendipitous idea, as I was in great need of a holiday after the Congo.

Working at the remote hospital in the Congo for 2 months pushed me farther than I have ever been pushed. The heavy stress no doubt contributed to the stomach ulcer I came down with, and the 23 pounds of weight loss in 1 month!

To make it through periods of heavy stress I often fall back to a dogged stoicism. I grit my teeth and try to minimize what I am going through. It probably helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed. It is definitely a defense mechanism, and like most, not always beneficial.

In times of peace and quiet I reflect a lot on my life. I journal. I try to make sense of where I am, who I am and what I ought to be doing.

In times of stress I shut this down, and only afterwards can I start to put together what I went through. Being a physician, I have had my fair share of moments like this. I remember feeling this way after an obstetrics rotation in residency. It turns out weeks of call shifts that keep you up for over 24 hours is hard on the body but also the soul.

Thus, when it came time for our trip to Tanzania I was actually quite reluctant to plan or think about it. It seemed like just another stressor to add to the pile.

It turns out it was precisely what I needed! A time to relax and process all that preceded. I needed the time to journal and think without the pressure of telling my story to my loved ones back home. I needed time to release the tension and stress that had been building and heal my body.

The trip was amazing. But to be honest, it came with a lot of a guilt. How could we leave a country with such extreme poverty and proceed to indulge ourselves in the luxury of travel?  Well, I don’t know. Maybe it wasn’t justifiable, as much as my life in Canada isn’t justifiable either. But this trip I certainly needed.

So with that sobering, rambling, and unexpected introduction, I present to you our wonderful vacation to Tanzania!

I have said enough already, I suppose, so I will leave the rest of this in the style of a photo blog. Enjoy.

First stop, Mount Kilimanjaro! (and area).

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We went on a coffee tour, and learned their traditional method of coffee preparation. They roasted their beans then made the coffee over a fire!
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One of the many unexpected but beautiful sights!
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We trekked up to the first camp on Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.
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The people of Tanzania were incredibly resourceful when it came to carrying stuff on their heads!

 

The Serengeti: the place that goes on forever!

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A surprise visit from an elephant as we drove through a forest! (this guy was being aggressive!)
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A more calm encounter with elephants occurred on our safari in the Serengeti!
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We couldn’t believe the eyelashes on the giraffes!
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A couple male lions just chilling on some rocks!
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We were incredibly close to these female lions, at times they were just 5 feet away!
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A lion cub hanging out in a prickly acacia! (we were incredibly close to these guys as well)
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Cheetahs escaping the heat of the sun.
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Hippo pool!
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We were fortunate enough to see the largest mammal migration on earth! The wildebeests number in the millions, with zebras often following behind!
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An early morning also means a beautiful sunset.
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Some hyena scavengers running off with part of a kill after the lions were finished.

 

Zanzibar: silky white beaches, Arabian nights!

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The white sand was so fine and lovely!
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Stonetown had some amazing architecture and narrow streets!

 

Hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to like and comment!

 

2 Comments on “Recovering in Tanzania!

  1. Aw Ryck. You’ve pushed yourself hard. It is time for healing. I’m so proud of you and Steph. You were called to such a time as this. It’s in your blood. You’ll desire to do this again in a while because you like a challenge 🙂. You’re just the best Dr!!!

    Like

  2. What a remarkable time you’ve had. May not feel that way always but you made a difference. The poverty and beauty you have seen on this trip are something you will never forget

    Liked by 1 person

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