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).
The Serengeti: the place that goes on forever!
Zanzibar: silky white beaches, Arabian nights!
Hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to like and comment!