September is always an exciting month for the art fanatics in Zimbabwe and those visiting the country for the first time. Besides our passion to eat and unhealthy habit of turning our problems into jokes, Zimbos really know how to turn up. If you’ve been to HIFA or Neverland Zimbabwe then you know the vibe.
Fourth-year medical students at Ohio State University can spend 4-weeks completing a global health elective. With an MPH degree in Global Health, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to travel abroad. After hearing about Tiritose through a colleague of mine (Necrisha Roach), I knew spending my time in Zimbabwe with Tiritose was where I wanted to go for my 4-week clinical rotation in 2017.
As has become customary on a Saturday afternoon, I take nature walks and hikes mostly to clear my head while the birds sing to me. It’s a great escape from the busy streets in the City of Harare.
For a Zimbabwean, it is easy to take some things for granted. I am sure it is the same for a Parisian and the Eiffel Tower! There are some things that you only begin to appreciate once visitors to your country comment on or in my case, meeting different people when I travel abroad who ask me about places or experiences I have no idea exist in Zimbabwe.
Many Zimbabwean students drop out of school because their families can no longer afford tuition and the associated educational costs. This is an issue one American medical intern affiliated with Tiritose wanted to see change.
So, when you first arrive, particularly if it’s your first trip to Africa, everything is very different. The roads, the heat, the people, the environment and general ambience is a sense sensation. I felt quite disarmed being in Zimbabwe initially. I felt very different and a little disconcerted at the daunting venture that lay ahead.
My last trip to Kariba was during the festive season, a prime time for exploring a small town as it will have slightly more people than usual, and so chances of standing out too much are very slim. I’m a proud domestic tourist, and my goal remains to travel to, and experience every single corner of Zimbabwe by 2019.
Meet Necrisha – a medical student who came to Zimbabwe to do a global health internship. She spent 4 weeks in Harare and she shares her experience of Zimbabwe with us. Here is what she had to say:
Selfies, Facebook Likes, or a local girlfriend are quite tempting reasons to volunteer abroad. If any of these are your reasons for volunteering abroad, then I advise you to stay in your home country and have a cookie. A little harsh? Maybe! But I am quite the blunt guy.
Starting out at 5am was a daunting idea at first but something I knew was necessary if we were going to reach Nyangani Mountain (3-4 hour drive). It is not allowed to go up the mountain afternoon because there is a greater risk of disappearing. Yes! people have been known to disappear, and our guide, Stewart was quick to mention that the last person to disappear was an ‘Indian guy’ in 2014.