The most wet bajaji ride–EVER


This is a quick one.  Just wanted to share that I’ve been in Tanzania now 4 times, totaling about 5 months and today I took that wettest bajaji ride–EVER!

I needed to go back to Slipway for 3 reasons:

– A mission for Shelton to retrieve something he left behind in a shop

– A mission to do more shopping of my own–I do love to shop

– A mission to get ice cream.

These were all legitimate reasons individually but together one big spectacular reason to venture out.  So I waited for the mid day downpour to pass and I had talked to Dee who was at Slipway and said it was all clear on the peninsula (where Slipway is) and I ventured out.

Well, I made it out of the gate of Holiday Homes and it started to drizzle.  And there weren’t taxis outside like typically there are.  And there were 3 policemen outside stopping cars so I was not feeling so confident about getting a method of transportation too quickly.  But not too far into my trek a bajaji stopped.  I said “Slipway, you know?” and he said yes.  Then we bartered for a fare and we settled on a fare that can only be described as highway robbery but it was starting to rain harder so I relented.  And away we went…….mostly in the right direction………to Sea Cliff and not Slipway.

So for those of you who can’t imagine this.  Very close to Holiday Homes is the peninsula where most ex-pats live and where there are a lot on embassies and where most of the restaurants that I go to are located.  So I have a pretty good feel for it but there are a lot of criss-crossing streets to get from one side to the other that I don’t know.  So the driver is heading down the road on the Sea Cliff Hotel side and not the Slipway  side.  I’m thinking he’s going to cross but the rain is now literally pouring down, there are some holes in the floor boards so in deep puddles I got a little wet from below and with passing cars, bajajis and taxis I was getting very wet from the side.  And the guy kept stopping to say “Slipway?” over and over and I was trying to tell him he was in the wrong place.

So we got to Sea Cliff and I said “Hapana (No).”  Then he asked for directions from a Sea Cliff security person which I caught most of the Swahili for and they were correct.  But then we asked for directions a couple of more times before finally getting there. Then he almost drove past, thankfully I knew we were there and stopped him.  Then he tried to get me to pay more than the already way too much fare.  I said, “Hapana, Asante.”  (No, thank you) and took off through the rain.

So it was still raining when I got into the shops but I did complete the first 2 missions while the rain was still pouring down.  By the time it was time for mission #3 the rain stopped and the sun was out and it was like a sauna out there so the timing was perfect!  Wonderful scoops of ice cream!

A little more browsing and I was headed home.  In an enclosed taxi, for less than I paid the bajaji ( but still too much in my opinion).

Happy Saturday!



Being thankful

Hi everyone!

Another new adventure happened yesterday.  Trish (my Irish doctor friend who started and grew this whole program) asked me to meet with Dr. Kisenge, who I guess is the Head of the Eductional Programs at Muhimbili University while I was here to discuss a few things.  So the ward administrator, Lillian, had been trying to arrange a meeting for about a week, but Dr. Kisenge had been busy because I believe there are exams or other coordination happening right now, so yesterday morning when we got to the hospital Lillian told me my meeting was in an hour.  Well, didn’t quite know what to expect but I think it all went well–at least Lillian said so, she walked me over and sat in the meeting so she could walk me back.  We discussed the current semester plan for the Master’s program, the goals for the students, some issues that one of the students has been having and how we can help with those, and then we discussed overall plans and commitment with regard to the next class of Master’s students in Pediatric Oncology.  I think there is commitment but like all good academic programs it comes down to guaranteeing funding.  Really, everyone has a goal of running 3-4 cycles of Master’s classes which will need visiting international lecturers to provide expertise and then after that enough local folks would be trained to carry the program forward sustainably.  It’s just getting there.  So everyone is working on that.

We have continued to work through topics that the doctors have requested more teaching/review of since their formal curriculum has finished.  Thus far, we’ve covered chemotherapy mechanisms, side effects and late effects (thank goodness that is my lecture for the fellow’s basic lecture series, I could just edit), Shelton has covered oncology emergencies and immunophenotyping for leukemias, today we did some cases with regard to fluids and electrolye management and tomorrow we take on palliative care (thank you Kathy Perko for some slides to get me inspired).  I’m interested to see how palliative care will go as culturally I think palliative care may be difficult for many people here.  So everyone wish us some good thoughts, cultural sensitivity and clarity as we venture into that topic.

Poor Suman, who comes next, I totally pulled a fast one and passed brain tumors on to him but in fairness I also gave him sarcomas which are in his wheelhouse!  Hopefully Kellie and Becca have provided him with some good outlines.

As you can see, this teaching thing takes a village, so thanks to everyone who has answered some sort of red exclamation point email that I’ve sent over the past week and a half.  Which brings me to my next topic for the night…..

Things I’m thankful for that we take for granted every day.

– Our wonderful team at Doernbecher/OHSU.  The team here is certainly becoming more cohesive but they lack a team of specially trained doctors and nurses and social workers, and physical therapists and nutrition people and consultants–and a PICU and pathology and radiology etc.  Just being able to walk down the hall and find a colleague who can provide insight or an ear to bounce an idea off of.

– A working flow cytometry machine and our wonderful hemepath fellows, a special shout out to Phil, who answer the call within hours of getting a sample.  The flow machine is still awaiting a technician from Nairobi so we have several children who are just sitting awaiting diagnosis.  Some who are not at all comfortable.  The ones who we feel mostly sure have ALL have started chemo.  The ones who we think have AML have not and are miserable.  Then there are a couple who we just have no idea what they have but need to rule out leukemia.  So we wait.

– A working CT scanner and the ability to get scans the same day (let alone within minutes to hours).  We have been getting exemptions done but the scanner broke.  Also, here’s the special shout out to to the radiologists again, because we take for granted the quickness with which we get reads.  Because the machine broke there seems to be an issue getting some reads.  We have one little very happy boy whom we are awaiting a CT read on to make sure he doesn’t have a brain tumor.  We are pretty sure he doesn’t and that he just had congenital rubella but we need to know so we can transfer him somewhere else.  But he is waiting almost a week now.

– Labs that result out relatively quickly, certainly thankful for the CBC machine in the clinic that spits out our CBCs on demand.  We get labs mostly back the next day here.  But sometimes the system has been down and that hasn’t worked well.  This one is a double edged sword, because the speed with which we get results really leads to our ordering labs frequently and we really don’t really need that.  Shelton has now seen how to manage tumor lysis with daily to not even daily labs.  We worked through cases today and used clinical symptoms to assess electrolytes, for example, which they do every day.  But I’m still thankful we can get labs quickly when we need them.

– The blood bank and a ready supply of blood products.  Really, the major part of the day for the interns is tracing blood.  Which means several times a day they go to the blood bank asking if there are blood and platelets available for any of the kids.  We have one little boy who we are pretty sure has new diagnosis ALL, who presented with symptoms of heart failure due to anemia who has gotten one blood transfusion but has been really in need of another for days now but we haven’t had blood.  Today we finally got blood and literally all did a cheer.  Then Erica doggedly followed nurses around until she got someone to hang it.  So we are feeling hopeful that he and this heart will feel better tomorrow.

– Which of course then makes me thankful for our blood donors–all you blood donors out there, you really cannot know how much you do for the people you donate for.

– Pharmacy, really the fact that we have pharmacists and they check and double check us.  There is no pharmacy oversight here.  We did have an incident here this week which the child has recovered from which I’m sure would never have happened if the unit had a pharmacist.  Everyone is doing the best they can but we all know that a pharmacist has special expertise that is vital to a pediatric oncology program running safely.  And I’m really sure that the nurses here would appreciate a pharmacist to mix the chemo rather than themselves.

– The HUCs.  The doctors and nurses spend a lot of time chasing things around here because that is the system but Shelton and I looked at each other this week and said, “They need a Misty.”  And again, I’m always so amazed by how far the program has come each time I’m here and just continue to wish them more efficiency so they have time to take care of their very high census.

Well, I’m sure I’m thankful for many more things but those just came to mind today and I thought I’d share.  We really are blessed to be able to practice where we do.

On that note, Happy Thursday!


Journal Club-Tanzanian style

Hi all,

Today was another interesting day at Muhimbili.  Shelton and Erica had a the opportunity to experience Journal Club.  Our resident, Imran, was presenting for journal club this week and his paper was a recent New England Journal paper about peanut allergy in infants.

Presentations such as Journal Club or Grand Rounds are an experience here.  Everywhere you go people have sort of “assigned seats,” we all just tend to sit in the same place when we attend certain events.  Well, at pediatric presentations it is official.  The room is organized such that the medical students sit in the back of the room, then the interns, then the residents, then the registrars and then there is a row of special seats in the front for the attendings/specialists.  Then when the presenation finishes the lead asks by section if there are any questions.  I haven’t been to a ton of these over time but it seems there are never questions from the medical students or the interns and rarely by the residents.  Occasional questions that are good from the registrars.  Then come the specialists.  They always make comments or ask questions and the learning style is quite diffferent than we are used to.  I’m not sure that the questions are so much geared at helping the group learn as they are at making the presenter feel moderately uncomfortable.  Per Imran, several interns have already cried this year during presentations.  Very different system.

So, it occurred to me today after Journal Club that our style of teaching involves a lot of asking questions to promote discussion, such as “What is your differential diagnosis?”  “What are you thinking when you are deciding to make that plan?”  “What do you think is going on with this patient?”  And it occurred to me that perhaps that might be intimidating to the docs here because of the system they train in.  That they might think I’m trying to trip them up.  So we discussed it and I clarified that when I ask questions I’m not specifically looking to point out something they are doing wrong, just to promote group learning.  They told me they had figured that out about us over the years but the resident and past-resident did say they wished their system of learning was more like ours.

After Journal Club, this woman who I have never met before announced that the medical students should come meet with her and then pointed at the 3 of us and said we were to come too.  I told her that we were not medical students but I was told we were to come at 10am to her office.  I was a bit taken back by that summons not knowing who she was or what the purpose of the meeting was in the middle of rounds.  Our Tanzanian Master’s Students apologized to us for her stating that was her personality and that she was the Head of Pediatrics.  Well, turns our she just wanted to know who we were and that all went fine after I clarified that I and our group had been coming for many years.  She is new from previous years so this was never a requirment in the past.  We’ll remember it for the future.

Aside from that I helped with a couple of difficult bone marrows today, we rounded, Shelton took a field trip with Shakilu to radiology to get a couple of CT reads that we have been waiting on since last week, and we continue to hope that tomorrow the flow machine might be fixed so we can figure out what some of these leukemia patients have.  One repair person came from Nairobi last week and couldn’t fix it and another one was coming today.  So cross your fingers–only if you are in the US, because here it apparently means something rude.

That’s about all for me today.  Hope everyone is well at home!


Pole sana Erica and the Paper Airplane Obsession Continues

Hi all

Well, one of Erica’s big goals on this trip was to see a big thunder/lightning storm and she is missing it!  I just got back from Sunday rounds where it was so hot it was like a sauna and sat down at home for a couple of minutes and the skies literally opened up and buckets of water started falling.  Then the thunder and lightning came.  That went on for about 10 minutes and now it’s just raining hard again but not buckets.

Pretty soon the sun will probably come out again and all of this rain will make a nice outdoor sauna of drenching heat!  This morning a little drizzle of rain created a sauna so I can only imagine what will happen after this!  Maybe the rain will just continue.

Maybe it’s raining on the safari too, but I hope not, the animals don’t like to come out in the rain.

Anyway, I went in to round with Dr. Laiti this morning and do some teaching if the occasion arose.  I got totally ripped off by the bajaji driver but it was Sunday so there weren’t choices and I didn’t really want to walk through the hot sun.  Things were pretty calm.

We have just a ton of kids with ALL on the ward and then a bunch of kids with suspected leukemia who are in a holding pattern.  The local machine for flow cytometry is broken or not working so we can’t get any preliminary report while waiting on the Ireland back-up so we are just waiting.  We are also waiting on exemptions so hematology can write official reports on peripheral smears but we don’t base treatment off of those.  All of the kids on oncology get cost waived for labs, imaging and other testing but rather than just putting one global exemption on the chart, every order needs to go for approval and no one approves on the weekend.  We are also waiting on CT reads for a few kids and although they print out a couple of cuts for us they usually aren’t all the cuts I would need to make any real impression so we are waiting for Monday for those as well.

The paper airplane squadron commanded by Henry continues to grow.  His airplanes were soggy again so he bummed paper off of me to make a new one and then more for “rafiki mbili” (his 2 friends).  After rounds we did an improptu Swahili/English lesson with all of the paintings on the ward.  I did pretty well except I’m not at all sure what bird actually is.  Some birds were denga, some were tenga and some were mdodo.  It seems the denga/tenga word means flying bird but I’m not totally sure, we were doing a lot of miming and signing.  The parents were laughing at me so I’m not sure what he had me saying.

I was completely unsuccessful at getting pictures off of my phone and onto the computer with the cable so hope to have some pics for you once Shelton and Erica are back from safari and can help me.

The rain is stopping, the sky is clearing again, let the sauna begin!


Oh, ps. I think we may have a guest blogger this week.  I think Dee may write in and give you her impression of all of  us Portland doctors.  All of you fellows out there, Dee says Hi!

Warming up to the mzungus

Hi again!

Shelton and Erica left this morning for a safari and will be back tomorrow so I’ll try to keep everyone in the loop until they return and can update you on their adventures the last couple of days.

It’s always an interesting day when the kids really decide to start warming up to us.  Initially they start out sitting on their beds very polite with us and then there comes a point when they are running at us in the morning and following us around in the afternoon–and then they get a hold of our Iphones and the relationship is cemented!

There is one boy, Henri, who has been the fastest to become our friend.  He made a paper airplane on Thursday (I’m not sure where) and he and Erica were flying it around–I’m told at the fans to see if they could really make it fly.  He loved that paper airplane!  And you can imagine what happens to paper airplanes at the hot, damp equator–on Friday morning he came running up to us with his very limp paper airplane showing me how floppy the wings were and demonstrating that when you tried to fly it, it just fell on the floor.  So he wanted more paper–never fear a new airplane was flying later in the day!

Henri also fancies himself an amateur photographer and videographer.  Maybe because he has the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen.  He had Erica’s phone on Thursday and wanted to take videos but he takes videos that are very short like pictures–but he doesn’t want to take pictures.  Friday he had my phone and I now have a series of Henri selfie videos on my phone.  He is actually very good with an Iphone, he knows how to go between apps and can zoom in and zoom out and all.  We were talking for a couple of minutes not paying attention to them and suddenly heard loud music coming from my phone–which I couldn’t figure out until we realized that they had found the Remission 2 game that I have on my phone from when we were trying the game out.  So then there was a whole herd of little boys around the phone.  Well, I guess we are taking a multi-faceted approach to curing cancer and I guess all little boys like video games.

There is a super cute little girl named, Helen, who is about 3 years old who I think has a crush on Shelton and that may go both ways.  She likes to find him and follow him around.

The kids were relatively stable on a medical front yesterday.  There is a child who is 2 years old that we met Tuesday with ortital and jaw masses that were obstructing his airway that I advised just starting Burkitt’s treatment on becuase the tumors were literally growing before our eyes–so what else could it be?  He got chemo on Wednesday night and yesterday things were visibly better.  We would worry a lot about tumor lysis and do lots of labs in the US–by omission he didn’t get IV fluids after chemo Wednesday but seems to be urinating just fine.  I think his Thursday chemistries didn’t result yesterday.   So we will see what the next couple of days brings.

As a side note for all you oncologists out there, we asked and they don’t see a lot of later increases in phosphorus.  They are not necesarily looking for it either but we seem to see that more often.

Joycee, my little one from the last post was doing great on Friday.  Her tumor is also visibly getting smaller and her Dad reported that she was able to eat some solid foods too.  So we’ll see how she does over the next couple of days as well.

Shelton, went on his first consult mission to one of the other wards outside of Jengo La Watoto yesterday too and really got a picture of how wonderful the oncology ward is compared to the other conditions.  They brought that consult child back and we suspect metastatic neuroblastoma presenting with a large orbital mass.  It’s unclear to me so far whether the abdomen has been imaged yet because the child came later in the day but the mama had the head CT done in Arusha in February and the orbital mass seems to be arising from the bone with other skull based mets.  We will continue to work with them on this one.

That’s it for now, when my phone is charged again after its run with the children I’ll try to post some of the Tinga Tinga art I talked about previously.


Day 2

Hi all!

Well, I think I get the post tonight, so you get the wordy writer today!

More things I’ve learned on this trip….I think I have finally figured out the medical doctor training system here so I will share and then tell you who is on the team this time around.

Children start primary school at age 7 years here and go to primary school for 7 years, so they finish around age 14 year.

Children then go to secondary school and this goes on for 5-6 more years, to age 19-20 years

Then they go to medical school which is 5 years, so we are to age 25 years.

Then they are an intern for 1 year and it seems like they rotate around whatever hospital they are at as an intern.  At Muhimbili it seems like they are only in one place for 1 maybe 2 weeks at a time.

Then it all becomes a bit free form.  You can choose to be registrar which is sort of an employed doctor for any period of time you want before you try to get a residency.  People don’t necessarily do registrar in the specialty they want to go into.  They may choose to be a registrar because of personal reasons such as wanting to have a baby or it may be out of necessity, because they need to be sponsored in order to become a resident (ie have someone to pay for them).

So when you decide to become a resident then residency is another period of time, for pediatrics it’s 3 years.

So there you have it, but it seems you can also pretty much never decide to go back to residency and still practice.

That all being said the doctor team is a lot of very familiar faces:

Dr. Shakilu and Dr. Laiti are the Master’s students

Dr. Living, Regina, Mwanaidi, Lulu are the faculty pediatricians

Dr. Edith is a faculty pediatrician but also has oncology training in adults and children in China-not entirely sure what that was exactly, a fellowship?

Dr. Beatrice, Aika are registrars.  Beatrice wants to do adult cardiology and Aika pediatrics.

Dr. Imran is the pediatric resident

There are 2 interns and scattered medical students.

Whew! I think that’s everyone.  Most faces are folks I know from the past which is great because that means some good continuity in the program.  Many of the nurses are the same too.

Then there are some exciting things on the ward:

The Upendo ward has been painted and it’s amazing!  Mr. Chongo, a local artisan, painted the whole thing and it puts our ward to shame!  It’s covered in an art called Tinga Tinga art and it’s all sort of animals and color and beauty!  I told someone we needed to bring Mr Chonga back with us and they astutely said we should take pictures and project them, sort of like paint by number.  It’s a good thought.

Another exciting thing is they have a water filter installed on the ward.  This was more exciting when we thought it worked more consistently, but when there is no water in the hospital to filter there is no filtered water.  Well, it’s still a significant improvement.

New outpatient infusion unit where the very unsafe outdoor patio was.  A donor gave money and they decided to enclose an outdoor patio area to become an outpatient infusion room.  The outdoor patio is off the waiting room and was always a great idea for the children to get fresh air but they were never able to get the wall high enough to feel safe so this is much better.  They are just putting the finishing touches on it and it will be open for business.

A chemo hood!  The nurses currently draw up chemo in the basement with no hood and Dee was able to get a used hood and new refrigerator.  So the plan is to renovate several rooms in the old Tumaini ward and one of those will become the chemo prep room.  The hood is in the room but not hooked up yet.  They need to get more plumbing, electricity, work tables and air conditioning in there so many fundis are being sought.  Fundi is a word for worker and you can be a fundi for just about anything.

That is all the new and exciting I think but that is some amazing stuff.

Rounds are going well.  The census on Upendo is a moving target but somewhere between 30 and 40.  I’m not sure about Tumaini because they keep saying not many are over there but some seem to transfer in and out of there each day.  The improvement in knowledge among the doctors is evident.  Things that were still getting missed last year are not getting missed this year.  That is great.  I think the continuity of doctors has a lot to do with it.

The children continue to be really sick and the extent of disease they have at presentation continues to amaze.  Their resilience also continues to amaze me.  I will tell you one story–warning, somewhat graphic  content for you non-medical types out there.  Skip to the next paragraph if you have a queasy stomach.  Lovely little 3 yo girl, Joycee, who has a rhabdomyosarcoma of the face with tumor protruding out of her eye and into her mouth disfiguring her left side of the face.  She just started chemo.  She has a trach because her airway is compromised because of tumor.  It is also hard for her to swallow anything solid because of the tumor.  But she is determined to eat–or try.  Yesterday in the morning she was eating porridge and she would take a bite, chew it up and spit it out.  In the afternoon she was having a great time eating watermelon where she would take a bite, chew to get the juice out and then spit the pulp back.  This morning the nurses called us over at the start of rounds because Joycee was bleeding from her nose, mouth and trach and coughing and coughing and her daddy was patiently wiping it away.  Can’t get platelets so a little transexamic acid and the bleeding stopped.  This afternoon she had  a cup of milk on her bed to drink but she was hugging a 1.5 L water bottle full of milk and giving her daddy an earful about how she needed all of that milk to drink because she was hungry.  And the lecture continued for quite some time.  And her daddy is so patient and was just chuckling at her with us.  If that isn’t resilience I don’t know what is!

I’m really excited about how things are going with the nurses too.  They are relating to Erica as a nurse in ways they would not to someone else.  She has already started formal teaching in addition to working with them and they are asking for more topics!  I think this could be the start of a great opportunity for a nursing teaching collaboration.

The internet is uploading slowly and I keep getting ahead so not much more but a few other fun things…

Shelton ventured out to the Serena Hotel today to change money and scored a back gate taxi driver named Mr Brighton who we have enlisted to bring  us home each day.  He used to work in the prison system for  35 years so when the  police pulled him over for no good reason he whipped out his prison police papers and away we went.

Game 2 of the football series Team Dick vs Team Shelton took place this evening.  AND with another  massive come from behind victory Team Dick takes a second victory!  Dick is a master of strategy and always seems to start with the “weaker” team and bring in the ringers once he is behind.  Tonight it was Dick and Erica vs Shelton and 2 other boys from Game 1, then once  down he  got a massively talented older  teen to join and it was all over.  Shelton even  tried playing  without shoes which  Hilda thought was hilarious.  Dick has assigned me to cheer from our 3rd floor balcony–I think he wants the stadium feel.

Ok, gotta stop, internet bad..


We made it!

Habari! (Hello)

We all made it to Tanzania successfully, although some of the luggage did not.  And we have already set some exciting records so here’s my attempt at a blog post.

The trip over:

Shelton and Erica had a relatively uneventful journey and I’ll let them give you the details in their posts.  I went to Amsterdam via Seattle and unfortunately my flight between Seattle and Amsterdam was delayed–significantly–to the point that there was a moment of panic where I was pretty sure I was going to miss the connection and Shelton and Erica would have no idea what to do.  So there was a frantic call to Erica with directions and the bail out strategy which is always–Go to the Holiday Inn!  For those of you who know my first trip to Dar, the Holiday Inn saved me so they are now my go to place–and yes for those of you wondering, “Is there a Holiday Inn in Dar?”  Yes, there is.

Well, it was dicey in Amsterdam.  They told us to talk to the gate agent immediately after getting off the plane to find out if we had a chance to make our flights and where to go and the gate agent didn’t have a record of my flight at all–not too good. My efficient Dutch people were letting me down!  So she sent me off wandering to find a screen to give me info.  And for those of you who have been to the Schipol airport, there aren’t tv screens every few feet like the US so I wandered quite a way before figuring out what gate to go to.  Then I pretty much think my 2 gates could not possibly have been further apart and I’m thinking “I’m not going to make it, they are going to close the gate” the whole time.  But it was all good, I got to the gate, got through gate security and there were Shelton and Erica waiting for me.  I think they were glad I made it.  But I think we’ll go back to the everyone on one flight next year.

So records that were set once we got to Dar:

Fastest time to get through the visa line–EVER!  They changed things up a bit and now there are a lot more people at desks so you don’t just put your passports and money in a pile and hope.  It’s quite professional and much happier!

First lost luggage.  Unfortunately while I made my connection, my luggage did not.  It’s supposed to be coming on tonight’s flight and then they are delivering it tomorrow?  We’ll see if that actually happens.

Most obvious taxi driver outside of the airport and first time my name was correct on the taxi sign!  Very exciting.  I think I get just a little bit of PTSD every time I walk outside of the Dar airport in the middle of the night–flashing back to when no one was there for me the first time I came.  But this time, such a friendly guy with such a great sign!

Easter Monday.  Easter Monday is celebrated in Dar so pretty much everything is shut down today so we had a day to get adjusted.  And then it’s also a national holiday tomorrow.  We didn’t know any of this when planning the trip……

Fastest time to get internet access!  Ever!  I don’t think we’ve ever gotten hooked up so efficiently, so I guess that means more blog posts and that means parents aren’t on pins and needles for days hoping we all made it here.  So all you parents out there I hope you’ve already taken your deep breaths.

Fastest time to money exchange and new location!  Dollar exchange is always tricky when we get here but we found out today that the supermarket at the Slipway shopping area will exchange money and also a record today for the best exchange rate I’ve ever gotten here, so the dollar is strong right now!

That may be all for the records.  As I said we’ve already been to the Slipway so Shelton and Erica have seen the ocean, drank a beer while looking at the ocean, eaten goat, and have been to the stalls selling local goods.  Shelton has also been recruited to play football (ie soccer) with the little boys who live in the apartment complex including Hilda’s son, Dick.  He can tell you all about it–he held his own.

And now we are going to get ready to eat the delicious dinner that Hilda made for us–we are going authentic Tanzanian today, Hilda made beans and rice and some sort of greens that I didn’t quite catch the name of.  And yes, Hilda is still here to take care of us too.

All in all a full day.

So all is well!  Tutuonana!