2014 Global Health Experience

July 2014 a team of students, instructors and researchers traveled to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa scouting out locations for master in global health program. Lead by Dean Heather Zwickey, School of Research and Graduate Studies, they will be in Moshi, Mowo, Tanga, and Zanzibar. These are Dean Zwickey’s letters from the journey.

Letters from Tanzania

Heather ZwickeyLetter One – Hujambo!
July 4, 2014

As you likely know by now, I’m back in Tanzania with some of the same cast of characters who have joined me in the past, and a few new faces. Maria (Dr. Maria Valdez) and I are teaching global health for the next 3+ weeks. While we’ve got a similar itinerary to past years, every trip seems to be completely different regardless of the planned itinerary. Julius, our friend, translator, and safari driver, is navigating the roads for us this year – and that’s no simple feat considering that the rains in Africa were heavy and many of the gravel roads are deeply rutted or washed out entirely. Read more…

Letter Two – Mambo!
July 10, 2014

I’m writing you from a slightly different setting today. Rather from the porch of the guest-house, which has magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro, or from the banks of the desert oasis hot springs, I’m writing from the confines of my room. This wouldn’t be my first choice for a Moshi letter, but I’m somewhat confined right now for two reasons: 1) I’ve picked up a lovely case of traveler’s diarrhea; and 2) there’s a very angry rat outside my door. Read more…

Letter Three – Habari!
July 13, 2014

There is a suspicious monkey watching me type this morning. I think he’s trying to decide if my computer is edible. I’m writing from the patio of Capricorn Beach Cottage, on the northern coast of Tanzania. The students are staying at a beautiful large house on the ocean – but there wasn’t quite enough room for me, so I’m next door at a little refuge on the beach. Read more…

Letter Four – Hujambo from Tanga!
July 20, 2014

It seems hard to believe, but we’re two-thirds of the way through our trip with the global health students in Tanzania. In some ways, it feels as if we’ve been here for months. For instance, goats and cows in the road and frequent cries of “mzungu” (white person!) no longer phase us. ‘Africa time’ has been adopted in full – meaning that we’re an hour late for anything, and two hours late if it’s food related. And bug bites are no longer a badge of honor to be shown off, they’re expected.  Read more…

Letter Four – Zima!
July 22, 2014

Zanzibar. I don’t what it means in Swahili, but it could very well translate as “heaven.” In case you were wondering, the real Swahili word for heaven is “peponi.” The waves are rolling in beneath my balcony over the Indian Ocean. The sun is setting on small wooden dhow boats with their single sails gliding over the unreal turquoise blue waters. There’s a slight smell of campfire from a lobster BBQ on the beach. And the beach – oh the beach. Last year I decided the sand was as soft as flour. This year, I think it’s more like powdered sugar –  Read more…

Letters from Zimbabwe – Letter One
July 30, 2014

Hello! Yes, hello. No Swahili in Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, we’re quickly learning that Shona, the tribal language in Zimbabwe is similar to Swahili, probably because they both share Bantu roots. How’s that for a piece of trivia you’ll probably never need to know? Read more…

Letters from Zimbabwe – Letter Two
August 1, 2014

Zimbabwe! Cold. OHMYGOSH can Zimbabwe get cold. I think often as Americans we think of Africa as one country – one hot, dry, wild animal filled country. It’s not. It’s an entire continent. And just as it’s rare to find wild animals roaming freely across the land, they are in protected game parks, in the winter Zimbabwe is cold. It blows all of those preconceptions about hot and dry out of the water… so to speak. In addition to having their own climate, each of these countries also has it’s own culture and personality. And perhaps nowhere was that more apparent for us than Zimbabwe. Read more….

Letters from South Africa – Greetings from Cape Town
August 3, 2014

I woke this morning to the smell of fresh baking bread. Fresh baked bread? Oh my. It confirmed that we have left the so-called third world behind. The smells of smoke from burning garbage and cooking fuel has been replaced with fresh bread and coffee. Read more…

This program is part of the curriculum for the Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH). This program is designed for students who desire to understand the complexity of global health challenges and contribute to solutions in a meaningful way.