Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Tanzania?
Juliana: I thought a lot about volunteering in different capacaties before I decided on Projects Abroad in Tanzania. I wanted to do something that was both meaningful to me, and also that was aligned with my professional interest in healthcare. I really enjoyed my previous experience in Africa and wanted to see more of the continent, so I started looking into programs around east Africa. I chose Projects Abroad in Tanzania specifically because of the flexibility offered by the program. I wanted something that was structured enough that I wouldn't feel like I was completely alone, but that also allowed me some freedom to do things other than work.
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Juliana: Every morning I would have breakfast with my host family, and then catch a dalla dalla to the hospital. The ride took about 30 minutes. At the hospital, I would round with the doctors, and then help out where I was needed. I would do things like fill and dispense prescriptions in the pharmacy, change dressings, administer medication with the nursing staff, and scrub in to assist in surgery when need be. Generally, I would be at the hospital from 8-3 every day (sometimes later if surgery ran long). Afterwards, I would often head into Arusha to meet up with other volunteers to go shopping or have dinner.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Juliana: Volunteering in Tanzania really changed my perspective on a lot of things, including my career goals. Prior to volunteering, I had planned on going into clinical medicine, but being there piqued my interest in public health. I am currently applying to MPH programs, and I am very interested in working more in east Africa.