Team Health: A Day in the Life

Its day two under new leadership and possibly one of the busiest days for the health team. The following timeline recounts the day’s events, with approximate timings.

It’s worth briefly mentioning the three things that were schedule for that day:

  1. Health Ambassador Product training from a charity called WAHECO. These are the ambassadors from the engineering’s network who we are bringing into Afya Yetu alongside the community health workers. This is followed by some video training on key diseases.
  2. Children’s hand washing sessions, joint with engineering, teaching around 100 children how to wash their hands effectively. This is run by a charity TAI.
  3. Community interviews to be done by our Tanzanian volunteers, to get opinions on Afya Yetu.

7:30 am. Team emerge to catch the Dalla Dalla into Vingunguti via some morning Chapatis  (or in Jack’s case, 3 chapatis and 5 mandazi [giant dough balls], it’s a big day).

8:30 am. Arrival in Vingunguti, make it safely across the main road and head to ‘base 2’ aka the café.

8:45 am. Talk through the day. Plastic cups, condoms, sanitary pads and water are distributed to the right people as samples for the product training.

9:00 am. Jack has to print off more interview sheets as Natalie has forgotten to pick them up from her desk.

9:15 am. Nat and Sam go to the premises. Sam goes on to meet John from engineering  to wait for TAI (who are running the children’s day) and sort out the location whilst Natalie waits for Juhudi from WAHECO (who are running the product training). John also goes to confirm the training with the health ambassadors.

9:30 am. John returns with the news that one of the health ambassadors has ‘gone away, may be back in a few weeks’. This is particularly bad news after hearing earlier in the week that none of the 8 community health workers could make the training either.

9:52 am. The Health ambassadors turn up to be trained, albeit in the wrong place. They are relocated to the right place. Somehow there are three of them after all which is a bonus! Meanwhile Natalie is still waiting for Juhudi, accompanied now by the local children, three of which are called Nadia.

9:56 am. Still no Juhudi, begin to search for her number to call.

10:12 am. Juhudi is “20 mins away’”  The Health ambassadors are waiting in our premises.

10:20 am. Sam returns to the premises to drop the sample soap off (as we forgot earlier).

10:21 am. John arrives to show the Tanzanian students to the community interviews, however, they couldn’t leave until the training started so this was postponed until later in the day or next week.

10:40 am. Natalie leaves with Sam to go and meet the children to walk them over to the premises, leaving the Tanzanian students at the premises to greet Juhudi.

Walking the children to the hand-washing session.

Walking the children to the hand-washing session.

10:45 am. Jack has finished printing and takes over from Natalie to wait for Juhudi.

11.17 am. Decide to go ahead with the community interviews.

11.34 am. Juhudi arrives and training begins.

11:40 am. The children’s handwashing session is going well with the Tanzanian volunteers leading parts of the session and the children responding really positively. There is lots of singing and each child demonstrates and practises how to wash their hands.


12.47 am. The training was a big success and is coming to an end.

1:20 pm. The handwashing finished (only an hour late). Natalie and Sam head back to the café for lunch.

1:30 pm. The training actually finishes.

2:01 pm. The two groups head to the café for lunch.

2:02 pm. The café doesn’t do lunch on a Sunday.

2:05 pm. Food is outsourced and brought back to the café.

2:10 pm. Other people’s food turns up at the cafe, we may have misunderstood.

2:20 pm. Sam goes to get set up for the afternoon’s video training session.

2:45 pm.  No sign of the trainees. Natalie and Carol go to find them and bring them back to the premises.

3:05 pm. The video session can start. The others wait in the café

4:07 pm. ‘Two videos to go’

4:25 pm. Bets are placed on the finishing time of the session with the optimistic (Natalie) going for 4:39 pm and the pessimistic (Jack) going for 4:45pm.

4:39 pm. Natalie accepts defeat.

4:45 pm. The bets are abandoned.


4:46 pm. The playing cards come out.

5:00 pm. We begin to wonder what Fran’s contribution to the day has been, aside from keeping the chair warm in the Café.

5:05 pm. The videos finish and all that’s left to do is gather the contact details from the Health Ambassadors.

5:15 pm. We clamber into a Bajaji with some jack fruit (which, having never tried it before, caused much amusement among the locals as they had to show us how to eat it).

6:00 pm Arrive back at Ardhi with just enough light left to do some exercise on the field, with a few Tanzanian spectators and a lot of groaning.

Written by Natalie Fisk, Volunteer on the Health Project.

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