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Two Ewans and an Ed’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 18 Sep 2005

Location: UK


We know, we know, we know!!! We've been awful at keeping in touch with people and we apologise profusely (wish there was a spell checker on this thing!), but honestly it wasn't our fault! If the internet in Mzuzu had been any slower we might have thought our 5th yr blocks had been put up on time. As it was we spent the whole of our weekly trip to the internet trying to download the blocks, used up copious amounts of cash and each time found that, once again, the medical school had surpassed itself in it's tardiness! The long and the short being that we didn't have time, money (nor, perhaps, inclination) to spend time communicating with people, so sorry once again!

Anyway, a quick up date of the story so far..... we started off in Tanzania, honing our african medical skills (i.e. getting used to medicine without the benefit of investigations and procedures). My main impression from these 3weeks being that you could stop people complaining about the bed crisis in the NHS if you simply told them they could 'double up' - the wards in Teule often doubling (tripling) capacity in this way!

We then had a hop, skip and a jump up to Moshi from where we had a hop skip and a jump up Africa's highest peak... Kilimanjaro. From then on anytime someone said "Hands up who's climbed Kilimanjaro?" three hands shot in the air. Sad, we know, but are we ashamed - I think not!

Then we met up again with Jess and Karen... the two paediatric nursing students from Brummy-town we'd met in Teule for a quick whizz in a 4x4 round some of Tanzania's amazing national parks! After seeing our first zebra and taking a million photo's each, we quickly realised that there are certain animals in africa which are complete photo-whores and every photo we took seemed to include token zebra, wilderbeast, antelope (various varieties), warthog and a giraffe. I'm even tempted to place elephants in this category apart from the fact that they were so impressive!

It was a shame that Bob (the zebra) lost his battle with the lions but he fought bravely to the end, it also meant his mates could go get some water and it made great viewing pleasure. He should really have known that white and black stripes are really no match for tooth and claw. (Apologies to any of Karen's relatives who might be offended by the name Bob, any relation to real people or places is strenuously denied... although wasn't it Karen who suggested the name.... yes! in fact i think she wanted to call him Uncle Bob.......??) (ha!ha! no xmas presents this year Kaz!)

What next.... oh yes, I really must mention the Scandinavian bus service from Moshi to Dar. No people in the aisles. No people sitting on knees. No luggage on the roof. No animals in sacks and crates trying to peck/claw at your eyes. Not even a cockroach!! We were given 2 sodas (each!) (with straw!!!) and a pack of biscuits (sealed, and in-date) and these were INCLUDED IN THE PRICE!!! Move over Mega-bus!! 5hours passed like a dream.

Back in Dar, reality hit home. Ewan B has the knack of attracting weirdos, I don't know how he does it. There were a lot of weirdos in Dar. Anyway, our spirits were lifted when not only did we find a Barclay's Bank, which accepted cirrus but also.... a SUBWAY (no not a subterranean railway - the american sandwich chain). 3 Subs each later and we vowed to come back the next day! As if things couldn't get any better and we walked passed a book shop, where-in was the new Harry Potter!!! All I can say is, it was a good job there was a cirrus cash machine that day.

We went on a very crowded Dhalla Dhalla to the railway station to book tickets for the train to Malawi. Mums, you would rightly, and collectively, have feared for our lives if you'd have seen the transport that day. We vowed to take a taxi when we went back to catch the train.

We went for a another day of bliss on a beach near Dar somewhere in here - it was fabulous.

After the train ride down to Mbeya, things seemed to be going smoothly.