Ups And Downs And An Engagment

Filed in Abasi by on 24th July 2018

At the beginning of April I got an excited email from Abasi. He was about to get engaged to his long time girlfriend. However that wasn’t what the excitement was about. It was because in Tanzania they still have a dowry system (bride price) and he didn’t have enough money available. After much discussion we came up with a solution, and the engagement went ahead. The whole system is still steeped in tradition and is proscribed. It is a major social gaff if you don’t follow it. Abasi and his girlfriend had to wait until her older sister had got engaged and she had presented the new man to her parents, before they could proceed.

Work at the hospital has been hectic as ever. Abasi was being mentored by a couple of doctors from the USA who were really supportive. One task he was give was to update the medical records database. However the database hadn’t been updated for nearly a year so he had around 900 cases to enter. This was in addition to looking after patients! But as ever Abasi rose to the occasion.

After a few weeks another USA doctor returned to the hospital and she turned out to be a nightmare. She has a very combative approach and Abasi got quite down. Adding to his misery, the 2 nice USA doctors had to return home. Luckily at a doctor’s meeting at the end of the month another doctor confronted her on her style and things improved. Some time later she to had to return to the USA and things settled down.

In May Abbasi’s paternal grandmother passed away after some years suffering from Alzheimer’s. Abasi had to travel 900 km to the south of the country for the funeral. Whilst returning to Mwanza he got a call that his great grandmother had passed away, but as he couldn’t get any more time off he had to miss the funeral and return to the hospital.

Abasi regards himself as very lucky though. It transpired that most of the students he was with at med school or during his internship have not found jobs. He remains ambitious as ever. He’s hoping to do a Masters in Public Health using distance learning, while still working. Longer term he will want to specialise and do an appropriate masters course. Funding that will be a whole new challenge…

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