Barb Hunter – volunteer Jambiani Wellness Center

My name is Barb Hunter and I am currently writing from the loft of the Jambiani guest house. As I sit here my soul is soothed by the sound of the rolling waves as the ocean breeze swirls through the house… yes this is the life indeed. I arrived on the beautiful Island of Zanzibar September 6th from Dar es Salaam after spending 5 amazing days in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I have now been here for three weeks and I feel incredibly blessed by my experience. In the short time of being here I have worked with a diverse group of people in my clinical practice ranging from young to old and I have found great satisfaction in being a positive part of their day. It is a real pleasure connecting with the people and having the ability to offer them good energy and a nurturing touch. Being able to evoke a shift in the energy of a person whether it is awakening a sense of hope for continued wellness, pain relief or just a greater sense of peace through hands on therapy and homecare instructions is truly an amazing thing and I am so happy to have a place in this process.

I am fortunate as well to have been of some help outside of the clinic. In Stone Town Pat and I gave some good homecare instructions and perspective to an elderly women with arthritis and were able to organize a walker for her which will be of great help to her and her family and just recently I made a house visit with Alastair and friend Max to see a woman who in the last year experienced a stroke. It was heart warming to see how welcomed Alastair and Max were by the family and the patient, I could tell that their weekly visits have made a tremendous difference to all those concerned. My last and latest projects have included teaching massage to some local budding massage practitioners and offering some spa consultation and training to the massage practitioner at the Serena Inn in Stone Town. All these extra things have been a lot of fun and have contributed to a fun and fulfilling adventure.

Of course all of this would be difficult without communication and for that I am grateful to the people who taught me the bits of Swahili I now know but mostly I thank god for our interpreter Chai, body language and the English speaking people of Zanzibar!

Alastair and Pat have been wonderful hosts and have each contributed their personal touches to my experience here. It has been great to work with Alastair in the clinic as his enthusiasm and sense of humour bring life and magic to the centre and on a personal note – his fruit salads in the morning and guitar sessions have been a real treat.

Pat has given her time to many causes during my stay and her perseverance is definitely an asset in terms of getting the job done. I have benefited from the strong social connections that she has established in Stone Town and Jambiani as she has been very generous with including me in some of the social events which have included handing out a donation of food to small school children and attending some Rotary functions.

So now I have three days before heading back towards Canada and have a full appreciation for the expression that has been said many times before “Once Africa gets into your heart it will be there forever”.

Barb Hunter