• News – February 2012

    Posted on February 9, 2012

    Hello from windy and warm Zanzibar, a far cry from the deep freeze being experienced in much of Europe at the moment. I saw a picture the other day of children building a snow man/woman in front of the Coliseum in Rome and realized that was a first for me. Climate change, global warming, we are definitely in it. So wherever you are, we hope Mother Nature is not creating too much of a burden for you.

    All is very well here on the home front and despite a couple of curveballs coming our way on the school side, order has prevailed and the energy is smooth in this moment.

    We are really happy to have Drs. Adam Sheriff and Jacqui with us all the way from Tasmania. I have to say I’m very impressed with these two young but very confident and competent practitioners and they are doing some great work in the clinic in tandem. Adam and Jacqui got married just before they left on their journey so we are honored that they are spending a month of their honeymoon with us. They bring dedication, positive energy and an awareness of what it means to be selfless, especially in this part of the world, where the needs of others are significant. Thank you so much for joining us Adam and Jacqui!

    We have also recently welcomed Barbara Albers who comes from Switzerland. Barbara is the sister of a very good friend of ours who administers an NGO called Marine Cultures (http://www.marinecultures.org/) and will be teaching in the school for the next several weeks filling in the gap that was left when Ishwar left his placement earlier than anticipated. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ishwar for all that he contributed during his stay here, including the hot sauce, and we wish him all the best with his present and future endeavors.

    Here are a few words from Adam and Jacqui:

    Hi we are two volunteers from Tasmania, Australia who have combined this volunteer work with our honeymoon. Adam is 26 and a chiropractor and Jacqui is 25 and an Osteopath. We are both volunteering our services in the Jambiani Wellness Centre.

    When we are in the clinic we have our own interpreter, Ali, who helps with the patients who speak Kiswahili. The Clinic has a fun atmosphere and has a refreshing sea-breeze flow through to cool you down on the hot days. It is more relaxed with far less structure and administration than our practices back home. This makes it very carefree and laidback with no one on time constraints so you can spend as long as required with the patient treating and educating them. We have found the education of the patients is nearly more important that the treatment itself as the patients have often travelled from over an hour away to receive treatment and cannot always easily return for follow up care.

    All of the patients are very appreciative and respectful of the treatment that we provide. Each case is different and varies dramatically from the patient chief complaints back home! This makes each new patient exciting and interesting. Some treatments have consisted of basic first aid such as treating wounds which is a great change from the standard musculoskeletal complaints.

    The owners and organizers, Alastair and Pat are fantastic, friendly and cheerful. They ensure that you make their place and property feel as though it is your home. The area that we stay in is above Alastair and Pat’s Jambiani Tourism Training Institute (JTTI). The space is huge and there is plenty of room for relaxing with a book on the balcony and space for privacy in our own ensuite area. We have had fun taking our weekly turn cooking in the kitchen with a variety of exotic ingredients and spices. Dinner time is a nice opportunity to sit and meet with the volunteer teachers who stay on the property and share their experiences also.

    The students studying at JTTI are warm and friendly and make you feel a part of the big family that basically lives and breathes at the site from 8am to 5pm most days! They each share with you their stories and more than willingly give you an insight into the real lifestyle of the Zanzibari people. As a part of the students’ training they offer their services in guiding you around the local sites and activities. This is great as it helps you to experience what the little community of Jambiani is all about and most importantly gives the students a chance to practice their skills.

    We have spent many days walking along the beautiful beach at our doorstep or just sitting in the restaurant area relaxing looking out over the ocean. This is a fantastic experience and I would suggest it to anyone! A big thank you to Mamma Pat and Ali Baba for their generosity to us both! Congratulations to you both for the care and opportunities that you provide to the village of Jambiani.

    Thanks for that input Adam and Jacqui and once again thank you so much for making the effort to be with us, for all the love and care you are giving to the patients at the Center and for being the relaxed and easy going people you are. Karibuni tena :-)

    Of course, Pat and Sine and now Barb are fully entrenched in this school term and with graduation only about 4 months away, there is a very palpable feeling in the air, a feeling of excitement and anticipation as our year two students gear up for their onward journey into what for many of them will be a huge turning point in their lives and the lives of their families. It’s an exciting and very rewarding time.

    We have just heard that Chantal, our VSO IT specialist has arrived in Dar es Salaam and will be getting over to us either tomorrow or Wednesday. This is the beginning of the development of our new website and we are all really looking forward to seeing this project take shape.

    It is hard to believe that it has been 13 years now since HABS was incorporated and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Kent Leahy-Trill, our dear friend who offered to design our first website and who has over all these years worked in the background to get these updates to you, to coordinate communication to us, to you and to potential volunteers. He is a genuine human being, a true friend and we are grateful for all that he has done and continues to do to support our work here. Kent will be intimately involved in this new design process and we are expecting an awesome outcome.

    Are we still turned on about the work here? Absolutely 100% and in fact it just seems to get better and better as the years roll along. We are seeing tremendous community and government support and encouragement; we are being recognized internationally by organizations like Rotary, VSO and the World Bank for our level of commitment and quality of services and we are attracting volunteers from all over the world who have heard about HABS and who want to be a part of what is taking place here on Zanzibar. We have now played host to over 80 volunteer practitioners and teachers and our future list of volunteers is already getting well established. Can I say that we are proud of our collective accomplishments? You bet we are and although it has taken a tremendous amount of effort, commitment and focus to get to where we are today, we would not trade this experience for anything. 99% of this journey has been positive and inspiring and the 1% which could be delegated to less than high energy creations have given us all opportunities for growth, understanding and compassion…the glass is always half full. :-)

    Trust that all your relations are with the good energy and that you are brimming over with the wonder of it all.


    Ali Baba, Mama Pat and the HABS team Jambiani

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