The Amazing Africa, Part Two

May 27, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

A Student Spotlight about Hospital Shadowing Experience in Iringa, Tanzania

Jamieson with Bia, a young Tanzanian girl. Where do I even begin? This entire weekend, I felt like I was part of The Lion King. Any guesses as to where I was? Yup, I was on an African safari!

When we first arrived at the safari lodge, we pulled up in our Jeep Wrangler all covered in dust, fully in awe by what was in front of us. We were handed warm, wet cloths and freshly squeezed mango and pomegranate juice, along with smiles from the entire staff! The view from the lodge was jaw-dropping and the juice and towel just topped it all off.

Not to mention our rooms—it felt like we were in a honeymoon suite! It was lovely. As I was brushing my teeth, I looked out the window and there was a baboon hanging from a tree with a fruit in its mouth, just staring at me. How cool is that? It was giving me a warm greeting from the tree—I just couldn’t believe it! I give the lodge and room an A+.

Now, as far as a grade goes on the actual safari: that was so incredible it doesn’t even get a grade. Being in that jeep, traveling through wide, open spaces, and watching baby lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, antelopes, leopards, eagles, hippos, crocodiles, baboons, impalas, and wart hogs was a feeling I won’t forget.

“The Circle of Life” was stuck in all of our heads. Personally, my favorite part of the safari was the giraffe party. Yes, there was indeed a giraffe party in the national park. We pulled up to a spot where we saw one giraffe, but—when we turned the corner—all of a sudden there were at least twenty! Yeah, talk about a shocker. I haven’t been more amazed in my whole life. Everywhere I turned, there was a giraffe. Incredible. The zebras were also quite the sight to see, as were the six thousand pound elephants charging our jeep! All in all, the safari was one of the best things I’ve yet to do.

The next day, before we made our way back to the Gap Medics Rock House, we visited a Maasai tribe, played with the children, and learned about their culture. It was pretty interesting, and oh my gosh… the children were beyond beautiful. Their smiles were brighter than the sun. When you look into their innocent brown eyes, all you want to do is give them everything you have and promise you’ll always love them. It’s an immediate bond. For me, it’s hard to describe the kind of feelings I have when I am with these children. I have a feeling that one day I will be a mother to many children from all over. That’s why I’m sure that pediatrics is perfect for me.

I also want to mention how grateful I am for the friends I’ve made on this trip. It’s only been one week and I already have so many great friends that I know I’ll keep forever. Traveling to places like this really connects you with people, especially when you have something in common. My roommates Amy and Abi are such amazing people, and they have inspired me to always smile and stay confident. They are truly two of my best friends. Crazy thing? We’ve only known each other for one week! This is the pure result of travel—amazing friendships and experiences you’ll never forget. This journey, this place, and these people are all things that have made me a better person. I am truly inspired.