We spent the month of April in the US; we were there for our daughter’s graduation. While traveling around the eastern half of the country I was struck once again by the huge contrasts between life in the states and life in Tanzania.
Contrasts are part of our life; light and dark, hot and cold, clean and dirty, etc. There are also contrasts just as obvious in the lifestyles that are lived in different parts of the world. There was a particular scenario that brought some of these contrasts very vividly to my attention.
We were visiting family and I was taken on a tour of a new Veterinary Hospital where my niece works as Office Manager. She gave us a tour of the facilities and I was amazed at the sparkling clean surroundings which included new stainless steel equipment, digital ultrasound, separate waiting rooms for canine and feline patients, several surgical rooms and recovery areas, exercise and physical therapy equipment, and boarding rooms complete with video equipment so that the owners could view their pets from anywhere they were traveling. Everything was new, clean and state-of-the art.
As I left the animal hospital, I remembered visiting the small daughter of one of our pastor’s in the large government hospital here in Mwanza. The facility is old, run down and less than sparkling clean let alone sterile and it is understaffed. The small room that Shekinah and her mother were in was not much bigger than a bathroom and the one piece of furniture was the small bed that Shekinah was confined to. There was no medical equipment visible in the room except for the pole that held the IV bag; there was no apparatus to help with Shekinah’s breathing although she was obviously having difficulty breathing. There was no staff that I saw either inside or outside the room.
Contrast; the hospital’s that we Americans have for our animals as compared to the hospitals that many of the Tanzanian people are forced to use.
If I had a choice, I would rather be cared for in the animal hospital I visited in America than in the huge hospital here in Mwanza.
God help us to see the contrasts that should not exist and work to make them non-existent.


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