By: Eliza Garfield, Ed.D.

Posted: October 9, 2015
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Faculty Post

Tanzanian Medicine: Smiles and Safaris


No matter the illness, my mom seems convinced that the cure is a glass of water, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a smile. Therefore, by my mom’s standards, Tanzania has incredibly well-resourced healthcare. I have to agree. Rarely is someone seen without a water bottle, there is a religious following for the half-gallons of peanut butter provided, and never have I witnessed more contagious smiles.

Students getting a daily dose of Tanzanian medicine at the hippo pool in Lake Manyara National Park.

Student Affairs Manager, Becky, looking like a picture of health at Kilima Tembo.

We also have had limited sickness; a couple of students have reported some less-than-desirable bathroom breaks, but otherwise we are healthy as hyenas after a successful hunt. It doesn’t take an olive-baboon-African-grassland-gazelle-poop observer (although I can now say I am one) to reach the obvious conclusion: moms are always right.

A pack of happy hyenas outside of Lake Manyara National Park

Still, I believe my new field experiences have assisted me in analyzing data. Our first major assignment consisted of writing a scientific article based on our excursion into Lake Manyara National Park. A safari for class? Believe it. I’m afraid though that American zoos will never be the same for me.

Even the animals realize mother knows best.

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