2014 Global Health Experience

This July a team of students, instructors and researchers are traveling to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa teaching global health to students from the National College of Natural Medicine. Lead by Dean Heather Zwickey, School of Research and Graduate Studies, they will be in Moshi, Mowo, Tanga, and Zanzibar. These are Dean Zwickey's letters from the journey.

Letter One – Hujambo!
July 4, 2014

As you likely know by now, I’m back in Tanzania with some of the same cast of characters who have joined me in the past, and a few new faces. Maria (Dr. Maria Valdez) and I are teaching global health for the next 3+ weeks. While we’ve got a similar itinerary to past years, every trip seems to be completely different regardless of the planned itinerary. Julius, our friend, translator, and safari driver, is navigating the roads for us this year – and that’s no simple feat considering that the rains in Africa were heavy and many of the gravel roads are deeply rutted or washed out entirely. Read more…

Letter Two – Mambo! 
July 10, 2014

I’m writing you from a slightly different setting today. Rather from the porch of the guest-house, which has magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro, or from the banks of the desert oasis hot springs, I’m writing from the confines of my room. This wouldn’t be my first choice for a Moshi letter, but I’m somewhat confined right now for two reasons: 1) I’ve picked up a lovely case of traveler’s diarrhea; and 2) there’s a very angry rat outside my door. Read more...

Letter Three – Habari!
July 13, 2014

There is a suspicious monkey watching me type this morning. I think he’s trying to decide if my computer is edible. 

I’m writing from the patio of Capricorn Beach Cottage, on the northern coast of Tanzania. The students are staying at a beautiful large house on the ocean – but there wasn’t quite enough room for me, so I’m next door at a little refuge on the beach. When we calculated beds, we forgot that Tanzania beds are small, and Greg (one of our students) is 6' 4". The only way to get him remotely comfortable is to put him diagonal in a master bed. So I’ve been exiled… Not that I’m complaining. Capricorn is amazing. I stayed here in 2008, and I’ve always wanted to come back – and it’s a short walk on the beach to the students. Read more...

Letter Four – Hujambo from Tanga!
July 20, 2014

It seems hard to believe, but we’re two-thirds of the way through our trip with the global health students in Tanzania. In some ways, it feels as if we’ve been here for months. For instance, goats and cows in the road and frequent cries of “mzungu” (white person!) no longer phase us. ‘Africa time’ has been adopted in full – meaning that we’re an hour late for anything, and two hours late if it’s food related. And bug bites are no longer a badge of honor to be shown off, they’re expected. No one blinked when Elizabeth (one of the students) had mosquito bites on top of her flea bites. I don’t even think we took a picture! Yes, we’re in the thick of it, yet, it’s been only two weeks. Read more...


Letter Four – Zima!
July 22, 2014

Zanzibar. I don’t what it means in Swhahili, but it could very well translate as “heaven.” In case you were wondering, the real Swahili word for heaven is “peponi.” The waves are rolling in beneath my balcony over the Indian Ocean. The sun is setting on small wooden dhow boats with their single sails gliding over the unreal turquoise blue waters. There’s a slight smell of campfire from a lobster BBQ on the beach. And the beach – oh the beach. Last year I decided the sand was as soft as flour. This year, I think it’s more like powdered sugar – another year of waves grinding those grains into a fine dust has taken effect and the results are… heaven. Maria says that places like Zanzibar are God’s gift to travelers. Zanzibar makes all of the cold showers, bumpy roads, bush toilets, rats, and mosquitoes worth it. Read more...


This program is part of the curriculum for the Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH). This program is designed for students who desire to understand the complexity of global health challenges and contribute to solutions in a meaningful way. Learn more about the MScGH program.

Follow the Journey

Letter One

Letter Two

Letter Three

Letter Four

Letter Five