I am here in Manhica at the Centrao de Investação de Saúde em Manhiça (CISM). Situated just next to the hospital, the center functions as both the diagnostic lab for the hospital and a research center. Thus, when I am not in the lab, I am able to observe some of the activities of the hospital and clinical laboratories. There are many diseases here that we don’t typically see in the United States so it has been challenging and interesting to try to identify them in the patients here.
In the afternoons and evenings, I often go exploring with the other students and residents living at CISM. There are many shops and mercados scattered throughout the surrounding town. We also take advantage of the weekends to travel. One weekend we went to a hostel by the beach in a nearby province. There were so few people there that it felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was beautiful! We also spent one weekend at Kruger National Park in South Africa, where we saw hippos, elephants, giraffes, and even a hyena! The most entertaining part was watching the vervet monkeys trying to steal food while we were eating lunch. They are so intelligent and so determined!
In addition to sight-seeing, I have enjoyed trying new foods. They are known for their seafood here and everything that I have tried has been amazing – shrimp, fish, calamari… One of my favorite snacks here is castaños (cashews). There are people selling them on almost every corner of the main street. There are also fruits, vegetables, and freshly-baked bread everywhere.