From Abby: Difficult News

I have some sad news to share…after much deliberation and talking back and forth with Dr. Tarira, we have all decided that my trip to Zimbabwe planned for this spring would simply not be a safe venture.  Given the current political climate in Zimbabwe, especially as elections in June draw near, and the recent events in Egypt, Dr. Tarira feels strongly that at this time, I would not be safe to come to St. Albert’s and complete my project as planned.

It is with a very heavy heart that I share this information with you, as I was very much looking forward to spending time at St. Albert’s and helping out as much as I could. I definitely planned to stay involved with Better Healthcare for Africa and with St. Albert’s, and at some point in the future, I will definitely plan to volunteer there. For now, however, I will be completing my MPH project and my global health elective in Ethiopia.

Even though I won’t be traveling to Zimbabwe this spring, I will still be planning for and completing a similar experience in Ethiopia. Darrell felt that it would be nice for me to continue the blog, so that you all might gain insight into a student’s preparation for global health activities in the developing world. Hopefully, you will continue to visit and read my updates.

Again, I am very sad to share this news with all of you. Hopefully, the situation in Zimbabwe will change in the near future. For now, however, I have to listen to Dr. Tarira’s advice.


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2 Responses to From Abby: Difficult News

  1. Darrell E. Ward says:

    I join Abby in sadness and disappointment that conditions in Zimbabwe are such that it would be unwise for her at this time to spend two months at St. Albert’s for her global health elective. Over the past six months, I have come to know Abby. She is an extraordinary young woman, and there is no question that she will be an equally extraordinary physician. That she must change her plans, that she cannot offer the people of Zimbabwe her energy, enthusiasm, drive and compassion – that she will be unable for now to work with the extraordinary physicians and staff at St. Albert’s – is a small part of Zimbabwe’s prolonged, unrelenting tragedy.

    At the same time, the tragedy of Zimbabwe and the misery and suffering it causes makes it imperative that Better Healthcare for Africa continue to support Dr Elizabeth Tarira and the other doctors and staff at St. Albert’s. With that in mind, I will be spending about two weeks in Zimbabwe, arriving there Feb. 27, to visit St. Albert’s. For a time, I will be traveling with Luke Hingson, president of Brother’s Brother Foundation (, and Mary Mahlie, director of Hospital Mission Sisters Outreach ( I will be blogging about this trip beginning soon here on the BHA website. Please follow along.

    I, along with all of us at BHA, eagerly look forward to Abby’s continued postings about her trip to Ethiopia, her preparations for it and her experiences while there (with photos, I hope!). Your work at St. Albert’s has been delayed, Abby, but future opportunities are likely, and the need for your expertise and compassion will be there, too.

  2. kay huebner says:

    I will be glad to hear about Abby’s experiences in Ethiopia and look forward to hearing about Darrell’s travels this Feb/Mar.

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