A Travellerspoint blog


The second day of work was a little more interesting. We went to do rounds in the Pediatric wards and saw a lot of patients. Most of them were lively and running around. I started playing with a five year old girl who offered me her stuffed animal. After our rounds, my rotational group and I were offered to do a TB test and to drain a TB abscess. Not knowing how to do either of the two, we attempted the procedures. We took blood, did the draining of the abscess and the the TB test. After that our day at the hospital was over.

Our huge group decided to go to fan fest last night to watch the Germany v. Spain semi-final game. After my 20 minute nap, my roommate and I made our way to meet everyone else. We squeezed 10 people in two toy cars and made our way down to the beach. Once we got there, we decided to party. We all had two hours to spare before the game actually started. (Pictures to be online soon). With beers and food in hand we sat on the beach and got ready for the game. The only problem was trying to fit 16 people into a small area to sit and watch the game. We saved spots, lost spot, got stepped and got sand in our pants but it was worth it.

We watched the entire game on the beach. When Spain scored a goal, the crowd went wild. Flags started waving and vuvuzelas started . . . . being annoying. It was fantastic. The hardest part of the evening was rounding everyone up and getting back to the cars. It was an adventure. I was having a blast until I realized it was one and I had to wake up for work at six. Everyone else was in the same boat though so we all would probably fall asleep at work the next day.

This morning was a slow morning. It didn't start off well when our driver decided to arrive before I got my morning coffee. It's okay thought because I got some at the hospital. All we did today was rounds. We are all hoping to get back early today to get some sleep time.

Posted by smtn912 03:29 Comments (0)

Working at King Edwards hospital

July 6th was my first day of work at King Edward hospital in Durban. It is a part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Medical School here in Durban. This week, four of us will be working in the PEADS department. It was slow our first day, we did rounds with other medical students and saw about eight patients. Most of these patients were HIV positive. Others had tuberculosis, menagitis, and hepatiatis. In one of the wards, there was the cutest little girl who followed us around with banana in hand. She was very curious about what we were doing. It was a hard first day.

It is hard to work here because the nurses (which are called sisters here) think you are a doctor if you have on scrubs or a white coat. I don't know much so when one asks for my help, I usually say "Let me go get the doctor". That confuses them even more. The sisters also have to have there tea breaks. You do not get in the way of their tea breaks. So far, the doctors here are nice and outgoing. I am hoping that will last that whole time I am here.

Today we will actually start working instead of getting the introduction information. I am hoping I won't fall asleep in a meeting again. Wish me good Luck!!!

Posted by smtn912 23:33 Comments (0)

My first days in Durban!!!

Three days of adventure!!!

July 3rd, 2010
Being jet-lagged, I anticipated not sleeping so well. I crashed and then went in and out of sleep. Right when I thought I was into my deep sleep, a rooster started making its morning call . . . at 5am! Around 11am, we got a knock on the door and four new people showed up into our room. One was our coordinator and the other three were other interns. After that incident my roommate and I decided to wake up. Dressed, full, and ready for the day, we made our way to another intern’s house. One thing I forgot to mention is the music here in Durban. Once we walked into the mall, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” was playing. Following the other interns, we went to the internet café, checked our mail for 15 minutes and made our way back home.
Thirteen out of the seventeen interns decided to go to the FIFA fan fest in downtown Durban which is conveniently located on the beach. Crammed into three cars, we drove to the fan fest, got beer, souvenirs and watched the Argentina vs. Germany game. Still upset about that one. That was just sad. Anyway, we knew we had to get up in the morning to go to orientation so we got back in the cars and headed home. Once home, we had a nice home-cooked meal with dried porridge and beef. After dinner, with some warm tea in hand, we watched the Spain vs. Paraguay game. The first half was so boring that I almost fell asleep. That was until the very end when Spain made a goal. FINALLY!! Spain is playing against Germany in Durban on July 7th for the semi-final game. Go Spain!

July 4th, 2010
I’m such a bad American. I didn’t realize it was the fourth of July until I asked someone about it. OOPS. We began the day with orientation. After that, all of us (a total of21 people) got into cars and went to lunch at the Pavilion. It is this huge mall about 20 minutes outside of Durban. Google it!!! Lunch took a long time but it was delicious and after wards we went on a tour of the townships. We call them townships but some of the local call them the ghettos. The second largest township in the country is near Durban. It is called Umlazi. It’s so big that there are 30 sections that go from A to Z and all the way to DD. These people live in shacks in the most inconvenient place on the hillside. They also have one water source for a population of 50 people. The other amazing thing is that one man made a park called How Long. This park represented the question to the government which was “How long are we going to suffer?” This man made his own home and a park in this Umlazi Township that everyone can use. This man is inspiring and his name is Michael Fanamangeni. Google him.
After that we visited an orphanage that a couple built by themselves to help orphans in the township. There were about 32 orphans total. The girls were off playing or getting there lessons but the boys were happy to see all of us. they talked to us about their predictions for the world cup. When I wanted to take their picture, they were more than willing.
On the way home, I fell asleep. OOPS. When we got home, we hung out Ndumi (said like do me). Ndumi is the eighteen year old daughter of the family we are staying with. She is also the youngest of the family. We talked and she taught us some Zulu. I now know sawubona means hello and yabonga is thank you.
For the fourth we decided to go to the local bar named Siberia. The beer and alcohol are cheap, and the people are amazing!!! It was a good way to celebrate the fourth!

July 5th, 2010
This morning we had to be ready at 8am and I woke up late and ran out the door with my shoes untied. We first went to the KwaZulu-Natal Medical School to register to work in the hospital. I had to get an id. Let’s just say the picture wasn’t my best one ever.
After that, we headed into Durban and went to see the Moses Mabhido Stadium which was built two years ago for the world cup. It was very impressive. You can even climb up to the top of the arch and go bungee jumping. Next door was the Sunset Casino. We went to gamble, eat lunch and try to get tickets to the Germany v. Spain game on July 7th. The tickets were too much money, but we did eat lunch! We rushed to the city bus tour which was two hours long and went throughout the city. Twenty minutes into the tour I was asleep but woke up again when we at the statue of Dick King who was the defender of the city. We went everywhere and got tons of pictures. We also found Florida Street where all the nice restaurants and clubs are. Tuesday is our first day of work so we’ll see how it goes.

Posted by smtn912 23:12 Comments (1)

Flying, Flying and then some more Flying. . . .

Where to begin!! it all started on Thursday, July 1st when I got up at 7am to catch my flight from Aspen to Denver. In Denver I had to recheck in and then headed to my gate to catch my fligh to DC. Lukily, I got an upgrade to DC!!! When I arrived in DC, I met the girl who was going to be my roommate in Durban. With my dinner in hand, I got on my 16 hour flight to Johannesburg. I was easily entertained by the personal tv and decided to watch two movies. Only fours hours into the flight, I fell asleep only to be woken up. Seven hours in, we landed in Dakar, Sengal, picked up more passengers and continues eight more hours to Joburg (aka Johannesburg). With numb limbs, we arrived in Joburg, did the passport control and immigration. It wasn't until I rechecked my bag to durban that I discovered there was a hole in my bag!!! I also told the attendant the weight of my bag in pounds and realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

I explored the Joburg airport with my roomie and we saw the Brazil v. Netherlands games. Still upset. Then we proceeded to the gate and made our way to Durban. The Durban airport was as nice as the Joburg airport. It even smelled new. Then we got picked up by our drivber Roy. Roy is the crazy uncle that everyone wants who is friendly to you but hates everyone driving one the road. For example, three of us interns we in the car making our way onto the highway when we almost got into an accident. A bus almost hit us. Welcome to DURBAN!!! It was pretty funny but not to Roy. He is still talking about that accident.

Also, keep in mind that I left on Thursday morning and arrived in Durban on Friday night at 8pm. Anyway, we met our host family who are sooooo sweet. We discovered that not only to the have a pool but we have our own shower. Score. In order to bond with our host family we watched the Ghana v. Uruguay game. Still upset about that one too. We decided to go to bed and wash the airplane off ourselves. We discovered that not only did the shower not have a door, the shower head didn't move. Desperate we took our showers and ended up creating a lake in our bathroom. No worries, that is what a mop is for. I would write more but my minutes are running out on the internet. I'll keep you updated as much as I can.

Posted by smtn912 08:17 Comments (1)

Bon Voyage!!!

So now is the beginning of my adventure. Ten weeks in South Africa. Here I come! Hopefully I'll survive the flights there. . . : /. I also can't wait for my seven am flight tomorrow. WOOHOOO. As most of you know I fall asleep before the plane takes off. So no worries there. I want to wish all my family and friends good luck as well, whether it is school, work, or just living your life. The next time I make an entry, I'll be in South Africa!

Posted by smtn912 16:22 Comments (0)

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