The Donkeycycle Diaries


The Donkeycycle Diaries

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban January 8th 2012

Just time for a quick catch up before escaping to New York New York New York. On wednesday we skipped hospital and we took off to Plainsburg National Park. Lots of driving and a fair few animals, but I'm not the biggest lover of safariing. Thursday is what turned out to be our last day working at the hospital. Finished up quickly and got the hell outbid there. The next day weerrrr able to pass off our overnight shift and head to Durban. 7 hours driving was worth seeing the ocean. Had some spicy curry and got very excited over frozen yogurt. So now we are back in joburg and I'm sooooo ready to go. I will be trying to use my goat as handluggage.... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg January 2nd 2012

So this is the first time I have lagged on my travel blog but i guess this segment is the few days leading up to the new year. On thursday we had a long shift, the highlights of which include: - standing in a fountain of blood while oferating on a 2cm hole in the left ventricle (saw the man today, he looks great) - the trauma desk getting compleatly cleared of patients for the first time since we arrived Andrew got a splash in the eye when removing a chest draing and so he is now on double therepy PEP. On friday night we went out to Melville for one of the sydney boys birthdays. They had rounds of shots including one where you drink with a straw through fire (well that was the idea, ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Soweto December 28th 2011

On christmas day we walked into a packed full trauma casualty. Instead of going to morning rounds, and without discussion between us, we began to see patients who were waiting. It was a crap morning but at least it seemed that some things were in our favor, like the suturing kits that usualy are in short supply, meaning patients have to sit arround with their faces hanging open, were in steady supply. My mistake occured while suturing a man who had deep lacerations across his face, after re-anethetising the last layer of the wound i turned to put the needle back on my tray and pricked myself in the finger. At this point we had been working strait for 9 hours. I told an intern who I was working with and she asked if the man ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Sandton December 26th 2011

On friday most of the australian students had arranged to get togeather and go out for christmas. After finishing out wardwork for the day we headed over to the house being rented by the other university of sydney boys for a barbeque. We sat arround a table eating and drinking and it felt like christmas. The others had arranged a private minibus to take us all into a nightclub in an area called santon. I got carded at the door and then asked for my date of birth, the man said i had a baby face. Once inside we began to drink again. We had been talking expansivly about how great milo was and had earlier decided that we would do shots of milo at the bar. Thankfully the bartender was game and we slammed down ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 21st 2011

highlights of the latest 24hr shift: - watching a young boy come out of ketamine sedation and be high as a kite - wresteling an unconcious person out of a wheen chair and onto a bed, then stopping their arterial bleed - giving a 50yo lady 32 sutures while chatting about life and having her be so comfortable that she fell asleep pitfalls of the latest 24hr shift: - not placing a urinary catheter in an unconcious patient in time and suffering the devastating consiquences of getting pissed on - eventualy finding my delerious patient in another ward eating a plate of food he stole from another patient and then getting told off by the nurses of that ward for "telling my patient he could come and eat there" and that "he couldnt go and have ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 18th 2011

for dinner on friday night a bunch of us went up to newtown, an area of which is very upmarket. We ate at sophiatown bar where I had tripe and mopani worms because i had already eaten way to much for the day. as expected my appetite was deminished significantly. after dinner we went over to the bar next to world of beer, there we listened to lively jazz and drank their house wine which i suspect was just red paint. on saturday we went for a walk up in the nature park, the zebras were hiding in the morning but i had a nice chat to a tortise. after that we headed over to soweto for lunch on vilkazi street which is the tourist hub. andrew and I went to the hector peterson museum, avoided ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Soweto December 14th 2011

Over the first few days in south africa, we were consistantly warned about the guy who runs the trauma unit at bara. He was always described using advoident words like interesting. On wednesday morning rounds finished up in the boad room with everyone sitting in rank when the guy who calls himself prof arrived. He is a balding, small, feirce looking person who from the outsed did his best to not only intimidate but it seemed to embarass and hurt most anyone arround him. When there was laughter allong with one of the senior doctors misfortune in a case he mirthlessly yelled, "no! shutup stupid students! why are you smiling! dont smile, ok!" He went on making sure each person was identified to him by race, apparently using this to judge their character. Hy heart sunk ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Soweto December 13th 2011

Thismorning began with an early drive back to the Bara. The working day began at 7am with a round of over 30 doctors and students all wearing the same blue scrubs strolling around the hospital. The hospital itself seems to get bigger every few steps. During the morning rounds, the nursing and ancillary staff in each ward join, singing loud choral African music. The sunny weather, echoes of singing and the friendliness of the doctors made for a joyful beginning. After rounds there was a bullet fast M and M meeting at which the staff sat around the table in rank order with the students sitting on a bench against the wall. Thankfully this was the only time during the day when our reception was anything but gracious. Andrew and I put up our hands to ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 12th 2011

The accomodation in mondeor is great. There is a great variety of places to lounge, the pool is a pool and the bedroom is bright and large. I am living with Andrew, the owners daughter Gemma and a student from victoria who is also Andrew. We make a good little group. Last night we sat drinking wine and talking until it was about 6am australia time and i began to fall asleep in my rocking chair. Wine tastes better without so much tax in it. Thismorning we headed up the highway over the city to Johanesburg hospital and the medical school therein. Dawn Francis, the lady organising the elective was full of good advice and generaly lovely and talkative. I had to pay for some university fees I thaught mum and dad had paid for and ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 11th 2011

at 9 am, after saying so long to Morgan, Mum and Dad and once again confirming that i would be careful I left off. due to the copious amount of time left before my flight and having circled all of the shops twice I decided to entertain the philosophy that international airports have no time-zones and ordered a Campari and soda. The bar had a $10 minimum for cards so i made it two Campari and soda. Feeling somewhat like an arse I sat sipping my bitter drink and reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Looking down the terminal i saw that a line had formed at my gate before it had opened and as it eventually did i started on my second glass. the flight was long but i was sat next to a ... read more

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