Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Prep for Zambia

Wow... so the Zambia trip is taking place in just over a month!
I need to prepare loads of stuff to ensure that the primary health care info I teach is relevant and effective!
At least I have a topic : Water purity
From this topic I hope to discuss various things such as illnesses spread through unclean water, importance of washing young babies regulary...etc.

Please let me know if you have any info on purifying water in a sustainable, cheap way i.e. no fancy gadgets! The people in the village walk 2km to the river to fetch water, the water is not clean and the resources/ infastructure they have is really limited in terms of water tanks and piping.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

mark the spot with a "doily"

In Afrikaans South African culture all our old "Tannie's" (aunts) would crochet round "doilies". These creative objects would come in all colours, elaborately covering surfaces around the house. From the toilet seat cover to the proudly possessed television.
Today I heard that this art had a more subtle and strategic quality. Men would come home and claim their space in the house by demanding full and uninterrupted rights to the use of the television remote control (alarmingly this attitude still prevails today).
Women on the other hand would fight back by placing their prized "doilies" on surfaces they could claim as their own. Heaven help a man if he put his feet up on the coffee table and there happened to be a "doily" sprawling on it!

My husband's business, Skyrove, is growing by the month. This means his office is has now included the lounge. Many times I come home to find the dining room table has been converted into a boardroom, my beautifully placed flowers stashed in a dark corner.

I think its about time I found my crochet needle...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sometimes we teach people to 'bound'

So often I see the bewildered look on people's faces. Its the look of ' I've just been plucked from my happy world and made vulnerable - now everyone is laughing at me' See the video clip:

People come in to the hospital, get medicated, labeled with a disorder and 'dumped' back in their communities. The term 'dumped' is a strong word... it is not always the case that people get left to fend for themselves, there are many health professionals and community members who ensure that this does not happen. But sometimes it does!
Part of our jobs as health professionals is to help people recognise their strengths and abilities. And to let other people recognise this.
As someone once said, " we are all on a ledge, we don't know what will tip us" but I certainly hope that everyone encounters someone who will help them get back on their feet.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I hang my head in shame... It's been ages since I wrote a post. I have become a facebook addict!! It takes up all my time - amazingly what keep me going is that fact that I get a new friend everyday (mostly friends that I had in school ages ago).

Work has been going better. Its really tough being a new therapist! I feel the pressure of needing to know everything all at once. I suddenly have to form a new identity - as an effective and helpful therapist, a respected colleague and a full-time worker. But I'll put emphasis on FORMING.
Its a journey, one that i'll happily take with the knowledge that one day i'll look back and realise how far I've come!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Off to Zambia!

Hooray! My interview was successful!

I'll join the team heading to rural Zambia for two weeks in July.
My task will be that of training the other team members in Primary Health Care and then implementing an intense training programme for the community in Zambia. They are mostly illiterate, speak only the local language and have no running water or clinic.
The next few months will be focused on finding sponsors to fund my trip, getting to know my team mates and learning more about the Zambian culture to make sure we are culturally sensitive in our approach.

From what I've heard it going to be rough - no showers, we have to carry our drinking water and food from South Africa and of course, as with any country in Africa, there will be lots of mozies (mosquito's)!

Thank you to friends and family who are already supporting me!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Prisoner at home

So... we moved to a quieter neighbourhood.
Lovely! What is everyone going on about - there's no reason to leave the country!
We were just starting to get used to safely going for walks in the evenings when... last week the bliss was shattered and the tension returned. Henk's scooter was stolen in broad day light in front of our house. (a story familiar to most South Africans)

I think I'm developing some sort of paranoia about crime/ chronic generalised PTSD - listen to this...

To prevent being totally home alone I invited friends over for dinner. It was lovely! After a few glasses of wine and the toll of the midnight bell they decided to head home. It was late but I couldn't sleep so I started to watch some brain numbing TV. Suddenly the stomach wrenching smell of puppy poo hit me. I was about to call him a bad dog when I noticed that he has also puked all over the lounge. My poor puppy had gone limp, was panting and had a white tongue. Panic!


As I was about to clean up the mess the lights suddenly went out!


What is the first thing that goes through a crime-riddled South African's mind?
"Someone has poisoned my dog and cut my electricity, they know I'm in here and they plan to rob, rape and kill me!"

I found my cellphone in the dark and hid behind the couch . I was totally immobilised and trying very hard to think through the alcohol swimming in my head. There was no way I was going to leave my 'safe' spot to check what had happened to the electricity.

I called our trusty armed response (ADT) who were here in 5 min (we can't rely on the police anymore to attend to calls- they are too busy fighting crime that has already happened). This finally gave me the courage to check the electricity...

In a freak clash of events my electricity credits had run out and my dog had gotten sick from eating big dog's food which didn't agree with his tummy.

Isn't it shocking that we live with this pensive tension - expecting some sort of crime to happen.
I'm supposed to go to a party tonight but I'm scared shitless to leave the house and worse to return alone later.

Thank you to John from ADT for going the extra mile and helping me look for credits in the early hours of the morning!

Friday, March 30, 2007

the far

I'm keeping myself very busy- went to movies with a friend, chatted to another friend til early hours of the morning and I've invited some awesome girlfriends over for dinner tonight. The question is - is the experiment really working if I'm still spending the majority of my time with other people? At this moment I don't really care because I'm having too much fun. I have very little planned for Saturday day and Sunday so I'll test my ability to be alone then.