I’m Writing Lists This November

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

I participated for the past two years and performed – well, kind of dismally. I could go on to diss the event for being unrealistic, but I know a lot of people write well during NaNo. Well, it isn’t for me. I do so want to finish one of my works in progress, but it’s not going to happen in a month, and most certainly not a November month.

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An Audio Treat in Afrikaans

As a little girl, my dad created a special story and character with which to entertain me at bedtime. Her name was Lientjie (pronounced “Linky”) and she was a “cheerful butterfly”. As you may recall, my dad is visually impaired, so bedtime stories were told (often of his own invention, as is this one) and not read.

Lientjie was so well-loved that she was introduced to my little sister and little brother, and also our cousins. She is an institution in our family, so to speak.

Recently we bought my dad an awesome birthday gift: a Crosley Troubadour, which plays vinyls, tapes, and all other media. It has a great function where you can burn your tapes and vinyls to MP3 format. So courtesy of that, i get to share an excerpt of my dad’s story!

You’re in for a treat, too; because I just loved the limelight as a little girl and I couldn’t stop interjecting. Sometimes, I lost the plot completely, almost changing the entire story!

If you don’t understand Afrikaans, I’m sorry that you won’t understand this clip. However, for a long time I have been threatening to turn my dad’s stories into children’s books. If we do this, you may well get to read them. 🙂

If you do understand it… let me know what you think 🙂

HELP: I Think I Hate Spinning (and some running updates)

Last week I ran a 15 km road race in our town and I was really happy with my result. I was aiming for 01:45 because I’m training for the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town next year (whoop whoop!) and RunKeeper keeps telling me I need to pace myself. But my time was 01:37:49, so I was ecstatic, not least because I felt so good at the end that I kept running (okay fine, also because my RunKeeper plan said I should run 16,1 km).

IMG_6769 Continue reading “HELP: I Think I Hate Spinning (and some running updates)”

Dear Graduates: You Should Be Supporting #FeesMustFall

Dear Graduates of South Africa

Perhaps, like me, you shook your head when you first saw the hashtag #FeesMustFall. You empathised with the expense of tertiary education, but you had lives to save or exams to mark or bridges to build and you thought, “Why do young people in this country want to make everything FALL?”

Continue reading “Dear Graduates: You Should Be Supporting #FeesMustFall”

Being On Call Is Like Running A Marathon

… and none of that pseudo-philosophical “you have to pace yourself” bullshit.

I mean, I’ve never even run a marathon. But I’m training for one. My training plan was too ambitious though so I think I have shin splints (why does medical school not teach us about shin splints? Am I imaging them?) so combined with my grueling call of last night, I’ve had to forfeit my long run for this weekend.

Being on-call is like running a marathon (or a long run, or any run; depending on how fit I’m feeling) because:

Amazing digital portraits done by DanSun. Click image to be taken to his website. His portraits raise awareness of PTSD in first-responders and I think they are AMAZING.

Continue reading “Being On Call Is Like Running A Marathon”

Seven Years! A Milestone of Sorts.

As I was falling asleep last night, I scrolled through my Facebook feed (bad sleep-hygiene, do as I say not as I do, etc etc). I clicked on that thing where you see your memories and this came up…

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Seven whole years since I received a thick envelope in the mail with the good news: MEDICINE. Incidentally, yesterday exactly a year ago we found out about our internship placements (yeah, I wrote that post a little late). Continue reading “Seven Years! A Milestone of Sorts.”

Weekly Whine: Small Luxuries

In Afrikaans* there is a saying, “It’s the small foxes that ruin the vineyard,” referring to the tendency of many tiny problems to cause the biggest drama.

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Never before have I understood it so clearly as now that I am in the thick of South African public healthcare. We work daily in a hospital that is overcrowded and understaffed, with too many things on the CEO’s plate and too little theatre time for our patients. Continue reading “Weekly Whine: Small Luxuries”

For Heritage Day: What Traveling Teaches Me About Being African

When you’re an African abroad, you learn quickly to spot fellow Africans. You learn that it is an instinct rather than recognition of attributes, because you have certainly never been tempted to greet a group of African-Americans in Swahili.

You will notice each other: no matter the hue of your skin or the lilt of your accent. Perhaps it is a longing in our eyes, or the curve of our spines where they take root in our soil. Africans traveling gravitate toward Africans. Our souls call out to one another, despite our warring ancestors. Continue reading “For Heritage Day: What Traveling Teaches Me About Being African”

Running Update (See What I Did There?)

What started as a pretty amazing year of running tapered down quickly.

Getting that IOD in March spelled disaster for my running. The nausea and constant myalgia pretty much put me out of it for four weeks straight. Winter was a shock to my system and it took me a while to get back into running when the cold set in; and not long after THAT I got a really bad bout of flu that essentially had me indoors for the month of August.

Excuses aside, my motivation to run WAS pretty low, too.

I recently read Tom Foreman’s My Year of Running Dangerously (review coming soon!) and that certainly upped my motivation in a big way. In fact, while I have always maintained that I had no desire to run a marathon… I now think I kinda sorta might want to do that.

The little trip to New York also, strangely, really helped my running. The Boy’s sister is big into trail running and we went running in Central Park every morning. It was fantastic! I find that when you run in a foreign country you don’t seem quite so foreign. Nobody tries to sell you crap while you’re running, for instance.

Continue reading “Running Update (See What I Did There?)”