Learning Through Fiction: Fiji in “Kalyana” [+Infographic]

learn through fictionLast year I made an infographic for Black Dove, White Raven, and although it hardly interested as many readers as I had hoped, it was something I immensely enjoyed doing. So I am thrilled to share a new infographic, this time about Fiji and the novel I read, Kalyana by Rajni Mala Khelawan.

Spanning the early 1960s to more or less the present day, Kalyana tells the story of a young Indo-Fijian girl – her parents’ only daughter, and just a little spoiled. Continue reading “Learning Through Fiction: Fiji in “Kalyana” [+Infographic]”

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Book Review: Cambodia Noir

25814249Phnom Penh, Cambodia: the end of the line. Lawless, drug-soaked, forgotten—it’s where bad journalists go to die. For once-great war photographer Will Keller, that’s kind of a mission statement: he spends his days floating from one score to the next, taking any job that pays; his nights are a haze of sex, drugs, booze, and brawling. But Will’s spiral toward oblivion is interrupted by Kara Saito, a beautiful young woman who shows up and begs Will to help find her sister, June, who disappeared during a stint as an intern at the local paper.

* * * 

If Cambodia Noir were just another crime thriller, it would disappear back into the woodwork among the millions of other sex-drugs-rock-and-roll thrillers with fallible heroes and sultry women that could be turned into a generic B-grade action film. Continue reading “Book Review: Cambodia Noir”

Tips For New Doctors: Things To Do During Your Last Summer Before Internship

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of finding out that I had passed my final year of med school; and on Friday a new group of young doctors was born. I’m so excited to welcome them as my colleagues!

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As I write this, I’m sure that most of them are in a deep slumber trying to catch up on all the sleep they missed out on this year. I am jealously thinking about the summer holiday they have ahead of them, so I made a list of things I think one should do before starting your first official job as a doctor.

1. SLEEP

If you don’t sleep a lot during your last big holiday I might actually disown you.

2. Do what you’ve been dreaming of all year

In my case it was spending the festive season with my family; for others, it was traveling. DO IT NOW. You deserve it.

3. Declutter

Chances are you’ll be moving into a new place – maybe even a new city! Instead of chucking everything your own into boxes, spend some time going through the detritus of your life and getting rid of things you don’t need or don’t use. Haven’t worn that all year? Chuck it. It’s the age of minimalism – dust is gross and moving companies are expensive. If it’s old and gross throw it away; if someone might still use it, donate it to a charity shop.

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Some awesome articles here – click for source.

Continue reading “Tips For New Doctors: Things To Do During Your Last Summer Before Internship”

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?)”

A Big Apple A Day…!

SO. In a turn of extremely good luck I AM GOING TO NEW YORK CITY SOON! It’s too complicated a story but essentially: I’ll be there for three days. I’ll see Madonna in concert at Madison Square. EEEEP.

I’ve JUST recently had leave from work and was fully intending on taking my next week holiday in December but this is kind of too big an opportunity to pass up so OH WELL.

The last time I was in NYC
The last time I was in NYC

Continue reading “A Big Apple A Day…!”

Collectibles For Your Trip Around The World

In just a few days, the Fall 2015 class of Semester at Sea will embark on their once-in-a-lifetime journey around the world. They will be the first to sail on the new Campus, the World Odyssey, and I may admit to some jealous-sea. (#sorrynotsorry)

A very clear memory for me about SAS was the weight of cost during all the excitement of seeing the world. It was a monumental effort to go on SAS at all, and I wanted to walk away with something tangible I could remember, but that wouldn’t leave me broke. As people wiser than me often remind me: it’s the experiences you bring home that matter most.

collecting semesteratsea

I went on SAS fully intending to buy a lapel pin at every port. Cheap, small, and so very Rotary International. I did not for a second think that I would have trouble finding them, but I could not find one in Burma/Myanmar OR India OR Ghana. (Some of my fellow SASers did. Lucky bastards.) Continue reading “Collectibles For Your Trip Around The World”

What I See In Your Photos With “Poor African Children”

1. I see someone who was lucky enough to travel to a magnificent continent

And we welcome you. We welcome you to feel in your bones the wealth of our loam soil. Listen to the stories whispered by our winds. Immerse yourself in our skies. We welcome you to open your heart – and your eyes – to see that our narrative is more than one of suffering.

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Base image by Stephen and Melanie Murdoch, click for their Flickr Photostream.

Continue reading “What I See In Your Photos With “Poor African Children””

I Left My Voice In Cape Town

Here’s one way I didn’t expect my first day back at work to go:

“Go home! You’re going to make the patients sick!”

Which I suppose makes sense since in the Orthopaedics wards, very few of our patients are actually SICK. They’re mostly just broken. And if they become sick we can’t discharge them and that spells disaster given our already-high patient load.

So here I am, in bed, drugged up on flu meds.

My break in Cape Town was wonderful. I spent time with my little sister and with GeekBoy. We watched West Side Story and ate wonderful food. On two separate occasions I managed to catch up with friends (one from school, another who emigrated to Australia) whom I hadn’t seen in over FIVE YEARS. I also met up with the lovely Lily from Lily Does Medschool.

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Sister, GeekBoy and I at Vovo Telo (awesome bakery!)

Continue reading “I Left My Voice In Cape Town”