I’m linking up with Jamie’s annual end of year bookish survey again this year.
I spent 11 months of this year without internet, so I’ve hardly reviewed any books, and posted about books rarely too. I also haven’t read much this year. It’s been a tough one. Jamie has a lot of questions, and I don’t have answers to them all, so I’ve actually left some of them out.
I recently realised that some of my posts have disappeared into thin air. I’m not sure how, but I’m reposting them courtesy of the web archive.
By some kind of dumb luck, I am doing my Community Service posting at an incredible children’s hospital in Cape Town, rather than the archetypal middle-of-nowhere clinic post we all expect for ComServe.
And it’s incredible.
This hospital is just something else. It’s public, but has so much private funding that it might as well be a private hospital. It gets a lot of private patients so clearly I’m not alone in my perception.
It’s a week since running the Two Oceans Ultra and it still feels like a life-defining moment. I’m already looking forward to next year’s marathon, although my foot is still protesting. I figured I’d offer a few concise lines about particular aspects of the race:
For me, the process went so smoothly. I thought the interface was user-friendly and easy; but I do know that some people had big problems with signing up. The entries do fly, so for future reference, waiting is probably not the best idea. Especially if you’d rather enter for the half-marathon – those entries fly like hot-cakes!
The marketing team did such a great job of hyping everyone up and keeping one up to date. The OMTOM Magazine was superb and the social media pages well-maintained. The biggest flaw was a lack of interaction on social media with people who had complaints.
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.
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.
I wrote this post as a note on Facebook exactly five years ago, 6 July 2010. I’m often ashamed when I read my past writings, but this isn’t one of those times. I’ve left it exactly as is. I’m not sure how much sense it will make to people who are not familiar with South Africa, but I decided to share it here in any case. I’ve hyperlinked some things for comprehension’s sake.
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The extravagant price-increases as brought on by the hosting of the FIFA World Cup recently necessitated a 12-hour road-trip to Cape Town, as opposed to the usual 90-minute flight.
A cold and dark 05:00 morning progressed just as we progressed through the land of memories.
Memories of debating trips – so many debating trips.
While on holiday in Zambia I read two absolutely breathtaking books. I bought both of these books myself and was not asked to review them, but I feel the need to share them with everyone.
A prelude: The number of displaced persons in Africa is huge. We have many refugees and many internally displaced persons and in South Africa, the supposed land of milk and honey, many foreigners have been victims of xenophobia. This year especially has seen flares in violence against persons perceived to be foreigners There are a lot of politics underlying the whole story, and it’s not something I necessarily understand well enough to explain in simple terms, but it is tangible in this land.
It’s a pretty bad time to be a statue in South Africa. If you’re not from here, a quick run-through: at the University of Cape Town, students have successfully petitioned (to put it mildly) the University Council to remove a statue of Cecil John Rhodes on their campus. Not long after that, a statue of Paul Kruger was vandalised, as well as a memorial for the animals that served and died in the Second South African War.
I haven’t really said much about the saga because I can understand, to some extent, the people on all sides of the argument. I did not attend UCT and I feel no particular loyalty to Rhodes. I don’t feel particular affinity for Kruger, either. And animals are awesome, but the real reason I feel strongly about statues being vandalised is because I believe in history. Continue reading “A Story of a Statue”→