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 🙂

7 Reasons I Love Our Middle Sibling

My Little Sister, the middle child in our little family, turns 21 this week. Middle Child Syndrome? What an abstract concept. Maybe she has it, maybe she doesn’t. But the fact remains: she’s awesome.

middle child Continue reading “7 Reasons I Love Our Middle Sibling”

Stories from the Paeds Slate

Anaesthesiology is hard, guys. And paediatric anaesthesia even more so. But I really like my days on the Paeds Slate because the theater is out-of-this-world amazing. Everything is in stock (well, mostly) and the nurses are out-of-this-world competent and everything is just nice.

We gassed for a simple inguinal hernia repair and did a caudal block for post-operative pain. Even the best caudal blocks apparently don’t ALWAYS work so when the baby awoke he cried. Although I have my suspicions that he was crying from hunger and not pain. Anyways, his mom came running to console him, and she was crying too.

card-8709866-back Continue reading “Stories from the Paeds Slate”

1 September: Seven Years Later

As I grow older, I learn that there will always be more dates to remember. I am good with dates, but these are the dark kind. The ones I wish did not exist. I know that one day there will be so many that I cannot remember them all, and that many people will be collectively memorialised on Christmas and New Years’ days.

But some dates will never be added to the collective. Some dates will always stick out as especially sad, especially dark. Continue reading “1 September: Seven Years Later”

For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love

I have amazing women in my life – a wonderful mother, grandmother and aunts. I have written about them before, so this Mother’s Day I am sharing a story I have told them, and I know they won’t mind it as a tribute to all mothers.

My rural Family Medicine rotation earlier this year was not just rural – it was classified as DEEP rural. The majority of the people living in the area had no water or electricity. Many of them had pulmonary disease, despite never having smoked – the so-called hut-lung disease. The nearest referral hospital was more than two hours away and was reached by traveling roads with near-dongas as potholes.

Most of our patients were unemployed, or otherwise self-employed as subsistence farmers who struggled to subsist. Almost none of them had cars, and so when we did refer them to the “nearby” hospital they were sent with patient transport vehicles that were chronically overfilled. Patients who had to go to even larger hospitals with more specialised abilities had to find their own way – although the doctors often helped them out with bus fair using their personal income. Continue reading “For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love”

The Nerd in its Natural Habitat

You saw it here first: this video clip was made by my sister’s boyfriend while she was studying for her final high school exams about a year ago (he was apparently doing the “moral support” thing, and got bored). I think it is outrageously hilarious – I hope you think so too. Turn on English (UK) captions if you struggle with audio.

“Bolla” = bun (in your hair)

Before Television

On a ward round, the surgeon is explaining why in certain situations, an absent family history may not be relevant (for example, in adopted patients or small families). He questions the elderly patient:

DOCTOR: Sir, how many brothers and sisters do you have?

PATIENT: counts on fingers Ten, Doctor.

DOCTOR: Ten siblings!

PATIENT: Yes, doctor. Those were the days before the tee-vee, you see.

DOCTOR: And how many children do you have?

PATIENT: Six, doctor.

DOCTOR: … you only had a small television?

Thoughts on Half a Voyage

Yesterday was the 53rd day of Semester at Sea, Spring 2013 Voyage. That means we have now officially passed the halfway mark of the 106-day voyage. In three weeks from today, we will dock in Cape Town for a week, and I will get to see my family and The Boy. I am so excited!

My roommates and me (centre) on the very first night on board, sailing out of Ensenada.
My roommates and me (centre) on the very first night on board, sailing out of Ensenada.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Half a Voyage”

In honour of the newbies

Today, my little sister moves into her new residence for her first university year. Our parents will be helping with the move, and I know it will be a difficult day for them all. I wish I was there to help.

I remember so clearly how hard the goodbyes were when I first came to university five Januaries ago. I remember anxiety, and begging them to take me home. And I remember them wisely advising that it would get easier. As much as they wanted to take me home with them, they knew that it was neither the healthy nor the educated decision. I have faith that while the goodbyes will be equally hard this time around, my sister will feel more welcome than I did. Continue reading “In honour of the newbies”

Birthdays at Sea

It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 23, which makes me one of the oldest undergraduate students on the ship. Another (perk? downside?) to doing a six-year course.

Every day at sea, they announce the day’s birthdays during the afternoon announcements. There were two of us yesterday (or the day before? I don’t know which time stamp this post will show, but I’m currently at 10h30 GMT-12), and the other girl is actually a friend of mine, we have a class together and she turned a very young 20). Continue reading “Birthdays at Sea”