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”

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.

not tourist attraction
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”

Back to Stutterheim

As interns we are allocated 22 days of leave annually, and we are allowed a maximum of eight days per four months. This ensures that we don’t miss out too much of any of our rotations, but necessitates some fine planning if one wishes to take a break.

shirelandscape

So instead of going very far for a weekend breakaway, we learn to explore the gems spread around the Eastern Cape. Continue reading “Back to Stutterheim”

Hypothesis: South African Sights for South African Vision

While I was in beautiful Cape Town for my leave (wow, that was a long time ago), my sister and I mused about how we have access to this gorgeous country simply by virtue of being born here. “Just think,” she said, “people pay thousands of rands to see Table Mountain, and here we are, just walking around and seeing it as much as we want!” She was quite right, of course – at the same time, the MV Explorer was docked in Cape Town.

But for a long time, I’ve been thinking how not all who are born in our country have access to these attractions on a very basic level.

Virtually everywhere I have traveled, foreigners pay more than locals to see attractions. I saw this for the first time in China in 2011, where foreigners are very clearly divided from locals wishing to visit the Huanglong caves.

china foreigners Continue reading “Hypothesis: South African Sights for South African Vision”

Conversations in Zambia

This post brought to you by a lovely few days spent in Zambia with Lisa. Yes, I am on leave for a few days. Much-needed!

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Everywhere in Livingstone, Zambia:

THEM: Where are you from?

ME: South Africa

THEM: Oh, we are neighbours! I will give you neighbour-price!

*proceed to give me normal tourist price*

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My miniature baobab which I bought for SIXTY FREAKING RAND. But I love it.

*  *  * Continue reading “Conversations in Zambia”