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Whether you are in Africa, Latin America or Asia, festivals and festivities are an opportunity to celebrate life in a community and strengthen social bonds that have been worn away throughout time because they give people a sense of belonging and a reason to keep cultural expressions alive from one generation to another. If you come across one of these events when travelling, take your time to ...
I started my work in the pediatric department in Viet Duc Hospital. I joined the daily meetings with the nurses and doctors and on my first day I found out that the language barrier was huge. There were some surgeons who could speak English, but the nurses couldn’t speak English at all and I was told to follow the nurses. The patient statuses are also in Vietnamese so I didn’t know the reason why the patients were in the hospital and nobody who could tell me. Luckily, I met some resident doctors who studied during some days in this department; they could explain more to me about the diseases and symptoms of patients. A couple of days later I spoke with the female surgeon in this department, doctor Hoa and the male surgeon, doctor Quan. From then they took me to the operation room every day, so I could see a lot of operations. So after one week my days got more structure, three times a week I started earlier in the morning to go with the doctors to visit the patients before the daily meeting. After the meeting I went to the operation room until around 12. At 13:30 I went back to the department and joined the doctors when they are doing consultation, or joined the nurses when they did injections.
In this department, there were not a lot of tasks which I could do and I mainly did observing. During the consultation I could do patient examinations and sometimes I gave IV injections via an infusion. In this department it is difficult to take blood samples because the children are very small and that requires some experience.
After two and a half week I went to the GI department. The doctors’ were all very friendly and I also joined the patient visits in the morning and after the meeting I went to the operation room. I saw many different operations and the ...
You may find that the Dutch version is a bit longer today. I never literally translate and I write the English version first. There are just some things I can only explain in Dutch.
I told you that on Tuesday I had a sore throat of screaming. It wasn't that I really had to yell at the kids to make them listen, but I had to yell to make myself understandable above the sound of the rain on the roof of the building I'm teaching in. On Wednesday I woke up and I had completely lost my voice. I couldn't talk at all. So I decided to stay at my host family's because I wasn't able to teach that way, which I really pitied because I just started my contemporary dance classes so well and on Thursday I wouldn't be able to teach again, because dance isn't on the time table. (And I didn't go to school today anyway, though my voice is a bit better, but now I'm coughing a lot).
On Monday, when I didn't have to teach dance classes either, I marked a math test of the fourth grade. And I'd would have loved to tell you they did a great job, but the mathematical miracle side of my brain was crying out loud. New task: let me please help your children with their maths. They weren't all bad, though, there were two children who actually did quite well. There were also two children that had obviously cheated. Two people can't coincidentally make the same odd mistakes. I told the teacher and she said she would have a look at it and then she put the papers away. So I doubt she would really have a look at it.
I've also been asked to help with the play some children are learning. It's the play I told you about that is partly in Khoi, the click language. It's called: The Birds Great Race - AninKai !Khoe|hû. I'm still working on the pronounciation of that. '!' is a click and '|' is another kind ...
Now my first week in South Africa has gone. I wonder why time runs so fast. Maybe it is because I am always busy at my work in the journalism office, or because I always spent my time with the others and have fun. But, for sure, it is because my host mum Brenda is a very warm-hearted character that makes everbody feeling comfortable and welcome. Anyway, she is very funny, so that my housemates and I are always in a good temper.
Before I came to Cape Town, I was worried about that I couldn't speak English as good as the others. But now it is okay and everybody can understand me. When I really don't know how to explain something in English, then I can use German or French.
After the first days in the Journalism Office, I spent my weekend with friends in the Kirstenbosch Gardens and at Noordhoek Beach, where we did a Beach Ride. When we relaxed in a meadow in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, I felt absolutely content. I heard the birds around me and looked up to the sky. The atmosphere was so peaceful. My friends and I were the last people who left the Gardens in the evening.
I think I acclimatized quickly in Cape Town. I like the new habits I got from here. From Monday till Friday, I wake up early in the morning, have my breakfast and work in the journalism office until it's afternoon. When I come home, I often do sport with one of my housemates, or we go out to Long Street in Cape Town, where all people meet. So we spent the last night in a bar.
I like the food, the people, the new surroundings. Of course Cape Town is not absolutely like what I imagined. But I expected that people would be open-minded and friendly, and now I can say: that's true! I am so glad to be here. I am excited for the activities I will do the next two weekends, for example a trip to Robben Island, ...