New friends & adventures!

So it’s been about a week and I haven’t had much time to blog since the new students have gotten here!

I’m living with two female fourth Med students from Chicago and they’re so awesome! There are five other male students living in other home stays in the neighborhood. Everyone is nice and friendly and wanting to have a good time here!

They all arrived on Fri/Sat of last week. We went to a braai (BBQ) on Saturday with our homestay family! It was our first “braai” experience and it didn’t disappoint!

Then Sunday we went to Haut Bay market which was really cool! It had music, crafts, and delicious food! We had coffee and shared a bunch of random foods from the market! Then we went to a fruit market not too far from Haut bay.

Went back to our home stay and picked up some of the boys to go to the waterfront! We chilled there by the water and got to know one other over some food and drinks! Then we went to Kirstenbosch for an outdoor concert! We barely made it but it was still cool to see!

On Monday we did a full guided tour that CFHI organizes for each group. We had a guide, Colleen, who narrated the tour for us and gave us insight to all of the stops that we made! It was very informative and gave a lot of history of South Africa and apartheid. She grew up here so we got her personal story as well! We got to stop at some local cafes to try different foods like their special dried apricots, samosas, and these little doughnuts!

We also got insight about the poverty here in South’s amazing that if you come here for just vacation, you would miss the areas of poverty but they are numerous. It’s a stark difference from the waterfront to the townships.

Tuesday was the new students orientation and first day in the hospital! There are only three of us at Red Cross, but there are plenty of other international students! Tuesday’s are tut days! (“Tutorial” or lecture days) we went to lectures and saw some cool cases!

We went into the city after work to get food at an Eastern Bizarre! It was really good! And then we walked around the city to get everyone familiar with the area! After this we went to Camps Bay beach to watch the sunset!

Wednesday was a full hospital day. We all got to scrub into a case this day! I got to first assist an orchiopexy -which is when a male is born with an undescended testicle, and the surgery helps bring it down and secure it into the scrotum. The doc that we mainly work with is awesome! He loves to teach and explains procedures step by step, which is awesome because I am slightly more familiar with female anatomy at this point of my career! 😉

We planned to go to an outdoor movie but it was very windy! It is frequently windy here in Cape Town! So instead we went to a movie in this old fashioned theater! It was really cool! It has all critically acclaimed movies and we saw Nocturnal Animals. It was a pretty good thriller!

Thursday was a short day at the hospital because we have afternoon meetings but we got to round and see a Nissen fundoplication and gastrostomy. I have seen one or two of these in the states on adults but not on children! This was done because the child had a esophageo-pulmonary fistula – which is an abnormal passage way from the esophagus to the trachea/lungs. The surgery helped to give the esophagus a break for now and the gastrostomy (attached the stomach to the abdominal wall) allows them to feed the child through the stomach and bypass the esophagus. The surgery was a great one to watch! A lot of anatomy!

We had our weekly afternoon meeting which just is a check in on how the week has gone. And then we went out for “First Thursday” which is a huge art gallery festival! It was really cool! Art galleries all over the city were open for viewing and all the restaurants had food/drink specials! There was also some live music! So we jumped around from gallery to gallery and sampled some local champagne and wine before sitting down to eat at a really cool pizza place!

The weekend is packedddd! The next blog post should be a good one! 🙂


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