Wow what an adventure it has been so far! I have a little more time now to write about some things I've been up to lately...believe me I'm trying to get on the internet as much as possible but its very difficult. I need to go to the internet cafe in the mall and pay 5 rand for every 15 minutes...that's cheap but I'm trying to save my money for all the fun activities that is in Durban has to offer And also the internet is WAY slow at the cafes so its just frustrating!! My trip didnt start off on a great foot because as I was going to the Fan parks that they have on the beach for people to watch all the World Cup matches, my camera just decided to break on me. One minute I was taking pictures of the beach, the next time I turned it on the screen freaks out and now it barely turns on. Not sure what happened but at the moment I have NO camera. I'm way bummed about it but trying to get a new one. I'm just plan on stealing all the pictures from the other students on this trip until my camera arrives.
So far as a group we've been trying to get to know the city. We went on a tour around Durban where we have seen the nicer parts of Durban, and the not so nice parts of Durban. Downtown Durban is amazing. The beach is right down the road (I have yet to put my feet in the Indian Ocean but I plan on doing that tonight), the Moses Mabhida Football Stadium is down there where Germany and Spain are playing in the semi-final game tonight. Wish I was going but the cheapest tickets are about 600 dollars and I do not have the money for that sad day. It is the most beautiful stadium I have ever seen. The architecture is amazing. After the World Cup is over our group is planning on doing the Skywalk which is where we climb up the arch that goes over the stadium. Once we get to the top, they have the "Big Swing" where we are basically swinging down into the stadium from the top of the arch...AWESOME! I might pee my pants but it will be worth it We also went out into the townships and drove around. This is where we saw the not so nice parts of Durban. Some of the living conditions are just unreal. Everyone lived in tiny shacks, trash everywhere, only one water station for hundreds of people...it was very sad. The people in these parts are mostly the ones struggling with HIV/AIDs and in a couple weeks I believe I will be going back into those townships to help at some of the clinics located in those areas. I'll keep you posted on how that experience turns out. We also stopped in an orphanage while we were there and that experience made me smile but at the same time brought a tear to my eye. The females in the orphanage were too shy to say hi to us but the males were so friendly and funny. What made me laugh was that in the room that they all share they have soccer posters everywhere, which is normal for boys, but then they had one poster of Ciara. The boys LOVE Ciara haha. They couldnt stop talking about her! It was a great experience being in that orphanage.
Monday is when we all got registered with University of KwaZulu-Natal in the Nelson Mandela Medical School. We got pretty sweet ID badges that I hope I can keep! Tuesday was the first day of clinical and I was in the surgery ward. All I did that day was shadow the doctors there while they were going on rounds and then sit in the doctors office with them while they saw many of their patients. I have learned so much by just sitting and listening to what is going on. It is crazy because with the doctor I was probably an average of 3 minutes of total time that he spent with them because the clinic was so busy.
Yikes I just found out my ride is here...gotta go! Ill finish this next when I get a chance!!