A Travellerspoint blog

The 1st Weekend Part Two

So continuing on, after the Echo Valley Tour we ended up heading back home and since it was a Saturday night we had to go out on the town! We went to Florida Road which my host sister likes to call the "Hollywood" of Durban. People for the most part are more formal and dressed up here (a lot different from Corvallis! haha) and there are so many bars and clubs to meet anyone's needs. We started out at a place called The Booty Bar haha. It was a good time, we hung out and watched the 3rd place World Cup game there. It was a very exciting game! Some people were so excited and into it that a fight started between a German fan and a Uruguay fan haha. A few punches were thrown but eventually the fight was broken up and things were back to normal haha. I met a lot of people while I was there because everyone is so friendly! First I met a guy from San Francisco, the first American I've met since I've been here, and he was nice. Just a die hard soccer fan that traveled out here alone just to follow the World Cup. Then I met my first South African friend, it was a girl from Durban and I couldn't pronounce her name so she told me just to call her Sposh for short haha. But she was so nice and she introduced me to her fiance and like 6 of her other friends. They were all really nice and they bought me a drink which was sweet! Her and her friends thought I was fun and so they want me to hang out with them again. I think I would have a great time if I hung out with them again so hopefully that happens soon. And for those of you (relatives) that might be a little nervous that I go and hand out with random South African people, I'll be sure to bring someone from my group with me just so I'm not alone :). After we left The Booty Bar we headed to a club called The Uniform and this is where we broke it down on the dance floor haha. I do not like the bouncer there though cause we asked about the club and were wondering how many people were in there and of course he said "oh yea there are a lot of people up there"....he was wrong haha. But I guess thats what a bouncer is supposed to say if they want to have any business, he sure fooled us. When we got up there we were a little upset that there were not as many people there but we had to make the best out of it cause we did have to pay a cover charge to get in. The DJ was playing great music so we all just jumped in the middle of the dance floor and started dancing. We got some weird looks but no one cared. We had fun! I think we were there for an hour or so then we left to another bar called Cubana. This place was packed! It wasn't a club, it had two sides to it; a bar and a sit down restaurant area. After like 20 minutes we were able to get a table and we just hung out for a while. That was our last stop of the night.

On Sunday we got up and headed to the beach because we thought it was going to be a nice day...it ended up being really windy and cold :( but we stayed there anyways and had lunch outside right on the beach and we ended up seeing a whale!!! It was way cool, we saw it breach/breech? (I dont know how to spell it) and that was awesome...never seen that before. After that we all headed back to good ol' Suncoast Casino but instead of gambling we went to the movies. Originally we were going to see Toy Story 3 but it already started so we went and saw a movie called I love you Phillip Morris. It has Jim Carrey in it and it was just a very odd movie. If you've seen it you know what I am talking about haha. After that we ended up heading to Buccaneers bar to watch the World Cup finals (Go Spain!).

And that was my first weekend in South Africa :) Can't complain too much!

Posted by mertzabby 23:56 Comments (1)

The 1st Weekend

Oribi Gorge, Florida Road, World Cup, Good times

Hey Hey Everyone!

This weekend was fantastic! Can't complain one bit. Friday after work we drove down to Ballito where we were planning on going to watch the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2010 surfing competition but we ended up getting there right as it ended so we didnt get to see anything :( made me sad but we still hung out on the beach for a while, had dinner, then headed over to a concert on the beach that they were holding for the surfing competition, I guess you could call it their "after party". It was a fun time, but I was only there for about 5 songs of the concert and then a group of us left and went to the Suncoast Casino! This place is so much fun! I didn't gamble but I watched a couple of the guys in my group gamble and lose their money haha. Poor guys. We've been there once before though and one of the guys in my group won 1,500 rand which is not too bad for a day at the casino. Suncoast has a lot of restaurants, bars, shops, a movie theater, and is located right on the beach so there are plenty of things to do at this place. They have cheap beer there too which is great :) We didnt end up getting home until about 1:30 am and had to get up and leave on saturday at 8:30 to go to the Oribi Gorge.

The Oribi Gorge is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! They have plenty of things to do like hiking, horseback riding, white water rafting, and the one thing that I did was go on their Wild 5 Swing. Basically what I did was jump off the waterfall/cliff into the gorge. Its the worlds highest gorge swing!!
http://www.oribigorge.co.za/5_swing.htm
Heres the link to the page so you can see what I did!! Probably the craziest, most terrifying, but also the most amazing thing I have ever done. I thought I was going to have a heart attack while I was waiting to go because there were three other people in my group that went before me and watching them made me even more nervous. The good thing though is that I survived along with the other 12 from my group that did it! I'm surprised that pretty much all of us did it. Peer pressure played a big role in getting a lot of them to jump but I'm glad that they did it. After the gorge we went and ate at restaurant that overlooked the gorge. BEAUTIFUL view! We were lucky that the weather was so nice and clear as well. A group of us went on a coffee tour at Echo Valley Coffee which was very interesting. I learned a lot about where coffee comes from and the intense and lengthy process behind it. Very cool. Heres a link to the website if anyone is interested
http://www.echocoffee.co.za/

Sadly my ride is here and I need to go! Ill tell everyone more about my adventure tomorrow when I have time to write again! Bye bye

Posted by mertzabby 04:44 Comments (3)

Loving Life #2

continuation of my last blog, on my first day I pretty much just sat in a clinic with the doctor and observed him and his interactions with his patients. It was a slow day but helpful. The next day started off with going on rounds in the different wards. The doctors and interns here started to warm up to me and the other students and so they actually were talking us through what the patient has, why this patient is getting so and so treatment etc. The doctors and interns are also fine with letting us students perform procedures if we wanted to. I haven't gained enough confidence yet to do anything but I think my time will come shortly. I also scrubbed into my first surgery today just to observe. This is probably going to be too much information for a lot of you so if you don't want to read what it was just skip down a few lines and continue reading from there haha. It was a female with a rectal/vaginal fistula (google it) and the area was infected...all i can say is bad news. It was pretty gnarly and the doctors just cleaned out the area for now. They had to also do a diverting colostomy for her so to decrease her risk of infecting the area more. It was cool to finally see a colostomy performed because as a CNA I had a lot of residents that had a colostomy done and I always wondered how they did it, then I saw the procedure happen right before my eyes...pretty awesome. One thing that I was pretty bummed about was that the surgery ward is not performing any of their major surgeries until the World Cup is over. The World Cup ends on Sunday and I change to the pediatrics ward on Monday so I wont be able to see any of the crazy surgeries they have scheduled. Today was a very slow day, we just went on rounds just like normal and nothing too exciting happened. One of my fellow students did an HIV test on someone and that was the first time I have seen one of those tests before. This patient tested positive for HIV and it was pretty heart breaking when I saw the results come up. It is one of those things though that HIV is so prevalent the doctors and interns told me since the first day I started that you just have to assume that everyone that comes in to the hospital has HIV. It is sad, but true. After that I went home and took a nap because I am actually back at the hospital right now in the computer lab. Its 4:50 am!! I worked yesterday from 8am-3 and now I am back and on call in Casualties (their name for the ER) and have been here since 9pm and I'm staying here til 8am. Quite a long day but its been a good day. Not much is actually going on in the ER as you can tell since I'm on the computer haha. No crazy traumas have come in yet, but one of the students and I went over to the maternity ward where I saw 2 women give birth! It was so awesome to watch because they have those shows on TV like A Baby Story or whatever where I've kind of seen a birth happen but it was so much better seeing it in person! What is crazy is that most of these women do not receive epidurals or anything, they just handle the pain. I know that I would not be able to handle the pain! After hearing those women scream and seeing how much pain they were in they definitely made me not want to have kids for a very very very long time haha. I am thinking that the next time I'm in that ward I'm going to try and help with the delivery cause that would be way cool. Probably what I enjoyed the most about the maternity ward is seeing all the cute babies!! There were about 6 that were still in the maternity ward and not in the nursery yet so I was able to hang out with them for a little bit. I couldn't get over how adorable they were, I was about the grab one and run out with it haha. After that I went back and stopped for a tea break with some of the doctors. Yes, the doctors actually stop and have a tea break multiple times during the day. No matter how busy the hospital is, the doctors somehow always find time to stop for a tea break. Now I'm here in the computer lab....this weekend the group of students and I are going to be going to the Oribi Gorge where there is a lot of beautiful hikes and scenery so I'm really excited for that. Looking forward to a great weekend so I'll try to keep you all updated when I get back. Have a great weekend!!

Abby :)

Posted by mertzabby 19:25 Comments (5)

Loving Life

Sawbona!

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!!

Posted by mertzabby 05:12 Comments (4)

I Made It!

Hey everyone,

I made it to Durban! It was a lot of flying but all in all the flight was not too bad, my roommate here in Durban was on the same flight so that was nice. She's a fun girl and I think we will get along just fine. Im sitting here in an internet cafe and only have 6 min left so I dont have much time to talk but just want everyone to know that things are great and that my host family are wonderful and so welcoming. Ill let everyone know details later :)

Posted by mertzabby 03:58 Comments (1)

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