Monday, June 29, 2009
after looking at the first world i got a bit contemplative about the point of staying in this god forsaken place. then i was privileged enough to spend some time in the kalahari. my soul was once again restored and i remembered quite a few reasons to stay. here are just a few.
the endlessness went on and on ...well, endlessly.
unfortunately this doesn't even come close to showing what it really looked like.
the kalahari is an interesting desert. although rain is very scarce, it seems to be teeming with life.
a tree with a communal bird's nest.
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I am bemused by the fact that the aridity of the terrain shown here, is still water for my displaced African soul. Thank you for the drink.
Beautiful pictures...and as kalahari needs the rain, so does SA need Bongi...stay ;)
I have your blog on a reader so rarely visit but I wanted to stop by and thank you for the views you give me sat at my computer in the UK of South Africa, both the pictures and your descriptions of life. It's funny to think that if my grandfather had had his way I'd have been living there looking to blogs for views about life in the UK.
so if i was walking along in the bush with you Dr Bongi, and i got bit by a puff adder..............what would you do?
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Dr. Bongi -
Currently am an undergraduate (In the US) hoping to go to medical school, then surgery. I recently came across your blog and love so much about it.
From my experience (admittedly limited), it seems like much of the "old school" surgeon's attitude of expecting instruments smacked in the hand with such a satisfying "thwap" against my gloves (small, 7.0 - oh, the grief that i've gotten from the OR staff about that one!), the real attitude (not just in jest) that a chance to cut is a chance to cure, that surgical training should rightfully be brutal, etc. has gone by the wayside.
I see your training and experiences as being really incomparable to our system of 80-hour work weeks (and they're thinking of reducing it to 57 hours, the horror!), cover your @$$ procedures, tests and even surgeries, etc. as being really detrimental. When I think of the "real way" to train a surgeon, I immediately think of your training.
Being out of it, do you agree? or, (as is entirely possible) think that I just have an overly romanticized version of surgical training that will hit me in the face a few years from now when I actually want to begin my surgical training??
i got two comments from family that now live abroad. both comments i felt held so much truth that i decided to place them here. the first is from aw.
....aaah the Kalahari...one of those rare special timeless places that has no regard for the changing of the political guard and the folly of civilised man as he vainly attempts to scratch his mark during his nanosecond journey...an opportunity to humbly remember ones place in this spinning space...as for the call of the so called 1st world...it is... Read more an appeal to intellect....and to heed the call as so many do, can come with a price fully understood not by the mind but by a sense of loss felt only through the heart...life in Africa can be likened to travelling in a 70's Kombi camper...never sure what to expect but always with a sense of hope and adventure of what may lie behind the next koppie...life in the 1st world is like travelling in an Audi...reliable, predictable and comfortable...blissfully uaware of what one may be leaving behind...until of course one passes a 70's Kombi camper..and the feeling of blissfulness gives way to a sense of quiet wistfulness (AW)
the second i decided to place here because it has a lot to do with something that does keep me here in this beautiful cruel country.
Just read your blog about Prague and the Kalahari.
We live in a very controlled ordered society here in Aus, but I'm getting used to it. Pro's and con's for everything.
Anyway we just got back from a 4000km trip through the Pilbara region in NorthWest Aus, one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet. Just think northern Alaska, although here in midwinter we still need our airconditioner and we seek shade. Australia could only support about half a million people without technology. We spent 3 days in the Karijini National Park, one of the premier Parks in Aus and we saw 3 kangaroos, 1 lizard and a dingo!!!!!!! That's all!!!! The landscape was beautiful but so devoid of any animals. Any piece of pristine bush like that in Africa would be teaming with wildlife.
All the animals in Aus are in the water, the only place where you don't get cooked alive. We saw 4 humpback whales, a pod of manta rays, a pod of dolphins and 2 dugongs and swam with whale sharks. the scuba diving is out of this world!!! And the fishing is not too bad either, in 1 morning we caught about 40kgs of fish!
I thought you would like the diving. the landscape is really pretty but I've seen more jackrabbits in Africa than marsupials here. In Australia they think a lizard is wildlife!!??
Anyway, keep well
themocdoc thank you for your comments.
i have conflicting views about the changing nature of surgical training. on the one hand to actually produce a surgeon worth his salt you can't molly coddle him and protect him from the real world. the real world is out there and won't go away. possibly more than most a surgeon must know this. he must know this in more than just his intellect. it must be part of him.
having said this, i don't see the point of making registrars suffer just to so called develop them (or whatever the profs want to call it). life itself delivers the training without the insult the profs seem to want to add.
however, the hour restrictions that seem to be coming in in america i do not understand. firstly if you only work those hours it would tale about 10 years to make a worthwhile surgeon. secondly the world is out there and in the world there are no hour restrictions. the people stab and shoot late into the night. there are also not enough surgeons to go around, so the argument that there will be someone else to do the work just doesn't hold water (unless you live in some utopia world that is very far removed from my reality)
Kgalagadi now :-)
When we were there in late January, it POURED with rain. Wonderful.
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