Monday, 28 May 2007

Ah, But your Land is Beautiful

This is a guest post from my friend "Dr M Trapped in the NHS":

Just finished work.. well more like didn't do much work today and now heading off home. Been an ok day.. removed a splinter and sutured some i have served humanity in the best possible way.
Yet somehow it all feels so empty.. where are the days when we really made a difference.. where we decided on life and death situations.. where you could see the effect your presence or absence had in an institution?
Gone... with all the fun, prestige and pride in being a doctor.
Besides.. they are talking of pay cuts.. debanding, job losses and cutbacks.
Take away the financial incentive and this is a dead end job.
But there is hope at the end of the tunnel.. That is realising that in order to be fulfilled you have to serve a purpose..You have to have a vision and a goal and be willing to work towards that... That is the easy part..
The hard work comes in finding your goal and vision and staying focused in achieving them.
we went to a talk at amnesty international UK yesterday .. by a photographer Stuart something.. on the effects of war and poverty in Africa .. and the boy soldiers of sierra Leone and Angola.. how pathetic.. the whole auditorium was idealistic Eu members and R and I were the only true Africans.
All we heard was how dangerous and how impoverished and militant africa is ... The sympathy was just sickening.. and sometimes i fear that Africa actually rejoices in her poor pathetic status and enjoys being a symbol of despair , hopelessness and anarchy.
Let Africa stand PROUD.. yes there is Death and Aids and violence .. but that is no reason to give up and accept that as normality.Let Africa reclaim her right as a dark, savage continent yet capable of great acts of mercy and as captivatingly beautiful as she is Desolate.There is no middle ground in Africa... That would be mediocre.. ..Africa is as unpredictable as a bipolar who defaults lithium... Riding high on promises of hope then plunges down to the pits of despair as promises are inevitably broken.
So i left .. feeling a slight twinge of betrayal and cowardice..
betrayal for i have not spoken up and said.. You know we do have satellite in rustenburg and we are just as educated as any EU member and we have had the first heart surgery in this dark , savage continent and were actually the cradle of humanity as we know it and yes we are proud of our history ( albeit it is violent and despairing at times) but we can achieve greater things if only we were not smothered in blankets of pity and self loathing.
Cowardice... cause how can i be the one to speak for Africa when i am thousand of miles away.. living in a country that offers me far greater security, financial stability and intellectual stimulation. How can i bet he self appointed ambassador for the Great Continent and all its woes? And how , if at all, will i be able to challenge these hippy dressed, dope smoking, idealistic fools who probably spent more hours of their lives in relief camps and volunteer clinics in Africa, and who have come across the misery of our Great continent face to face and have stood up to the challenge and triumphed in all probabilities .. to open the next clinic or run the next volunteer camp or supply the next hunger stricken village with essential life saving supplies?
How can I , who has not even met a boy soldier before in my life .. have anything to say about Africa?
So we had some wine.. the orange juice was finished . and we gracefully exited the building.

I fought bravely against Foxtel.....but...

When we first moved to Broome we didn't have a TV.
It was nice.
We would have deep meaningful conversations over dinner, really listen to each other. We were experiencing the Honeymoon period all over again.

All that changed one fateful morning on our way to church. Hubby spotted an advert for a Garage Sale. Now he comes from a long line of Garage Sale Freaks. His uncle Down South, actually scours the papers every week for Garage Sales and is frequently found to be muttering "I can't believe they're throwing this away. Once I hunt down the three hundred essential missing pieces I'm certain I can fix this..." or "An inflatable dartboard! I can definitely use this." My Father-in-Law travels to Sweden every year for "Loppis" (Swedish garage sales and second hand junk stores). He of course also spends time with his son and grandson too, but he's not fooling anyone, we know he's there mainly for the "Fantastic Bargains"......

Anyway, so we picked up a TV and surround sound system which of course was the end of conversation around the dinner table. Until I sneakily went off and bought a Hard Drive/DVD player/recorder. Now all shows during dinner get recorded to be watched on our own time.
I must admit that most of my soap operas are on during dinner time (Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey's Anatomy. I found myself defending my addiction to Grey's Anatomy by saying that I watch it for the surgery scenes...which is kind of like a guy saying he reads 'Playboy' for the articles!)

Of course now that we had a TV, surround sound and a DVD player, Hubby started pushing for Foxtel. My argument that we didn't need 900 channels when we barely watch the 5 channels we already have held him at bay for a couple of months.... Until two South African rugby teams were in the semi-finals for the Super-14 tournament and both won. This was a first ever - two South African teams head to head in an international tournament. The argument was won. The application for Foxtel was made on the Monday and the dish installed by Thursday.

Rugby fans everywhere will testify that it was an amazing match. I was busy doing the Dance of Joy in the 80th minute when my team (the Natal Sharks) had basically won. The commentator then uttered the fateful words "Only a converted try now could take victory away from them" Guess what? In the 81st minute the Blue Bulls scored a try and converted it to win the Super-14.... I' m consoling myself by saying that it's not as much a loss for the Sharks as it is a win for South African Rugby!

And to prove me right the Springboks thumped England 58 - 10 in the Summer Tour. It's looking to be a good year for South African Rugby