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.


Bongi said...

i loved this entry. tell the guest i concur

Craig Taverner said...

Some famous economist once said that Africa's problems are maintained by international aid, not helped by it. Much like a spoiled kid does not benefit from the spoiling. So I always wonder what do the UN, etc. get out of it? Not money, since most loans don't get repaid. Not control, since the governments keep getting overthrown. Better self-esteem perhaps? Hard to say, I've certainly not figured it out yet. Any ideas?

(perhaps if we figure out why the UK continued to support Mugabe for so long we might be onto something!)

Anonymous said...

Hey! What have you got against Bipolars? Why don't you research the condition and realize there are several levels? We use more of our brains than you do and can think at greater speeds. Are you jealous? Many great people in the world were Bipolar or Unipolar: Churchill, Napoleon... Sorry I haven't got time to list them all. I'm sorry you haven't been blessed with this condition like I have.