I haven’t really had a chance to blog over the past week because I was busy finishing up my internship and checking out a few last things in Cape Town. I finally got a chance to hike Table Mountain and decided to take the long route starting from the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and coming up the backside of the mountain. It took about 4 hours and we decided to take the cable car down which only took about 5 minutes. It was so cool to hike one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the views of the Cape Flats and Atlantic Ocean were unbelievable.
Looking down on the Atlantic Ocean and about 3 million people
Most of our crew left on Saturday while I left on Sunday, but two girls from Stanford were sticking around for another two weeks so I had some people left to hang out with. We decided in my last day to check out the Franschhoek wine area and do another wine tasting, which was a lot of fun. It was different than my experience in Stellenbosch (the first wine tasting that I blogged about) because Franschhoek is a more “upper class” area so instead of wine tasting with a bunch of college kids, we were the youngest people on the tour by about 10 or 20 years. It was fun to act classy and get tipsy with older people though, and was a nice activity for me as a last hurrah in South Africa. We traveled to five different wineries on a train driving between the mountains, so it was a really picturesque tour as well.
The Franschhoek Winelands
I finished up my rotations this week and mainly hung out in the Orthopedic department because I felt the most comfortable there and they allowed me to be more hands on then other departments. I took a few pictures of the workplace and said my goodbyes, and although it was sad that this chapter of my life was closing, I was ready to come home and be a normal college kid again. After a while, just being able to follow and watch without all of the background knowledge that would come from a medical degree can get a bit dry, and by the end the internship had definitely run its course for me.
Removing a Cast
I am so happy I got to have this amazing experience this summer. I will never forget bungee jumping, going on a safari, diving with Great Whites, or what I learned culturally and medically about South Africa. I have left with much more confidence that I want to pursue medicine in the future, as well as more confidence that I can do a lot of things on my own, because hell I just spent 10 weeks in a foreign country where I knew no one going in and had an unbelievable time. I don’t think I can ever see America in quite the same way that I used to, but I’m glad for that and I think it makes me more of a cultured person. Some people told me that I would look down on America when I came back, but I really don’t think that’s true. We have our own problems and perhaps some unneeded luxuries, but yet we are so fortunate for the little things that we take for granted. We might perform too many unnecessary MRI’s or be a little too addicted to technology and the internet, but as far as medicine goes, we give our patients a great fighting chance that can’t be rivaled by many underprivileged countries throughout the world. I’ve missed college football and the NFL, country music, a heated home, and even the American accent. As I lay in my bed in Grafton, WI writing this final blog about my trip, I couldn’t be happier to be back in America and although this trip was incredibly memorable and even bordering on life changing (could be a stretch but only time will tell), I’m ready to go back to living with a bunch of college kids, cheering for the Huskies on Saturdays, and watching Packer games on Sundays. I hope this blog was interesting for everyone that read it, I sure enjoyed writing it and reading the comments that everyone left. If you are ever wanting to travel to South Africa and are looking for someone to show you around, keep me in mind!
The Orthopedics team plus 3 of us interns
Myself and Avril, the Medical Director for the program and an awesome lady
Finally some good Mexican food in Milwaukee!!
A view of Cape Town from Robben Island with Table Mountain in the background
From our Table Mountain hike
Nelson Mandela’s cell on Robben Island
My Cape Town host mom Barbara and I during the meal we made the family