By Jana Vandenwyngaerden

Although the past two weeks in Cape Town were really lovely, I was looking forward to start my journey to George. I am much more a country girl than a city girl so I didn’t really mind the change of scenery. Charlotte and I left our hosthouse on the 3rd of march together with Max and Terri at 8h00 in the morning. We said our goodbyes to the rest but made sure that we would still see each other and keep in touch.

I know that I will really miss the people I met in Cape Town because I like them a lot. I’ve built up a good bond with a few of them and I find it a pithy that we don’t have more time to spend with the Belgian, Dutch, Finnish and South African students. It was only two weeks but when you stay in a foreign country with non of your usual friends you quickly get attached to the ones you meet.

BUT luckily for me I’m in George now with 3 people I really like and we have a really good vibe (at least I think so hahaha). I already feel at home and was really happy to see our residence across the hospital. At first I had a lot of nerves because I had high expectations of George so I was a little bit scared I would get disappointed. To be clear: this is NOT the case.

To start with my experiences this week: WE SAW ELEPHANTS NEXT TO THE ROAD! The picture is a little bit unclear but hellooooo when can you ever say in Belgium that you saw an elephant while driving on the highway?

Arriving in George, Esmarie was waiting for us and she gave us a really warm welcome, showing us around in George and already taking us to the supermarket (thank, thank God because this belly is always hungry). She is such a lovely lady and always friendly! Together with the other staff of George hospital they gave us a lot of tips and spots to visit. I already love the vibe here! So green, so peaceful, everybody really friendly and helpful againโ€ฆ

The residence itself looks like a little apartment with 5 chambers, a shared kitchen and a shared bathroom with bath, shower and two toilets. In our room we have a make-up table ( ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ), a big closet and a really nice bed. If we want to we have a lot of privacy (what is really nice when you just don’t feel like socializing a lot). So far I have a really good feeling about our little group of housemates. I feel like I can be myself and that’s something I love. We have a very nice (loud) neighbor who studies medicine and who gave us mayonaise when we needed it the most 💙

The rest of the week was actually reassuring. Esmarie and Celeste made our program clear and we received our placements in the hospital! George Hospital is a small but really nice hospital that makes you feel part of a big group of people who’s goal it is to help the locals as much as they can.

Next to this we also got the good news that we can participate in a program from Itremba Lombomi which is an organization with multiple participants who work together to make the life in the community better and who try to find a way to help them. It’s very exciting to become part of this project because now I feel like I’ll be more part of the culture and I will learn a lot from this. It’s how the community really works because so far we only got to see little pieces of it.

BTW I will start my internship as an ICU nurse!! I am so so so happy I’m getting this chance to be a part of the ICU team here in George and I’m really looking forward to work together with them and learn their ways or be able to give a little bit of my knowledge to them. I am nervous to start there and I hope I will make a good impression but I know that there are 3 lovely people who will be there for me at home when I’m having an off day as well as two really nice mentors.

To end my blog with some facts:
At the moment I am drinking a hot chocolate because APPARENTLY it’s not only sunshine and tanning here in George 😂. It’s raining like hell
Esmarie and her husband are two seriously good cooks because I think I gained 10 pounds after their braai
I will go golfing one day
WE GOT A CAR!!! (Max and I are responsible drivers hehehe)

Follow Jana on her Blog Jane in South Africa

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