By Jana Vandenwyngaerden

Whoops few days too late with the 3rd blog but I worked 12 hour shifts for the first time in my life so I’m a little bit dead’isch now… Please will someone massage my back and feet???

We (Charlotte and I) started our internship last week as nurses at the George Hospital. We got introduced to our ward and the team we would work with. This was really comforting because I got really nervous. It’s a whole new country with a different work environment we had to get used to. The team on ICU was really welcoming and they are still doing their best to make everything very clear to me. Most of the nurses and the patients speak Afrikaans so sometimes it was hard to figure out what the doctors and nurses were talking about but when they speak very slowly I can understand them. Though they now that I don’t mind them speaking Afrikaans because I want to learn the language a little bit, they try to speak as much english as possible

The first days were really heavy, as well mentally as physically because I’m not used to working that many hours and you see a lot of very ill patients but it didn’t take my motivation away. I really like ICU and this internship made me think about doing the postgraduate ‘ER and intensive care’ in Belgium. This way I can proceed with working on the ICU ward in Belgium and hopefully be a good and helping nurse there. The only thing that I miss is actually working with the patients. We have a more observative role here than in Belgium and we can’t get a lot of responsibility or tasks. Drawing blood, putting a catheter,… are jobs that the doctors more often do than the nurses. This makes me feel a little bit like a first or second year student and I’m a little bit worried about my competences and graduating… But okay I wille talk to my teacher about this and hopefully my worries fly away.

I am actually surprised about the doctors here in George… No offense to the doctors in Belgium but the ones in South Africa are SO SO SO SO friendly and helpful!! They explained every little detail and didn’t care about my slightly ‘dumb’ questions sometimes. They are just so open and they seem very sincere (like not hypocrite). They work together with the nurses on a very trustworthy base. I don’t know if every doctor is like this but this gives me a really good feeling and now I’m not scared anymore to ask questions.

Now about our free days heheheee
Because all of us were really tired we didn’t do as much as we did in Cape Town but we still saw a little bit of George, Wilderness and Mosselbaai. On Saturday we decided to go to the farmers market. My heart (and belly) got so excited because there was food involved and GOD the food was SO NICE. We bought pomegranates, strawberries (they even taste better than the ones in Belgium), strawberry jam, pancakes, wraps aaaaand FRESH COFFEE with a touch of chocolate. (I’m not going to tell about our other dinner stories because you will think we don’t do anything else besides eating like whales).

Sunday Funday (as we say) but we misjudged the weather a liiiiiittle bit because it was raining like hell and we almost flew away because of the wind wow. Adventurous as we are we still decided to hike up the mountain thingy but in the middle we got chickened out and moved back down because of all the mud and slippery ways hahaha we cherish life to much :’)

Thursday Max and I went hiking at the Nelson Mandela university because it was my day off and I kept on babbling and complaining I wanted to do something with my day. He eventually collapsed hahaha (female power). We walked down a very small forest road and came across a river that we had to cross. We were actually a little bit scared (actually Max wasn’t but my reaction freaked him a little bit hahaha) because I thought I heard angry baboons and we were in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception or any sign of human life so I thought my life was over and I would get eating by an ape hahaha (drama queen). ONE OF THE MOST FUN THINGS this week was the red berry farm. We (Terri, Max and me) went to the biggest maze in the southern half round and we found ‘the golden strawberry’ hahaha jeezees we were like 12-year-old children at that moment yes yes yes as you can see on the picture below. Last but not least, on Sunday we went horseback riding. I had been looking forward to this all week because I miss my horse at home a lot. This is my ventilation when I get stressed or when I am a little bit unhappy and I couldn’t go here for like in a month now. I enjoyed the ride a lot and the guide let me run the horse (Shahim) to full speed on a steep way so I was SO HAPPY.

Well this is it for today because I am still tired as hell and I want to sleep but the alarm keep going off in our residence so NO SLEEPING FOR US

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