Yes, there is dirty wards, lazy nurses and doctors with god-complexes, but something was different and even though you cannot always put your finger to it - there is something about the place that makes it extremely difficult to leave once you've grown attached...
Sadly, I finally had to make the decision to say good-bye and I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories that I will never forget:
- Dr Dungwa: This is the head of our peadiatric unit who always graced the rehab department with his presence just before home time. He looked like a muppet from the muppet show and had a permanent smile on his face. He would always get into interesting conversations with you e.g. "Are you related to the Richards who plays golf for Zimbabwe?" "No, Dr Dungwa, I am not related to the black golfer that you know from Zimbabwe (looking at him with my puppy eyes in my fairly pale skinned face). We used to play hide and seek with him - where we would hide and forgot to tell him that we are playing a game:)
- To speechtherapists: "If you use bubble wrap to put on top of the incubators to dampen the sound - why don't you just wrap the babies in bubble wrap?" (smile/grin on face) "Why do newborn babies need speechtherapy, they cannot speak? Actually, why do children ever need speechtherapy - you can live without talking; as long as you are walking?" (smile/grin on face)
- To dieticians: "Can't we give the new-born (mostly premature) babies chocolate flavoured milk - they will really appreciate that so much more?" (smile/grin on face)
- To occupational therapists about 6week old baby: "Why haven't you seen this child yet for therapy - he's had Cerebal Palsy his whole life?" (smile/grin on face) Yes, I will definately miss this strange and enigmatic man when doctors' make sense when talking to me about the patients in the future...
- Our Crazy Fridays: There was always something different in the air on Fridays and we tend to have crazy and weird conversations the whole day long and laugh about things that are not funny at all. Sometimes these craziness even creeped in on us on a Thursday afternoon... Our conversations would range from topics such as dust on lips to how drinking bad water is better than drinking no water at all.
- A crazy and fun department that supports and participates days such as "Public Day of Randomness", "National Hygiene Day" and "Wear a flag day". Most other people were confused by these days - like when we gave a horrible, lazy and sometimes aggresive physiotherapist a badge to wear explaining "The pants of peace".
- My psychiatric in-patient groups. Many fun memories were made in these groups. From our weekly general knowledge quiz and singing of the anthem (some black people refusing to sing the zulu, xhosa and sesotho lines, but standing up and with great respect singing the Afrikaans part?) to our weekly walks to the cafeteria where they had a new suprise for me everyday...casually talking and then starting to eat the grass as a group, one patient seeing a cat and starting to chase it like a dog, and many many conversations that made no sense at all. Like my colleagues say (and I'm going to take this as a compliment) I was perfect for pscyh:)
- Monday night - have to pack, but drink a glass of red wine and watch gilmore girls instead to avoid thinking about leaving...
- Tuesday night - planning to do the same as above, but some friendly neighbours from the B-side decides to visit. Went for Wild Bean hotdogs and McDonalds chippies, had another glass of red wine, watched soccer and talked about the good old days...(no packing)
- Wednesday night - roomie night. My wonderful roommate, made wonderful food (wish I could cook like her) and off course, we had a glass (or 2) of red wine, talked about the good old days and watched gilmore girls...(no packing)
- Thursday night - had an awesome farewell party with all the people I've learned to know and love over this past year and a half (except offcourse the ones who left at the end of last year), had cocktails, talked about the good old days, said my farewells...(no packing)
- Friday night - watched soccer, ate pizza, did not have a glass of red wine for some or other weird reason, watched gilmore girls and yet again NO PACKING (or thinking about leaving)...
- Saturday morning - slept late, had breakfast, packed everything up in 2hours, had an emotional goodbye with roomie, one last meal at McDonalds and left Rustenburg without looking back (my car was quite full - could not see through the back window).