Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching Babies by Night

Many of you know that the area of nursing I am most found about is Labor and Delivery! I have been so fortunate to have been placed in a Midwifery clinic here. In South Africa, most women use midwives to deliver, not doctors. I chose to do night shifts at the clinic because that is when it is the busiest (that's why I look half awake in these pictures)! So what do you know, the midwives have taught me how to "catch babies" or in other words...deliver babies! What an amazing experience it has been! So far I have caught 5 babies, all of which have been girls! This is the first little girl I delivered.
This is a typical delivery room in South Africa. And that is also the typical attire worn by the midwive for a delivery!
This is the second little girl I delivered! African babies are so adorable! They all come out with a full head of small, black, curly hair! It's so cute!
Yet again...another girl!

So many little time

It is sad to say that this is our last week here in Cape Town before we head to Joburg on Saturday for the second half of our journey. We have been so lucky to get in alot of sightseeing and other fun activities within the last week. We took a day trip to Hermanus which is along the western camp. Hermanus is known for being able to spot whales from the shoreline during the winter as they come in to breed. We were able to see alot of them just standing on the shore! And boy, did they put on a show for us...breaching, slapping fins, showing off their tails! It was so cool! One of the reasons we went to Hermanus was because Natalie wanted to go shark divind....but I will let her tell that story!
Monday morning, some of the other girls in the program and I woke up early to hike Lion's Head. We were able to get there just in time to watch the sunrise over downtown Cape Town! It was beautiful!
Last week we all drove down to Cape Point. This is the most south western part of Africa! It was crazy looking out over the ocean knowing you are literally at the bottom of the Earth and that the next thing you would run into would be Antartica! Also, it just so happens that this cliff we are standing on in the picture is called Danger's Edge....hummm I wonder why! All I know is that it would not be fun to fall off that cliff.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are considered some of the World's most beautiful gardens! And now I know why! The landscape is beautiful and it has the perfect backdrop as it is right against the base of Table Mountain! Although it is winter and not all the plants were in bloom, we were still able to see some really unique plants with pretty flowers.
Funny story time! So appartenly the Baboon is a protected animal in the Cape Point Reserve. It also just so happens that they are not shy of people...AT ALL! There are signs all around saying...Baboons are dangerous and wild animals. Do not feed them. People had warned us not to leave food in the car or shinny things because that attracts the baboons. Anways, now for the funny story...once we got to the Cape Point parking lot the girls in the other car went to go get their bags out of the trunk. The cars we rented are hatchbacks. So as they were getting out their backpacks, a baboon came running across the street and jumped INTO the trunk, lifted up the hatchback, and hopped into the back seat. In the back seat was an empty bag of chips that that Baboon grabbed. At this point everyone was freaking out! There was a BABOON in our car! How crazy is that!?! Well, fortunately, the car guards came with their big sticks to save the day and chased the baboon out of the car! Lesson learned...never leave food OR food wrappers in plain sight when near baboons!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Conquering of Table Mountain

We decided to go for a nice little hike yesterday...well that's what we thought! Turns out hiking Table Mountain is a little it more challenging than we thought! But the hike was well worth the effort for the view at the top! We have been so lucky to have bright sunny days the past few days! So we are taking full advantage of it!

You could literally see the curve of the Earth from the top of the mountain! It was spectacular!
This was only half way up the mountain. We still had a good climb to go before we got to the top...
And this is how high we had already climbed! Oh boy...this hike was the greatest work out ever. Beats the stairmaster and doing 1000 lunges and squats!

Animal Reserve Park

We went to the game reserve for an animal drive last weekend. We got to see all the big game. Here are some cool shots I got. I have NEVER been this close to animals before!!! This is a water buffalo.

A little family of Zebra over looking the Indian Ocean.
Some Giraffes! These are my favorite!
A rhino.
Lions being friendly. (Sorry about the bar in the way)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is what we call a real update...

Molo! (That means hello in Africaans)

I had some free time so here is a little bit better update on things…

I still cannot believe I am here in South Africa!! It is so surreal! But I am loving every minute! Here’s what I did this past weekend....we went on a treetop canopy tour of the South African forest. Oh did I mention it was on a zip line!?! We were flying around in the trees for nearly an hour! It was so awesome! Then....I WENT BUNGY JUMPING!!!! AHHH!!! It was INSANE! It was the world's tallest bungy jump!! Almost SEVEN HUNDRED FEET of pure free fall!!! It was such an adrenaline rush! I still cannot believe I jumped off that bridge! After that we visited an elephant reserve and got to pet and feed the elephants! Those things are MASSIVE up close! And finally we took a sunset cruise on the Indian Ocean! It was so breath taking! African sunsets are about as good as Arizona ones :) The next day we went to a game reserve to see the animals. They took us on a 3 hour tour of their HUGE park! The tour guide said it was nearly 3,000 football fields! That's alot of mowing! Good thing they have animals to do that for them. We saw all the big game...elephants, lions, zebra, rhinos, antelope, impalas, water buffalo, and giraffes! It is really cool to see the animals in their natural habit and up close and personal! I am enjoying things so much. The people are amazing! I have never laughed so much in my life! Everything they say is just hilarious and know how to crack good jokes! They truly are happy...all the time! And love to smile! Plus the food is just TO DIE for! It is still really cold and rainy. We don't get to see the sun much which makes me miss the hot arizona sun (I never thought there would come a day when I would actually say that)!

The hospitals are so AMAZING! I am learning so much! For the most part, the care is just the same as the US except they don't have the new technology and machines as the US does. But that requires the nurses to rely on their clinical skills more...looking for signs and symptoms...which is really amazing to witness and a wonderful skill to possess. I worked a night shift at the MOU last night and I delivered a baby! AHHHH!!!! That was quite an experience I will never forget! Here they call it "catching babies" because they literally fly right out! So you have to be prepared and have quick hands to catch them! Also, they only keep the women for 6 hours after delivery! 6 HOURS!!! That's it! That was a little shocking to me! But the African women are so strong! Never during the whole birthing process do they receive any pain medication. No epidurals, no pain pills, nothing! They are so strong!! I am really impressed with how easy they make giving birth look! But at the same time I know they are in incredible pain, yet they never complain, moan or groan, or allow the pain to show on their face! They truly are amazing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lessons From Our Travels:

Lesson #1: Bannana's are not for travel: You want a banana, you eat it. Don't take it with you.

Lesson #2: Don't open your water bottle at 40,000 feet.

Lesson #3: Don't close bags half way, close them ALL the way.

Lesson #4: Don't bend down infront of elephants...don't ask

Lesson #5: Don't talk to Rachelle about Twilight....

Monday, July 13, 2009

And more...

African sunset...almost as good as Arizona

The Indian Ocean!
This is what we jumped off of. Crazy I know!!!When in South Africa you have to jump off the world's highest have no other choice!
We went on a zip line canopy tour of the treetops. This is Natalie flyin through the treetops