All successful taxi drivers respect time

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Like most South Africans I too have a love-hate relationship with taxi drivers. Todays I had to rush to the farmers market for my weekly supply of fresh fruits and vegies.

As per usual I took the infamous long walk to the taxi rank. Eddie (ofcourse not his real name) a taxi driver I have gotten acquinted with, pulls off next to me on the yellow line.

I love how taxi drivers go out of their way in making sure communtors do not have to walk a step furthure than its neccessary. If they see you in their rear mirror, they would rather reverse on a one-way street than see you abusing your poor gastrocnemius muscles. Eddie is no exception to this rule.

When I got in his car there were 2 other passenger. Like all taxi drivers in this cow-ntry Eddie is only considerate to passengers outside of his car, I knew the man would not ignite that bloody engine until this one last missing passnger comes.

To my astonishement Eddie was not waiting for a passenger but for time, he told us there is a passenger who works in a nearby factory that finishes at 3pm on Wednesdays and it normally takes that passenger 5 minutes to get to his stop, so we will while-away sometime before going for him.

Eddie is a different kind of a taxi driver, this man`s car is not only clean but smeels strawberries instead on the normal stinge of cigarette smell you are accustomed to expect.

I was seated on the front seat of Eddie`s taxi, and I managed to trick myself to having a small talk with my acquintance. “a taxi driver with a sense of time?, I remarked…¨all successful taxi drivers are meticulous about time¨ Eddie replied. BS! I said under-my-breath.

You dont seem convienced, so while we waited for Eddie`s passanger, he took the time to school this unschooled school-boy. He too out a small exercise book from his dash baord, you see, you always take a taxi on Wensdays to Bellville farmers market  after your classes at 4pm, I noticed you  as I do with everyone else and record you in my book.

His book had a list of people and where they work and what times they normally knock off at their places of emopployment. Eddie gathered all this information on his own, without asking us. It was scary and apparently also very accurate, because the passenger we waited for arrived at exactly at the predicted time. He banged the door, Eddie smiled, I learned.

The beautiful mess

CHAPTER 1

I told this kid he should stay away, I am too much of a mess to deal with a human being, especially a cute boy who says he likes me. I don`t even think I like boys for that matter. Honestly I never had to deal with person who says they love me. Love is a strange concept to unravel, It never makes sense, I hate things that do n`t make sense. I am very mathematical in my approach in life, sometimes I think I am too logical I miss out on important things in life.

Why did I even come back to this town? I truly hate home, I think I have leaved too much on my own and for far too long, as such I cannot relate to my won family, I love them with a strange kind of love, even though I never told them, but I think they sort of know. I do n`t really know much about my family, I know we sort of share this house and my fathers money, but that`s basically it, that all I know about them.

My dad still believes the South African educational system is not to advance the black child, He says the apartheid government changed the good old British Education that came with the missionaries together with Christianity into Bantu Education. In Africa education was brought in by British missionaries wrapped around with a ribbon of Christianity. Many good old boarding schools are not only named after British Saints, like St. Christian College, St. Johns Collage, St. Colonizers College, but they also brag with humongous Chapel buildings which specialised more on changing African names to the so-called Christians names.

This is an act that led to the famous South African icons with the names they have now, Rholihlahla Mandela was changed to Nelson, Bantu Biko wass given Steve, Mpilo Tutu was given Desmond. My fathers name, real name is Sidima. That is his Xhosa name, a tribe of the Ngunis speakers of the Eastern part of South Africa. This is not only the name given him by his grand father but it’s a name that his ancestors know him with.

My father tells me he grew up in a family of absent men, he only had women in his famliy, by the standards of his tribe his family was not reagrded as a respectable family, talking about African culture and patriachy right. His name stems from all those family experiences.

When my grandmother was impregnated by her employer in Johannesburg she came back to deliver my father in the Eastern Cape, and she immediately returned to work in Johanessberg. His name means the one who bears dignity I love that name. I love how African names bear the aspirations or critical moments in a family`s history, its almost prophetic. Look at Rholirharha, The one who draws out a thorn bush, an idiom for a trouble maker, yes I did n`t say they will all be nice names to have. But a trouble did he really cause for the Apartheid regime, didn`t he. One of my father`s political friends is Mvulankulu heavy rain because they day he was born it was raining cats and dogs.

My father has borne many pseudo names in his life time it makes you even question why his family bothered to name him such a nice dignified name, his Tanzanian passport his goes by the name Abdullah Nkosi, while we were living in Mozambique he was called Wellington Bongco, I don’t even know what to call him anymore, I just call him Tata.

My name is Donna, I know right and know there is no meaning to it, I was just named after the mid wife who helped my mother deliver me, apparently I got stuck in the virginal passage, which complicated my birth process. Donna was a brilliant Cuban trained nurse she worked in the ANC refugee camp in Morogoro Tanzania. My mother says that during the day of my delivery my head was big for her pelvic hole to allow easy passage I think her pelvis is very small, she has a petit physique. It was the brilliance of Sister Donna`s Cuban training that saved my mom’s life and prevented me from asphyxiating to death. Because my head was almost out of the virginal canal they could not perform and emergency C-section. Sister Donna performed and ancient technique called a cranioclasty, where the skull of a baby is collapsed without damaging the brain, in order to make the head smaller than it really. My brain was not damaged by this process, Sister Donna says crainioclasticies are rarely performed even by a well-trained neurosurgeons. She did it to save my life, I sometimes wonder why she went to so much lengths to save me. This is I wish I was born in South Africa, under the supervision of a South African Bantu-educated mid-wife.

spent some time in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe during his days with the MK. He came back to

South Africa at the dawn of democracy, with my mother to serve government officials. My mom is a simple farmer girl from Zimbabwe, she is simple in the true meaning of the word. Her family were tobacco farmers, who were later killed by the Mugabe `s land expropriation regime.

I can`t tell you jerk about my sister and brother, I just know they are my siblings. As soon as my front milk tooth fell off I was sent back to Harare to start my alimentary education, who does that? who sends a mixed race child to a foreign racist, anti-white land? My father always says it was for my own good, but that`s rubbish, I think he was too shameful of having to raise a bipolar schizophrenic child. I still hate my mom for not having stopped him, I hate her submissiveness to everything my father says, it hurts me.

I can swear they are glad I will be moving to Cape Town to study medicine. These people really hate my presence in this family. They forced me to study medicine so I can be as far as I can from them and for as long as possible.
I can`t catch feeling now, I can barely bare with the madness of my own mind and now imagine having to learn to love a homo sapien?

Things that could not be documented

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I am very much tempted to begin this blogpost with a cliche statement about how apologetic I am, for not having blogged in  such a long time, frankly I am not.

I am not apologetic for very simple but selfish reasons: I have enjoyed every little bit of experience I had over the past year, I learned from big medical giants whose names grace medical book spines, that my freind is truly better enjoyed alone. You dont want to titrate the concentration by jotting and sharing every piece of learning with audience.

the second reason for my minimal blogging comes from my backpaking expeience to Zimbambwe, sometime this year. I normaly share my travel experiences on social media, one time while frustated looking for a power socket to charge my iphone so I can post my photoes on facebook, I asked myself: would I have taken this trip, if I were to leave my camera? How much of my travel experience is synthetic to look asthetic on social media?

I think that trend of thought translates to also the experiences we choose to document online? What events do I decide to be posted and what qualifies the omission of certain events?

these questions have made me sort of skeptical about the lived experiences I decide to cement by journaling them. I think the most parts that take our breath away in travel, or the events that teach us more about ourselves and life, are the events that are abrassive and cruel, we learn the most in hardships more than in our laugther, unfortunatly those are the experiences we do not want to document or snap them.

I am all that I have experienced, I grew the most during the tough times of leaving an enriching experience.

back-in-hx

I couldn`t help not to :/

Student leadership when everything else is #Falling

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pic1There are two types of leaders,“born leaders and situational leaders”. Situational leaders will come from unexpected places to carry the baton, the required distance. Born leaders are always there to live by example, especially during difficult times.

 

Recently we have observed that good leadership almost always translates to social change. In making sense of the task of bringing about social change through good leadership, we first need to understand the meaning of the word, leadership should be defined as the ability to go ahead; to bring together an action and a vision of the future in order to produce change.

The world as we currently know it is in dire need of good ethical leaders who will not merely fight to maintain the status quo”, but leaders “who see a better future and act accordingly”.

I believe that these leaders are out there, they are not necessarily the loud ones with the molokotov  but they are the quite observers who are hesitant to raise their hand and speak out as.They have the depth and  degree of leadership required to bring about change. This form of leadership does not only demonstrate personal efforts, but embodies self-sacrifice, exhibits influence, and uses systems worth following, to accomplish a task.

As a shepherd leads his flock to the safety of home at nightfall, so too shall these leaders follow from behind and be watchful as the people take responsibility of their familiar tasks. A shepherd’s most important task is to merely keep his flock united but to also gently steer them in the right direction, especially those who are most prone to stray away.

The revolutions of the past and present were started by young people, the #Fallists movements as an example where persons between the ages twenty and forty are at the heart of these uprisings. We saw a similar trend in the Apartheid struggle of the past and the current student uprisings demanding equitable access to a decolonized tertiary education.

The time is still coming were a new form of thought leaders will take the center stage and facilitate the change we all need. Their fundamental purpose would be to help us re imagine the South Africa we would all like to live in 10 20 years from now. It shall be the younger generation that will steer the country to routes that will help us reach that destination the quickest and safest.  This is a matter of tremendous important to our future, it can not be left in the hands childish old people.  People younger than twenty are too naive to challenge society and people older than forty are too comfortable with the status quo to do anything about it.

Finally these sort of leadership that will usher us to a South Africa of our envisioning are facing a tedious task of striking the ying-yand of leadership, where they have to “take the moderate route”, and always fine-tuning the balance of “overt”activism with often unacknowledged “covert” actions. They will have to differentiate between urgent tasks and the important ones, and when key issues require action;as timing is very important. 

Minimalism for creative writing

18ha02cpzajf0jpgI have always boggled with the idea of writing a book, I am finally in a creative space that always for that to happen. To stimulate the creative process I have adopted minimalism as a lifestyle. Side note to my sister, before she tells my mom, that  I am to strange practices , Its basically living only on what I need, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, sleeping on the floor and eating when I am hungry.
 
I find minimalism quite stimulating for writing, as it cuts off most junk that has been part of my life. Aag!Tangent! back to the book. I have fictionalized my lived experiences to allow more room for creativity and play with the characters.
 
I am a very self-contradictory person, a trait that surely comes through in my book, to embrace that I have decided to use a type-writer to tell these stories. I think old-school technologies have a character we have lost in our modern devices. Everything a type-writer needs to type words is all within itself. You don`t need to worry about plugging it to a power sources or download a software to make it work,its self sufficient. Look at a book, everything that makes a book a ‘book’ is in it, no amazon sign-up no batteries just simple powerful technology.
 
I decided to share the first page with everyone, but that it, everything else will be done off line on my Remington typewriter of of 1940.
 
I am partially off the greed, well of social media really, except as a pseudo account I will be using. The main character in my book has a Facebook account, by the name of Donna Klass, its everything through her lenses.

The sphinx

god

I separate and unite
I break and mend .
I mold and remold.
I evolve wings like Horus.

I am unseen but felt,
A drizzle of oil over fire.
I am a restoration for fearlessness
The me, who is me now is immortal.

Hold fast to those dreams
For if dreams die,
The phoenix will not rise from those ashes

Why is End of Block such a big deal?

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To all my non-medical friends, I think I need to clear this for the sake of our friendship.

1. I am still cool, seriously I am.
2. I know I have been ignoring you and accusing studying or sleeping for it.
3. I still know how to have fun, even though these days it involves spending a few rands and cents.

Anyway back to my point, I wanted to explain why end of block (EOB) is such a big thing in my life and by extension to your life now.

A block is a period, usually 4-6 weeks, we we learn about a certain topic,eg Pathology, it a period that involves going through everything there is to know about the pathologies of the body, other than that it can involve going through coffee and cigarettes like a pedophile going through a child underwear drawer.

Now this is probably important for our future engagement, please pay more attention, when we finish a block, we have to write a test on that particular topic we were doing in those 6 weeks. You literally go through the whole textbook,yes the WHOLE textbook.

To do well in your EOB you must also master every past paper they ever asked in the last decade. You must also have consumed more that a tank of black coffee.

Yesterday I wrote my first EOB in med school, I nailed it. But thats besides the point. My point is:

1. After writing EOB, the first 22 hours I want to sleep
2. I want to eat real warm food
3. I want to do the things that remind me I am still a real human, like walking to beach, going to the township
4. Doing those whole night prayers

I hope this explains why I have been acting funny the past 8 months. I now declare my schedule open to having fun, but only until Monday. Monday I am starting a new block in Pharmacology (Pharms), Yes that means I will be learning every drug ever invented by men and gods.

Your friend
Dr WannaBe