Day 24

This morning, we arrived to a promising few women who looked like MAYBE they were about to push/give birth/complete the miracle of life etc. but unfortunately, we had a slow day L. Maci, Nikki, and I did paperwork with Madison (Skylar didn’t make it today) for most of the morning until we determined that, as per usual on Thursdays, the rest of the day would probably be pretty slow. Because Nikki and Maci are leaving this weekend, it wasn’t worth spending the rest of the afternoon at the clinic if they weren’t going to be doing much so we called it a day around noon. The Mercer interns don’t work on Fridays so they said their goodbyes to Madison and to some of the nurses who wouldn’t be working tomorrow. Our miniature photoshoot is documented in the photo gallery.

We returned home and hit up Truth (if you can’t tell already, I love this place) for brunch. After some eggs, bacon, and iced lattes, we headed back to my apartment to bake cupcakes/cookies for the maternity staff on Maci and Nikki’s last day. All went swimmingly, I headed to the gym, then returned with a moderately upset stomach.

It was moderate until it for sure wasn’t and I spent the rest of the night alternating sleeping and hurling as I battled some unfortunate food poisoning from Truth. Not sure how I’ll ever come to terms with this lovely coffee shop that betrayedme. So now it’s 2:05 AM, I’m texting my mother wishing she was here to take care of me and praying for some more sleep before I wake up again. Peace out, readers. Xhosa word of the day is “poison”: ityhefu.

Day 18

Not sure what’s been up with the birthing population this week, but today was another slow and rainy day. We started doing our usual paperwork but soon enough, the nurses found themselves with nothing to do and wanted to help us. The usual system was a bit thrown off but we worked quickly, chatting with the nurses Toto and Maseko in-between babies.

When we took our tea break around 10:30 (as per usual every day), I grabbed my typical snack of hummus with carrots, cucumbers, and celery. Today, however, the nurses/sisters/administrative ladies were particularly interested in what I was eating. First, they asked if it was liver then proceeded to ask what the heck “hummus” was. I ate about half of my portion in the tea room then brought the rest back to the maternity ladies for them to try. They always eat such exotic food that I thought they’d love the hummus but they weren’t pleased. One woman said she was “okay” with it but the rest were not fans. I pled my case about hummus being the nectar (paste?) of the gods but oh well.

After our half-day (a new Friday tradition), Nikki, Maci, and I headed back to the CBD and to Truth for lunch. Their porridge, eggs, bacon, avocado toast, etc. was out of this world as per usual. We headed back to our apartments to change/hit the gym/watch Netflix/chill out for the rest of the night.

Morganne and I ordered some incredible Chinese food (thx you Monks) and snuggled up to watch “Sing”, one of the most iconic animated films of 2016, save Finding Dory. After an emotional but triumphant rollercoaster, here we are, another day into my South African adventure ready to sign off. Xhosa word of the day is “pregnant” to mourn the drought of new babies: ukhulelwe.

Day 17

Blame it on the tardy driver, the slow days in the clinic, or the rain, but today we took a day off. The morning began with a luxurious wakeup at 8:30 (smh internal alarm clock) and brunch at a nearby restaurant, The Raptor Room. They have one of the coolest atmospheres I’ve ever seen complete with ivy on the roof, Millennial Pink all around, a Dinosaur logo, and “Proud Mary” blaring during our breakfast.

After some poached eggs and spinach-corn fritters, Nikki and Maci headed back to the apartment and I headed to Truth (former #1 coffee shop in the world, in case you forgot) to write postcards, catch up on blog posts, and take a minute to myself. About three hours in, a clingy waiter chatted me up and asked me on a date to which I said “no thanks” and proceeded to escape the premises. Oops.

As some of you may know, I am a very avid knitter. Scarves, sweaters, hats, blankets I do it all. One of my favorite things to knit is infant hats. A few days ago, I saw a big bucket of knitted garments in the clinic and figured that I could spend my down time knitting for all of these babies! It’d be my gift to the mothers that let me deliver their little ones to give them one of my hats. I brought some yarn with me from the US of A but needed the right needles, so I headed out to a local knitting store. Orion Wool and Crafts had a great reputation online but inside it was even better. The man and woman who run the small shop were so sweet, walking me around and asking all about knitting in the states. I told them all about the drastic price difference between South African yarn (generally $5-15) and American yarn (from $8 to $60). Once again, I hit a great bargain on some needles (R 40 or $2.98) and headed back home.

My afternoon consisted of a trip to the gym, knitting, sudoku, and more knitting before going with Morganne to see the Incredibles 2. Predictably, it was incredible. Edna Mode, Elastigirl, and Jack-Jack deserve Oscars– if those exist in the animated world. And that brings today to a close! Xhosa word of the day is “boy/child”: bhuti.

Day 10

Following a crazy day yesterday, today was a bit more tame. First of all, we woke up to a torrential downpour. Though we always need to celebrate the rain (we are in a severe drought), this stuff was crazy. Upon arrival to the clinic, the nurses were saying that today would be absolutely empty because of the rain, especially in the post-natal side where checkups weren’t necessary. They said that, frankly, they didn’t want to see anybody because it puts the baby at risk of getting sick if they’re out in the rain walking to the clinic. With that being said, Nikki and I completed paperwork for a grand total of one patient today. Two mothers were “on deck” but didn’t seem to want to give birth any time soon and the nurses were pretty much all socializing at that point. Two of the Connect interns in the physical therapy department had taken the day off anyway so with some permission from the sisters in charge, we called an Uber and scooted back to the CBD around 10:30.

Because we work five days a week leaving at 7:20 and most places in Cape Town are closed on the weekends, the one demographic of restaurants we have been missing out on is, my personal favorite, brunch. So what better way to use a rainy morning off than pursuing a delicious eatery along Bree St!? We headed to Jarryd’s and absolutely chowed down. Pictures of this straight-up feast can be found in the gallery. Major highlight was the split dish of pancakes that were ACTUAL cakes. With full stomachs we made our way to the waterfront and treated ourselves to a manicure at the K Spa (cheap and great service, would recommend).

One gym trip later, I went to Truth Coffee Roasting with Tess to catch up on blogging (oops) and enjoy the (former) world’s best cup of coffee! I’m not sure if it’s the steam punk-themed interior or the bright cheeriness of all employees or the delicious coffee but I can’t rave enough about Truth. It is absolutely deserving of all the hype and still remains relatively tucked away along Buitenkant St.

Morganne, Tess, and I made our own dinners like strong, independent women and feasted on dumplings, roasted vegetables, buns, and samoosas, all from pre-made Woolworths containers. We divided and conquered, each watching our own Netflix shows in different areas of the apartment and are now ready to crash. The Xhosa word of the day is “early”: ekuqaleni. This one has a palate click on the Q that I’ve been trying to master… we’re making progress.