Friday, 6 June 2014

Day 2

I can hardly believe that most of these students arrived less than 48 hours ago...they already seem so at ease and ready to go!  Good thing, too, we had a full day today.  We started in District 6, a notable victim of the South African "Group Areas Act", and then visited the eponymous museum filled with its artifacts and memories...
From there we headed just down the road to Robbie Nurock Day Hospital.  Our able guide, Belinda, informed us that each doctor sees about 40 clients a day.  Think about that for a moment...
They have somewhere between 3-4000 people enrolled on ARVs and work to test upwards of 240 new folks every month.  It is a thriving clinic in a more than 100 year old building with a clearly dedicated staff.
Then outside of the city to Gugulethu Township's Hannan Crusaid Treatment Centre - an example of fully integrated services for those who are HIV+.  3 doctors, and 200 patients can come through in a day, so as much as possible, clients are seen by triage nurses who can manage stable patients on a plan to collect their medications.  This is quite a different model than in most facilities, but it seems to be working, and something that the District oversight office would like to implement in more locations. 
(No photos from the clinics, folks, sorry.) 
But our final exciting chapter of the day was the chance to hear from and interact with the community site supervisors for each of the student's internships, namely, The Desmond Tutu Youth Centre, Ubuntu Africa, Ikamva Labantu, and Yabonga.  Then they finally got to sit down and talk, face to face.  HAICU also invited some of their peer educators, who the students will also spend more time with later on in the program, to join us for a traditional South African braai.  Let me just say, it was delicious.  And the conversations lively...but here a picture is certainly worth a thousand words:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

JHU Cape Town, 2014!

Yes, we got photo-bombed (who are those two in the back?).  But happily, the full group today did a lot of walking around UCT's campus, and its many steps from Lower to Middle to Upper Campus without getting caught in one of the flash rain showers! (We did see three rainbows, too.)

No one showed an ounce of jet lag (admirable), and spirits were high.  Now armed with their UCT ID cards, and the many privileges afforded therein, the group - Megan, Arlene, Elizabeth, Carolyn, Ben, Rachel, Simon, Sarah, Summer, and Shaun - has settled into their lodging, has met all their instructors, and has already found the Nando's on Main Road just east of campus...

I'm thrilled to be back in the Mother City as well, and look forward to our day tomorrow - starting with the District 6 Museum, and later meeting all the supervisors from our community partner sites.  We end with a 'braai' (a great South African word for grilling out - try using'll like it) hosted by HAICU, the HIV/AIDS Inclusivity and Change Unit of UCT, including course instructors Lucina Reddy, Cal Volks, Sianne Abrahams,  and Stella Kyobula-Mukoza, as well as some of their student peer-educators.  Another great adventure begins!