Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a response to today and FB statuses

I've all finished up in mildura so am back in Sydney now. The two main topics of the day (and of facebook status so it seems) are the socceroos out of the world cup, and the more shocking dismembering of the labour government and kevin rudd being outsted as prime minister for Julia Gillard.

I don't see myself as being well-educated enough in politics to make any specific judgements so I'm not about to enter the debate of the rights or wrongs of what has happened here. I would just like to comment on people's reactions and attitudes, maybe challenge people a little to think before they speak (or write).

I have seen FB statuses today, from a mixture of friends, but particularly christian friends making extremely rude and disrespectful comments made towards our new prime minister. While I agree that the manner in which this change has occurred could have been better, I don't think that we (especially as christians) should be so rude and disrespectful to be calling someone in charge of our country a "witch", "bogan", "ginga", "ranga", "gilltard"....

Just because we don't particularly agree with what someone has done, is no reason to be rude, and show such petty name calling. I thought we were above that, better than that. Maybe I was wrong.

As a side note, I was having a bit of a chat earlier with my mum about how I make friends with the doctors easily in the hospitals I work at. I know alot of people working in the hospital who are scared to approach the doctors and ask them to help with this or that patient. Which is crazy because ultimately we are all there working as a team, for the better health of our patients.

It's the same for pastor's and missionaries, or anyone in power. Often we can look in awe up at them, think "wow that's so amazing what they are doing, I could never do that... ". Rubbish! We are all the same, we just have different gifts and talents. Doesn't mean anyone is better than anyone else.

People in power, people with higher positions than us are still people. They still have their insecurities, their vulnerabilities and they are just human. they make mistakes too. While we shouldn't be putting anyone on pedestals unnecessarily, I don't think we should be tearing them down either.

Speaking of doctors. I got a bit of a lecture from one the other day. Funniest moment of my week. I wasn't sure whether to take him seriously or not. I clarified something he had said about children with "you mean kids?" and ended up with a 15-20 minute rant about how we should not call a child a baby goat, that there were perfectly acceptable english words to use, and proceded to give me an english lesson in words that ended in "ren" and various names for groups of animals I had never heard of. hilarious! did you know, that a group of cows is a kine? I didn't.

That's my two cents worth for the day.

“Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it. No destructive lies. No ridiculous fears. No debilitating anger.” --Bill Bradley

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mellow Mildura

I think I must attract airport issues?! I got my first overhead speaker call on Monday when I came back from Sydney in Melbourne airport!! Oops... I was in Melb airport and on my computer and totally forgot to pay attention to the time that I was meant to go to board my plane. So I got the whole, everyone is boarded except you... guilt trip. Luckily I was only about a 30 second walk away so by the time I arrived they were halfway through their second call out. Then, when I arrived in Mildura at 5:40pm, the girl who had offered to pick me up wasn’t there. I tried calling her but the number just dialled out. So, I started walking home. Probably not the smartest thing in the world, but I never said I was the smartest person in the world! It took me 2 hours to walk home from the airport (mostly in the dark). I think its about 15km!! I had fun though. Took some photos of the sunset and kept myself amused by chatting with friends as I walked.

As my days are coming to a close in Mildura, I thought I should do some touristy things on my last weekend!! I’ve had a pushbike to ride around on, which has been extremely handy as everything is quite a distance away. On Saturday I took a ride on a paddlesteamer down the Murray River and through Lock 11. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a loch so it was very interesting to watch. Aimee the UK physio I’ve been friends with down here had gone to see it the other day and found it amusing that there was a “little man who controls the lock” instead of doing it yourself. I did have some pictures of the paddlesteamer but I accidentally deleted them. Oh well.

I then took my bike for a ride out towards Kings Billabong. I didn’t really make it the whole way there though. The weather which had initially been lovely and clear and sunny went all cloudy and became a bit miserable. It was about a 10km bike ride I think, maybe more I’m not sure. I was riding for about an hour when I decided not to bother with the lake because it wouldn’t look all that nice with the weather anyway and took a detour via a winery!! There are vineyards and grapevines everywhere all around and through Mildura. Some are for wine, others for eating. I stopped by Chateau Mildura which was built a long time ago by the Chaffey Brothers. They have a historical museum you can walk through on site as well, so I did that and learnt a bit more about the production of wine and sherry. It was cool walking into the cellar because there was this faint sweet smell of sherry. Smelt like christmas cake!! Yum I was feeling pretty tired by this stage so decided to head back to town. Riding, riding, riding. It never seemed to end! As I was about 1km from where I’m staying the sun was setting so I rode to the lake near my house for that. Would have done about 20-30km of bike riding all up. a bit tired....

Today Aimee and I joined up with a tour group to go out to Mungo National Park. I watched the Australian football match last night, so was a bit tired when I had to wake up. We went with Harry Nanya tours which is actually now owned by a very nice Aboriginal guy called graham. He is very passionate about his land and his people and very quick to give you his opinions on life and "the system"! Had a great day at the national park. It rained a bit while we were out there but we didnt get wet ourselves which was nice. Its actually quite green out there in the semi-arid desert because of some rain thats occurred in the last few months. On the way home we saw 2 wild emu's who decided they wanted to try and headbutt the car. We got out of the way, but it was cool to see them. I haven't seen any emu's in the wild before!

I've just gotten an offer today to go and visit a friend in barcelona spain, the first week that I arrive in Europe!! I am very very tempted!! Will have to see how things go though with work and money and all that. It would be nice to catch up with her though. She is a polish student I met last year when she ended up moving in the house I lived at. I have been learning spanish on and off for a few years and want to become fluent (though I realise this is not an easy task), so this would be an awesome opportunity in itself.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

mildura madness

So I've finally managed to get a second together on my hands to write again... Understandably so much has happened as well. I had been in the mountains going through all my stuff in preparation for my move to England when I randomly got a call late Friday afternoon 2 weeks ago from the agent I had been speaking with regarding the job in Geelong. I Hadn't heard from him in a couple of weeks so had assumed I wasnt getting the job and subsequently went out on a wing and bought myself a ticket to england.

He was calling me about a locum position in Mildura to start the next week for 3 weeks. I was keen straight away, and we organised to have a chat with the client on the monday (last one in May). It was pretty much assumed from the beginning that I would get the job, and they flew me down on thursday the 3rd and I started pretty much straight away. My flight down as always was never without drama's! I was staying at my friend Phillipa's house in Sydney and she took me to the airport. It was a miserable rainy day, with my flight at 6am we got up at 5am. However we ended up being a bit later than anticipated and were pretty much rushing the entire way to the airport. I was just praying that I'd get there before 5.30 when baggage checking closed!!! I think I made it with about 2 minutes to spare and after about a 20 minute delay waiting on the tarmac in sydney, flew and arrived in Melbourne safe and sound.

I was meant to only have a 30minute layover in Melbourne before flying over to Mildura, but there was major MAJOR fog happening in Melbourne which delayed flights all over the country from being able to land so the planes were all delayed and stuck in their original places. Instead of getting to Mildura at 9.40 like I was meant to, I got there at 12:30. But it was all okay! I went straight to work from there and had a massive full on handover from the locum dietitian who was leaving. Then on Friday I was all alone by myself.

So I've been working a Mildura Base Hospital. Its been great getting back into clinical work again and this role has some extensive experience that its providing. The one dietitian does inpatients, outpatients and covers ICU, paediatrics, rehab, renal, general surgical and medical and whatever else comes along. Before I left, my Dad was saying "what do they need a dietitian for 3 weeks for? Surely they can survive for 3 weeks??". I'm here to tell you that there is no way this hospital could survive that long (nor should any other hospital be allowed to) without a dietitian. My handover waiting list had over 30 outpatients waiting to be seen, plus the 20-30 people on the wards that either needed reviews or hadn't been assesed yet but had been referred. On top of this I think my first day I got 10 new referrals!! So in summary it has been a bit insane there, but very enjoyable and great experience.

Right this very moment I am actually back in NSW heading up to the mountains on the train having just flown in for the long weekend. It's my sisters 18th and engagment party so have headed up for that.

But my other exciting news is that I have been accepted into the University of Westminster for September this year! Very happy about that. I was surprised at how quickly the application went through though as I only submitted it last weekend! So from September I'll be studying in London for the Master of Science in International Public Health & Nutrition. Should be good!

In terms of working in England, I am still sorting out some final details for that. The only thing I need to do now is get a BCG injection. I cannot BELIEVE how insanely difficult that is here in Australia!!! I think the UK is almost the only place in the world now that requires its health care workers to have the vaccine. The rest of the world I guess realises the limitations that it poses. Such a pain!! I've been calling, chasing Doctors and clinics all over the countryside trying to figure out who will give them. One doctor hadn't been asked for 20 years, another not in at least 10 years for one! Seems as though travel clinics in Sydney are the only place you can get it done (hopefully).
When I was on the plane the other day flying down to mildura, I was reading the newspaper and came across an article or viewpoint that was interesting, about the perspectives and beliefs of many people in our society these days. It was asking for opinions about whether it was possible to "survive" on anything less than an income of AUD$100,000 per year. Oh wait, I've just found it (I ripped it out, it struck out so much to me) - "Struggling to survive on $100,000 a year. It said that about half of Sydney's households lived on less than that with 20% of all households living under or around the poverty line. I thought that was a bit of a joke. poverty line?? I mean, obviously they haven't been to a real country where there is actual real poverty. I'm sure that most (I won't say all as there probably are people honestly and truly living in poverty) of these people are still extremely comfortable if they were to be compared to people living in the villages of africa, laos or cambodia. That is poverty. When kids are running around in clothes they have worn for years with holes in them, covered in dirt, when they might get one meal day of almost negligible substance.

The majority of people published who provided their opinion were in agreement that you need more than 100,000 to "survive". One response however I thought was worthy of mention:
"I don't agree that you need that much money. I am a teacher who decided to work four days a week so I could enjoy life (much more important). I have six children and we are coping well. It depends on what you think is important. We give our children what is needed and we are managing fine. For the rest, as the saying goes "God will provide". "

Good on you, whoever you are!! I agree with everything he says -though I'm obviously not married with six kids thankfully :) . But, more seriously, I think as a society we are becoming too greedy, wanting more, wanting the brand names, what we have is never enough, coveting what others have, trying to build our heavens here on earth instead of in heaven. I'm just as guilty of this. For example, I am completely, totally incapable of going to a supermarket and coming back with anything less than 10 items or so. I plan to get say milk and bread and i end up with all these other things that I probably dont' really need. Greedy.

As I'm preparing to move to the UK I've been asked by many people if I can afford it. Probably not would be the best answer as I don't really have any money or anything to my name that is really worth that much money. But, it seems to me that this is the path God wants me on, and like that guy said "God will provide". Yeah, times may be tough and I very much doubt that i'm going to have things that I may want or get to do things that I might want to do, but I know that God will never abandon me, and ultimately every situation, trial or test that I go through will never be more than I can bear. He knows my limits and I'm open to him challenging me, testing my comfort levels and building my strength and character.