Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 1 of the Reason I am Here

Durban has magnificent hills. When you're driving along you find yourself climbing to a peak, getting a quick glimpse of all the lush green that envelops the city and then almost as quickly you're met with a steep slope down into the valley. It's pretty cool. And makes for some awesome views. Keep in mind that all of this is driving is taking place on the opposite side of the road--although today I managed to get in on the correct side of the car. MAJOR VICTORY! Anyway, Hoping to snap a few pics before my stay here is done. In the meantime here's a photo taken from a patio at UKZN medical school--which is where the CAPRISA headquarters are located. It's no where near the most beautiful view, but thought maybe some of you (at least one of you--meems, I'm talking to you!--for sure) would be interested in taking a gander at what my eyes are seeing.
View from patio at HQ--the weather has been rainy but the temperatures have been perfect

So that brings me to my morning. Which, full disclosure, I almost missed. Because, even though I'm a total morning person, waking up has been the hardest part of the time change adjustment. It was so hard to get out of bed at 9:00 AM (also known as 3:00 AM in the US) this morning to meet my ride to CAPRISA. But I managed and was driven to the medical school where I met the CAPRISA staff including my lovely advisor, Leila. It was great to finally meet all of the people whom I have been corresponding with via email for nearly a year. It was made even better by how kind, welcoming and diverse everyone in the office is. The research being carried out is also incredibly varied which is quite exciting for me as a global health nerd. Today's orientation, headquarter tour and initial introductions were pretty much exactly the same here as they would be in the United States. I got to learn about what my day to day job will be like at the rural clinical site in Vulindlela (I heard people referring to it simply as "V" which i truly hope is okay because I'm still not exactly sure of the correct pronunciation) and it seems like it will be a great experience. I'll write more about that once I've actually visited the site. I came away with some reading material that will bring me up to speed and my very own medical school ID, which will give me access to all kinds of labs and libraries. 

ID--Exciting I know. Please excuse everything about the photo of me (told you I was in a hurry this morning)

This post is pretty dry, I know. My apologies. Tomorrow I have a full day of Durban exploration planned which I'm hoping will give me some more riveting stories to write about and some more scenic photos to post. 

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