I have arrived in Pietermaritzburg! My internet access at the moment isn't super consistent. Hoping to have it figured out by the end of the week, which will mean more frequent updates and posts with more pictures! In the meantime...
I have been at work a few days now and I'm sure you're all dying to know what a typical day is like for me so far.
In South Africa 8:00AM is the new 9:00AM. Days start early for me. I wake up around 6:00 to get to the central pickup for CAPRISA transportation by 7:00. We drive about 45 minutes to the rural Vulindlela site. The views on the way to the site are simultaneously stunning and heartbreaking. The landscape is green-green and the hills roll as far as you can see. In the morning, when we climb in altitude we are surrounded by mist and sometimes cows and horses. Still, as to be expected, the scenes of poverty are nearly unimaginable.
I have been introduced to the lovely staff at V and walked through the basic ins and outs of the site. I want to save the post on what my role at the clinic is for when I have more time and have been working longer.
That said, if anyone knows a quick and dirty way to become fluent in Zulu, holla atcha' girl ASAP!
For now I will tell you that South Africans, if nothing else, are lovely people through and through. Yesterday, my new colleague Dr. Sarah invited me and my boss Nelly for dinner with her family at her house in PMB. We talked family, culture, politics, work and traded stories. This is going to sound absolutely 100% hokey but sitting in the living room after our meal I thought to myself, "this is why I came to South Africa." I don't mean having dinner at a doctors house, of course. I know I could quite easily do that anywhere and obviously that is far from the reason I came. What I mean is the conversation, the daily interactions, the connections with people who have lived a life that is quite different from the one I have lived. That is the real experience and luckily for me it doesn't seem too hard to form these bonds with the locals.