South Africa Photos part 1

Hello from South Africa. For general amusement and so forth, here are a few of the photos I have taken since arriving here. If you click on each picture it should open a larger version (partularly useful with the panoramas)

This shows one of the seemingly hundreds of presumably stray cats which roam aroung the hospital grounds (particularly early in the morning). Until a few moment before I took the photo he was curled up on the top of one of the laundry bags you see in the background (outside one of the pediatrics wards).

This is a panorama taken from the roof of the Nurses’ Quarters, the tallest building at the hospital. The hospital itself has something like 3000 beds, and pretty much all the buildings you can see (and a lot more around further to the left which you can’t see) are hospital buildings.

To Provide some additional perspective of size, here is a photo from the other side of the building. The main entrance is located next to the tall gray building you can see just to the left of the far edge of the Quarters with the big poster on it’s side (with the yellow bottom half).

The white roofed single storey buildings just to the left of the edge of the quarters are all surgical wards.

This panorama shows the view off the other side of the Nurses’ Quarters, looking out over Soweto. I haven’t gotten any good shots of any of the shacks which constitute a lot of the accomodation in Soweto, and which you see when you drive to the hospital.

This is a similar view of Soweto from lower in the building.

Within the hospital itself there is a quite wierd mix of facilities. This is the Surgical Emergency Department (universally referred to (even on official paperwork) and the “surgical pit”), and like all the other Emergency departments it is housed in a pretty delapidated almost prefab type building, and contains the kinds of equipment (or lack thereof) and facilities which you usually associate with african hospitals. In the foreground you can see the table where the doctors do all the writing up charts etc, and in the background you can see a number of patients lined up in seats or against the wall awaiting attention from one of the doctors.

And you see some pretty wild stuff come into the surgical emergency too. I’ve got some great gorey shots (which are also highly interesting surgical cases in their own right), but so as to spare the more squeemish of my readers I will limit it to this x-ray I saw of a guy who came in after being assaulted. Note the relatively decent depressed crush fracture (ie the dent) on the top left side of the skull…

And then to contrast the with surgical pit, you go up to the theatres (there are 16 of them…) and you find relatively well maintained and relatively modern operating theatres, which are quite reasonably equiped and stocked.

And theHospitals are not the only large things. This rather monolithic structure below is the local medical school, which houses >1500 medical students, as well as dental, physio and other health sciences students on top of that.

On the home front, I am staying in a very nice house with a family and their 3 cats, one of which is seen here in the front garden.

And here two of them are on my bed keeping my computer company.

On a trip to the Apartheid musuem (well worth a visit if you find yourself in Johannesburg at some point) I had a brief history lesson on pre-european africa, and there was this picture of some of the rock art made by the San people, who later became know as the bushmen.

As well cool stuff, you also see an awful lot of wierd stuff, like this guy I saw riding along on the back of a ute, holding a fridge in place at about 95kph on the freeway.

But overall I’m having a good time and am meeting lots of nice and interesting people. Below are two med students from Germany (Markus and Tina), and one from Austria (also a Markus)