Madwaleni parties, people and politics!

We haven’t written a blog post in months, I was going to do one mammoth update, but that would be too long to read, so here is the first of a few posts updating you on our lives at Madwaleni.

2015 has been the year of having babies and parties. The having babies and impressive growth of our community will be in a different post, for now here are some of the fun parties we have had this year.

Duncan’s birthday in March was the first time that we felt like a real (really huge) family; children running around, tennis balls flying and dogs interfering. Here are some photo’s:

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A game of cricket on the lawn!

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PicMonkey Collage1

PicMonkey Collage

Sam, Dyl, Caleb and Emma (Emma spent the party trying to steal the Banoffee pie and the ball!)

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In August, Andrew and Stu both turned 30. They had a combined 60th Party. There were fairy lights, fillet, speeches, and a bunch of dancing granny’s and grampa’s (most people dressed up like they were 90 rather than 60!)

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So Bob is already 60, so he dressed as a 120 year old, with pill boxes and comical behavior the entire night!

Bob is already 60, so he dressed as a 120 year old, with pill boxes and comical behavior the entire night! Here he is busy looking for his scarf and walking stick.

Yes, Andrew and Sty shaved the top of their heads off for this party. Serious commitment... shown by their wives.

Andrew and Stu shaved the hair off the top of their heads for the party. Serious commitment… shown by their wives.

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Shan came as a Xhosa Makhulu!

Shan came as a Xhosa Makhulu!

Speeches!

Speeches!

Granny and Grampa Lotz!

Granny and Grampa Lotz!

The dance floor!

The dance floor!

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Granny and Grampa Gibson!

Granny and Grampa Gibson!

The old men

The old men

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Dyl organised a “Madwaleni’s Got Talent” evening for his birthday in September. It was awesome fun and impressive to see all the talent in our little community!

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Kayla and teacher Rachel performing a beautiful ballet number!

The Simpsons performed the Simpson Family Rap, it was great!

The Simpson Family Rap, it was great!

Darren and Michelle did a Suzelle DIY on how to make a pavlova and deal with the persisting sewage smell in the air at the same time!

Darren and Michelle doing a Suzelle DIY performance on how to make a pavlova while simultaneously dealing with a persisting sewage smell in the air!

Rach and Kirst perfomed

Rach and Kirst performing “Ice Ice Baby”

John-D led the team in an impressive gumboot dance

John-D leading the team in an impressive gumboot dance

The gumboot dance even incorporated the currently returning Egrets!

The gumboot dance even incorporated the currently returning Egrets!

Dyl, Duncs and Andrew played a Michael Mole song togther

Dyl, Duncs and Andrew playing a Matthew Mole song.

The audience. a good crowd.

A good crowd.

John-D buying some time while some of the acts were waiting for on-call doctors to get back from the hospital!

John-D buying some time while some of the acts were waiting for on-call doctors to get back from the hospital!

Bob explaining the universe!

Bob explaining the universe!

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Stu wrote a song and performed it with John D on drums and Andrew playing the harmonica!

Stu performing a song he wrote, John D  is on drums and Andrew is playing the harmonica!

See the words and a little video clip of the song below

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The birthday man and his lovely wife!

The birthday man and his lovely wife!

Unfortunately life at Madwaleni is not all fun and parties, and we have also had many significant changes over the year. However, as always, there is no place we would rather be. We have lost some doctors this year bringing our numbers down significantly, with the hospital being busier than ever. At the start of the year we said a sad goodbye to Mark and Jet (and their little Ympie), we miss them dearly. We were thrilled to welcome Michelle Allen, our new clinical manager and her family! What a difference it has made to have a clinical manager and the Allen’s join our Madwaleni family. We also welcomed our comm serv doctor, Lungelo, in March and said goodbye to our 2014 comm serv, Garrick in August. We are currently down to seven full time doctors. We started the year with 9 rehabs. Two comm servs stayed on from 2014 but by March rehab was down to 6 as the 2014 comm servs moved on and I left to have Ben. Fortunately Thandi has had an amazing team of hardworking and dedicated comm serves . In March we also welcomed Kuan, an awesome comm serv pharmacist, he has been a great addition to the clinical team, but pharmacy too is short staffed as all of the pharmacy assistants have resigned, leaving Siyamthanda and Kuan to run pharmacy alone from October.

If the hospital isn’t keeping our clinical team busy enough, there have also been service delivery protests on the road and the nurses have been protesting due to problems with their salaries, accommodation and study leave. On top of that all, the hospital has endured many power failures (the longest lasting 48 hours, although we know this isn’t exclusive to rural living!) The current lack of chemicals required to treat the water we pump up from the river makes bathing feel rather counter productive.

Nevertheless, these are all challenges we knew we would have to face when we first arrived at Madwaleni. We have to remind ourselves that there were many more challenges we were anticipating that we have not had deal with. We now have beautiful accommodation, a great vibrant community and really satisfying work. Plus Andrew gets to come home for lunch! What a place to start our family!

If you are thinking of doing some time in a rural hospital, perhaps this will convince you. We can’t always promise it will be easy, but we can promise a life changing, wonderful experience and a supportive community. 

Ben, our tiny human, agrees that rural simply rocks!

Ben, our tiny human, agrees that rural simply rocks!

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4 thoughts on “Madwaleni parties, people and politics!

  1. Hi Andrew and Katy 🙂 I heard about you from a family connection and would really like to be in contact with you about comm serv for 2017 (I am currently 3rd year OT student). Is there an email address I could contact you by?

    • Hi Emma,
      Great to hear from you and that you are thinking of Madwaleni for your comm serv. I will send you an email directly!

  2. Do you have any need of a volunteer med tech half days. Have husband and 3 pugs. He is a Jack of all trades. Looking to volunteer our skills for a few months. In our sixties and fit

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