Fulbright South Africa

Marie Hastings-Tolsma, PhD, CNM

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Top to bottom:

1. Krugersdorp Game Reserve outside Johannesburg.

2. African squirrel….friendly little things —- 

3. Ostrich roaming the reserve.

4. Beautiful giraffe.

5. Wildebeast and waterbuck.

6. Eland …. it is wild but it walked right up to the restaurant deck.

7. Guest cottages for those staying at the reserve. 

8. Lodge near restaurant at the reserve. 

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6/4/2013 Game Reserve

Prof Chris Myburgh and Marie Poggenpoel kindly took me to a game reserve today.  It was just beautiful!  Lions, elands, springboks, baboons, zebras, guinea fowl, waterbuck, impala, wlldebeast, African squirrels, giraffes, and the list goes on.  It was just beautiful to see these graceful creatures. And perhaps even more beautiful was the landscape…I kept thinking of the movie, “Out of Africa.”  

We also had lunch at the reserve. This eland came right up to the deck where people were eating. The eyes on these animals are incredible — just so cool!  

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Cape Town townships (top to bottom):

1. Barber shop.

2. Plastic bottles filled with water and placed around the property. One woman told me it keeps the dogs from relieving themselves. 

3. Behind every 4-6 shacks is a water tap and an outhouse. Some have flush toilets — others do not. Nonetheless, a lock and key is on the door and only those living in the immediate area are allowed access. 

4. Typical shack in township.

5. Township homes built through Mellon Foundation. Small but very nice. 

6. Young mother living in Khayelitsha township. 

7. Little girl with strabismus who was crying on the street. The driver told us that her eyes will likely never be fixed. 

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6/3/2013 Visiting the Townships in Cape Town

While in Cape Town, I had the opportunity to visit 4 of the townships….the not-so-beautiful side of the city. townships refer to the underdeveloped urban living areas that in Apartheid times were reserved for non-whites - blacks, colored, and Indians. They are physically located on the edge of Cape Town  A driver took me and 2 women from Ireland on a tour of 4 huge townships:  Khulani, Khayelitsha, Herare, and Langa. 

Within the townships, shacks are put up and have substandard or non-existent sewage, water, sanitation, and electricity. We visited one home where 8 adults and children lived. The dirt floor was covered with a plastic sheet. There was a TV and a small gas stove. Electricity is purchased for use …. and when you run out … you run out.  Paraffin is used to heat the shacks and is a major source of fires which often result in loss of life, as well as contributing to breathing problems for children and adults alike. 

A man by the name of Niall Mellon — from Ireland, has been building homes in the Cape Town townships. The houses are small but nice and very functional. Locals told us that you have to put your name on a list and wait to be selected and the homes are highly sought after. I was told a home would run about R200,000. 

The people we met were unbelievably humble, warm, friendly, and hardworking. Surely does make you appreciate all that you have been given. Photos above show some of the township sights. 

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Cape Town sight (top to bottom):

1. View from the hills above Camp’s Bay through the fog and mist.

2. Table Mountain as seen from Camp’s Bay.

3. Beautiful Camp’s Bay … expensive homes and the rich and famous.

4. Camp’s Bay city beach. 

5. Marie at Signal Hill (base of Table Mountain) with the city of Cape Town in the background. 

6. St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town where Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached. 

7. Waterfront….big elephant — among other attractions.

8. Statues of the 4 South Africans who have received a Nobel Peace Prize at the V&A Waterfront, Nobel Square (from left to right):  Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela. 

9. A South African seal lounging on the pier at the V&A Waterfront…..unfettered by all the tourists.

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6/3/2013 Trip to Cape Town

I spent last week in Cape Town - part of the time playing tourist and was also able to collect some research data. Cape Town (known as the “Mother City”) is just incredibly beautiful with unparalleled views. Lots of tourists from all over the world. The city has a very different feel from Johannesburg and the weather is very different …. CT is damp and feels cooler. It rained almost everyday that I was there. 

Above are some of the beautiful sites in Cape Town. 

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6/3/2013 Cesarean Birth Rates

Globally there is an increasing Cesarean birth rate — and that is especially true in South Africa where Cesarean rates in the private facilities have been reported to run as high as 65-70% — and the bulk of women (where Cesarean isn’t planned) reportedly have labor induced. Rates of Cesarean birth are lower in the public hospitals. What memory is there of normal birth?

I was recently at a conference here in South Africa. A company has come up with a formula for infant’s born by Cesar. Interesting marketing approach (see photo above).