Life Through A Lens

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grönköpings Veckoblad

Boredom might well be the single most underappreciated state of being in the human existence. The  state of not knowing what to do with the day, and being totally OK with that fact. Thus has been my past week, post exams. A week of recuperation that is sorely needed after the grueling ordeal that is mid terms. It went well though, and now I can enjoy my vacation. 
As stated, the first couple of days have consisted of me just lazing about without a care, but that does get old after a while. Thankfully, I am packing the bags and going for a bit of a trip, because I am  getting a visitor. My lovely sister is coming over to Poland for a week, to see how I have it over here. It will be interesting for her I am sure, Olsztyn has changed quite a bit since she was here last in the  spring of 2012. I mean, back then what we relied on for shopping experience was Alfa Centrum, that says a lot in itself.
First stop is Gdansk though. I am revisiting a hostel that I liked the last time I was here. It is a hostel with a bike theme, perhaps something a summer visit will take more use of. Wintertime and bike riding are not particularly suited for each other. 
I arrived in Gdansk a couple of hours early, jumped on the train in Olsztyn and 2hrs later here I was. Since I wouldn’t be going to Sweden this break, the next best thing would have to do: IKEA. It might well be the first IKEA outside of Sweden I have visited, and now this might only be in Gdansk, but I never realized how Swedish IKEA really is. I step in, and all of a sudden a feeling of lagom embraces me. Almost wanted to have a fika pause mid-shopping. Of course this would have been totally possible since there is the IKEA food court inside,  but I managed to restrain myself. 
I suppose that was to be expected though, all the Swedish food and ambiance and everything, but  what surprised me most was the interior decorations of the rooms. Take the bookshelves for instance, instead of being filled with Polish literature there were such things as Grönköpings Veckoblad in  there. I was quite surprised to say the least. Anywho, I found what I needed (obviously, I mean, it is IKEA after all) and left with a good dose of Sweden that ought to last me a couple more months. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Summer Work 2014

After a prolonged hiatus I feel it may be time to pick up the pen and ever so slowly revive my blog. No promise on any sort of regularity or frequency of coming blog posts, but they will exist. I have never seen "Redsurfable" as an obligation,  but rather a tool to express creativity and to share some excerpts from my life, and this will continue. On a positive note, this extended break has given me a lot of material to use for coming posts. Let's start with what I was up to the summer of 2014.
Upon finishing my 3rd year of medicine l returned to the forests of Småland. I would spend a total of 3 months in Sweden: the entire summer vacation. I was looking forward to this extended stay in what quite literally is the motherland. Last time I spent at least 3 months in the Land of Fika was when I was 15, so a return was long due. Even though I was on summer vacation, there were still a load of things to get done, not least on the work front. I managed to get a job in a retirement home, working as a nurse's assistant. Now in the retirement home life is a lot different: everything revolves around the meal times. Everybody is woken up and readied for breakfast,  some needing more help than others,  thus depending on the day this could take its sweet time. After breakfast has been had, and the stubborn have been conivnced on consuming the rather vital morning pills, the day begins. Well, it does for some. The more active of the seniors would go for some morning gymnastics,  or perhaps weaving or knitting. Others would look through the morning newspaper, and mumble something about how it was better before. Some would just return to bed and take a morning nap. Same sort of thing would happen after lunch and dinner also. It was a very good experience for me, to get some work experience in Sweden, and most importantly in the healthcare field.  Even though as a doctor my work will be very different and less patient oriented as that of a nurse's assistant,  I felt it was important to start from the bottom and work my way up. To solely study and then come to Sweden and start to work as a doctor with no other working experience is something I would not want to do.

My job was located in town, but as I was staying in my little village I had to have a car to get there.  After my struggles with getting a driver's license (I believe I have written about this before, if not that story needs to be documented) it felt extremely liberating to be able to get into my 2002 SAAB 93 and drive off towards whatever life had in store for me. People always said having a car was the essence of freedom, and I couldn't have agreed more.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Floods, Pigs, and HIV

It has been a couple academically arduous weeks since my last post, and a few interesting things have happened. Floods, pigs and HIV, to summarize it with a few words.
First things first though, the obligatory weather update. No more PMS weather (knock on wood), but from hear on out spring is properly present. As I type these words people are having the seasons first grill parties out by the lake, and everybody agrees that life is worth living again. The buzz is back, and the optimism (mine included) is just about bearable. In stark contrast, and I excuse the deviation from my usually lighthearted rhetoric,  my hometown in Mozambique is drowning in floods. Aside from the immediate death and destruction from obvious reasons, there are a lot of aftermath problems that one could spend a serious while discussing. In the interest of moving things along, however, I'll leave that discussion for another day. My family is fine though, for which I am thankful. 
This road leads to my neighborhood.

From flooded Pemba to something entirely different, we have started to learn the basics of suturing at school. Obviously we are all very much excited, especially as we get to do it on pigs. Yup, they bring us some chopped up pig legs and we get to tear them apart and stitch them back together again. I don't know if it is a tad macabre to find it enjoyable, but I have learned it is best not to think in these patterns. Especially not at autopsies. Trust me on this one, it will save whatever sanity you have left.
Martin busy at work
Pigture Perfect (not even sorry :P )
On to some news related to a little project I have been developing for some time. I am a coordinator of a Peer Education project for my university's branch of the student organization called IFMSA. It's all about educating other young people about HIV/AIDS, in an effort to deliver knowledge of a difficult topic in an understandable way. We had our first seminar just last week, for a group of high school students in the area, and it was well received and appreciated. All in all it was a pleasant start, and I'm feeling quite positive about it. Click for more info on Peer Education: HIV/AIDS.

Have a good week everyone!

P.S. Have Coldplay ever made a bad song? Honestly though, have they?? Their new one is fabulous.