Halfway

I know I said I wouldn’t post until I got back into the US but I miss blogging(and the interaction I get from blogging) and a lot of people have been asking for updates.

First of all, I am almost halfway through my trip.  I have been in South Africa for 5 weeks and have 6 more weeks to go until I fly back to Philadelphia and then about two weeks later I fly back to Los Angeles.  While I was in Soshanguve in Pretoria, I worked for Transgender and Intersex Africa.  I am now in Cape Town working for Gender DynamiX and I will be going to East London at the end of this week to work with SHE.  My internship so far has helped solidify my passion to work in the public health sector.  I have learned so much through my interaction with the staff and volunteers at each of the respective organizations.  I have been working on projects related to the access and utilization of health services among the transgender population here in SA.  I know many people don’t agree with me working with transgender organizations but I believe that EVERYONE has the right to access and utilize health services, especially free from discrimination.

I have made a lot of new friends along the way as well!  On the weekends I have been going on exciting new adventures.  Some of these adventures include a Cape Peninsula tour, the Cape of Good  Hope, Cape Point, biking in Table Mountain National Park, going to Cape Agulhas(the southern most point in Africa and where the two oceans meet), Table Mountain, the Heart of Cape Town Museum(where the first heart transplant occurred), Robben Island, various sites around Cape Town, and of course PENGUINS at Boulders beach.  South Africa is really a beautiful country and am really enjoying my time here exploring the nature and the culture.

Secondly, I am almost halfway healthy, if that makes sense(but when am I actually healthy).  I have my ups and downs.  I have had a few non POTS related incidents.  As always, I battle every day with my POTS including some POTS related incidents.  I will not bore or worry everyone with the specifics, although it is a constant fight with my body to wake up in the morning, start my day and stay upright during the day.  I have been pretty functional with symptoms varying from day to day.  Some days are good and others are not.  Just like when I am in the US, each day is a gamble.  I know my limits but I also tend to push them.  I am cautious but not overly because my time here in South Africa is precious.  I try to do whatever it takes to make sure I stay functional.  Typically I am extremely fatigued by the end of the day and sleep for 10 hours a night, but if that is what it takes to continue staying functional, so be it.  I take my meds and have been infusing at least one liter of saline through my port every week.  Luckily I have been having no issues with my port.  I will continue to do what it takes to enjoy South Africa but I will not put that ahead of my health.

Here are the links to all of my pictures from my South African trip so far.  This includes my London layover(http://www.flickr.com/photos/98566613@N04/sets/72157634546194218/), Soshanguve/TIA(http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGG9YM8), Cape Town/Gender DynamiX(http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGHwEmh).

I will be back blogging sporadically throughout the next 6 weeks.  As always, thank you for the support.

~Natasha

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