Junior midfielder Kirsten Goldberg reports on an amazing experience in South Africa where she has worked at a children's hospital, shadowing surgeons and interacting with patients.
Throughout the fall term, Dartmouth women's lacrosse players will be sending in updates from their travels around the globe. Team members are currently studying, interning and volunteering abroad in a variety of countries thanks to the flexibility provided by the College's four-quarter Dartmouth-Plan system. Each student-athlete will provide at least one blog entry about her experiences.
Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) • JR, M
Cape Town, South Africa • Hospital Internship
Hello From Cape Town, South Africa! I am currently working at the world reknowned Children's Red Cross Hospital, touted to be the best children's hospital in all of Africa! I spend part of my week working in the inpatient wards with various children, and the balance of the week shadowing a neurosurgeon, which includes bi- weekly visits to "theatre," the South African name for the operating room. I have had the opportunity to watch dozens of unbelievable surgeries, including a temporal lobectomy where the surgeons actually extracted the entire right temporal lobe from the brain of a nine-year-old boy. When I say I have been able to watch surgery, I do not mean from behind a glass wall. I literally stand next to the surgeons as they are operating, and for my benefit, they allow for momentary breaks during the procedure to describe regions of the brain, to point out tumors, to demonstrate how CT scans and MRIs correlate to the inside of the child's brain, etc.
My experience at the hospital has been completely eye-opening, and at times heart-wrenching as we have lost quite a few children during my time here, in particular an eight-year-old boy with whom I had become very close.
Outside of work, I arrive at the hospital first thing in the morning, and return home no later than 2 p.m. every day, so I have time to venture around the city. Sarah Parks, Sarah Plumb and I have taken advantage of the many tourist attractions in and around Cape Town, and we have successfully hiked both Table Mountain and Lion's Head, its neighboring peak. This weekend, we plan to travel along the Garden Route, a scenic tour along the coast of South Africa, complete with an ostrich ride!
That's all for now! Congrats on a great fall ball.
P.S. Here is a picture of the three of us attempting to dress up for Halloween and another of Upilhe, a tracheotomy inpatient at the Red Cross, and me.