It is winter here, and like winter in most places, that means the days have gotten very short. This week is the winter solstice. The sun is rising at about 8:30, and the sun is setting just after 5PM. that makes this week officially the darkest week. the abundance of rain and clouds just makes the days feel even shorter. We're in the 'dark when you go to work, dark when you leave work' phase.
To compound on the darkness of the week, I'm also in what may be the most grueling stretch of work in terms of my schedule. Aaron and Rebecca have whisked away to Rarotonga, so I'm covering the clinic solo this week. And as fate would have it, this just happens to coincide with me being on call this past weekend, and I will also be taking call all next weekend to help cover for another clinic in the area that is short of doctors right now. So a back-to-back weekend call line-up, two calls mid-week and Monday of next week leaves me on call 9 out of 11 days in this Friday to Monday stretch, and I'll technically be working 17 days in a row. It's almost like being in residency again, only still better, but close enough to make me feel the pain again. And did I mention it is rainy and dark?
My call this past weekend was ok. I had to go see a few patients in the clinic on Saturday, but Sunday was pretty good - until 2AM Monday morning when I got called out. I struggled to get back to sleep when I got home, so I probably didn't get back to sleep until about 5AM. So that was a rough way to start my big week of clinic. Grumpy Cole was seeing patients today, and there were a lot of them.
But believe it or not, this post isn't aimed to complain or gain sympathy. I actually wanted to share with you some of the things that are going very right. The things that are keeping my outlook bright despite the work and the weather. the things that make these dark days a little lighter.
Firstly, I'm being very well looked-after here in Otautau. Saturday night I went for 'tea' (remember, that really means supper) at Pip's house and watched the rugby with her and the whanau (family/friends). We had a delicious meal of roasted mutton and veggies. Sunday I took the Whitings to the airport, and arrived home to discover a big pot of soup and a pile of cheeserolls on my kitchen counter! turns out, Margaret (a lady who helps clean the clinic - and is a great cook) left them for me! so that was lunch yesterday and today. And I was invited over to Poss and Natalie's house Sunday evening for 'tea' of roast duck! Also delicious, and also part of my lunch and supper today since I got some extra duck in a doggie-bag! So clearly, you don't have to worry about me starving to death here. I'm eatin' good in the neighborhood.
Next, the blog has now passed 11,000 views! That's pretty stellar. But the pressure to deliver!!!! AHHHH!!!
Also, there are some highly anticipated musical albums due for release in the coming weeks, so that's always something to look forward to. Specifically Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and Jason Mraz. Imagine my excitement. Three of my favorites all due to drop in the next month or so! (Side note, I'm a little concerned about the Jason Mraz album 'Yes'. he seems to have teamed up with a group of hippie chicks called 'Raining Jane' and I'm not sure I approve of the direction this has all gone...I've watched a few youtube videos and I want to like it more than I actually do.... but "I won't give up".... bonus points if you caught that reference to a Jason Mraz song!)
Ski Season is approaching!
I went curling with everyone from the clinic two weekends ago, and it was awesome. I'm waiting to compile more pictures before I post about it, but it was pretty awesome. Imagine going ice-bowling. It's kind of like that. We had a really fun weekend.
I have very good coworkers, and was thinking the other day I should try to get some pics of my clinic and my colleagues. In addition to feeding me, they also make my job pretty plush in the big picture. I mean, there are days when I swear they are all out to sabotage my efficiency and push me to my absolute limits, but in general, we've got a good thing going here. and from everything I've heard, there's a good crew waiting for me to join in BG when I get back, so that's reassuring.
A few projects that I've been working on for a while are starting to come together. Specifically, the obstacle course of paperwork and processing involved in getting a pair of red stag antlers back to the US is nearly cleared, and that scarf I started crocheting is getting longer...slowly. I think I'm gonna run out of yarn though, and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to go back to Arrowtown (2.5 hours away) to get that same yarn.... turns out scarves require a lot of yarn... luckily there are a couple ski resorts near there, so it really won't be too much of an inconvenience.
the house hunt for the greater Bowling Green metro area is starting to get underway, so that's kind of fun (but secretly terrifying and confusing for me). so if you know of any special little slices of paradise that look like a place I should be living, you let me know. I have some scouts out on patrol for me, and they're doing a great job.
I have a few visitors lined up in about 6 weeks, which will be really fun. and I'm working on a reunion trip as a detour on my way home, so that will be fun to plan.
Lastly, I've got a big 4th of July party in the works. Some of my coworkers informed me (right when I got home from Rarotonga) that I will be hosting a party for them and the rest of the clinic. So I decided 4th of July just makes the most sense, so I'll be trying to figure out all the most Patriotic stuff to eat and do. The main thing right now is that they all have to wear red, white, and blue. Fireworks are tricky because they are only on sale in NZ one day a year, and that day is not between now and July 4. but I bet we can scrounge up some explosives to light up the night right.
Ok, I think that's enough. I've proved my point. Things are going well despite the lack of sunshine and the ugly work schedule. you get it. So I will leave you with a quote: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo