I was ambivalent, but curious, about the UN. It accommodates a bunch of scoundrels, kept in dull sinecure. And there are also terribly earnest people, sincerely looking to make things better.Read More
As an alienated adolescent (who would rather do anything but look after – or even look at – sick people and their problems), I stared into the waves at the beach a lot. I knew there was something there for me, if I just kept looking.Read More
Many of my doctor colleagues work on one part of the body only and get to know that system or that set of organs very well. I used to wonder, as a student, how you could spend a career that way.Read More
Why wouldn’t you want to have your breasts tenderly and thoughtfully painted with ochre for inma (ceremonial dancing)? And feel a connection between your breasts and the earth around you? Our bodies all come from our mothers’ bodies and breasts and the earth is our continuing mother.Read More
I tried to change my mind about Tuesday. I did not succeed. In fact, I’ve given up trying for now. I like where I live and work and I like my routine, except for that lumpy bit at the beginning of the week.Read More
Insidiously, the work undermines a caregiver’s self-trust and self-love. This is a danger inherent in the work itself — you have to deny your own needs and desires twenty times (or a thousand times) a day.Read More
Some of the Aboriginal babies she cared for were thin and irritable, with watery diarrhoea and scalded nappy rashes. They were diagnosed with Failure to Thrive — a diagnosis which puts a child’s parenting directly under the spotlight. Their mothers seemed powerless. Health workers wondered what was going on in these babies’ homes?
But Christine wondered if it could be something else.
I’m not on call except for unusual emergencies. I sleep through the everyday emergencies — the heart attacks, obstructed gall bladders and car roll-overs — that my colleagues, the Remote Area Nurses (RANs) deal with at night. This week there are two RANs here with me — for a town at its peak population of around five or six thousand.Read More
At first, the stony path was unremarkable except for a closer look at some of the bright flowers. But cresting a rise at the end of the path revealed an immense and strange space — a panorama of desert dunes and volcanic cones.Read More
Claudia spent many early mornings hunting bats with her camera. They had complicated wings and hooky ‘hands’. Our garden was full of food for them and for us — fruiting banana trees, cannon-ball-sized breadfruit, taro, soursop and limes. Piglets fussed and rooted for fallen fruit below, following their mum.Read More
The big beast gets up elegantly with you sitting on it, back legs first, pitching and tilting the rider as you lean back in the saddle. Suddenly you’re up and can see a long way over the desert landscape. A camel’s walk is measured and rhythmic. Being there gives you a lofty and mellow perspective.Read More