All 11 entries tagged Elective

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April 02, 2009


We also managed to do possibly one of the fastest tours of Bolivia EVER, involving 12 hour journeys to La Paz, then to Salar Uyuni, and back, stopping back at La Paz along the way. Dave suggested anaesthetising the larynx of each small child on any long journey, although we’re not sure this would ethically sound..

Med Student 1: It’s the larynx isn’t it, the voicebox?
Med Student 2: I think so.

La Paz is an interesting city. We found a nice hotel with “hot water, twenty-four hours”. As can usually be expected, it was cold and the water was mightily close to a 32A fuse switch. Fantastico.

Salar Uyuni can only be described as a desert town, but drive 10 miles out on a tour, and the desert changes completely in nature – to SALT!
This is apparently a dried up ocean, but noone quite knows how the salt continues to replenish itself, and the locals are then able to harvest it, make things with it, and even build hotels out of it. It’s certainly an interesting place.

More updates to follow….

Week 3 – Time marches on..

So, having not updated the blog for some time, it seems time to summarise the events of last week.

Sunday, we visited the sacred valley on an organised tour, phenomenal sites, breathtaking views, say no more..

Monday and Tuesday were uneventful, and hospital continued as normal, with our supervising doctor as eager as ever for Dave to eat half of his sandwich.. EAT IT!

Wednesday we met up with the girls again for another Pablo tour extravaganza and went to see Moray – a set of Inca concentric circles thought to be an ‘experiment’ although myself and Dave have other theories. An ampitheatre, or even just something made to look nice. Who knows.

Thursday and Friday were just as uneventful in the hospital, and Spanish continues to be a pain, but we are of course improving! Dan also managed to get his yellow fever jab for Bolivia, but no certificate as apparently there were ´none left´.

As for the weekend, we managed to see lake Titicaca and stay with locals. We explored the artificial floating islands and then went to stay with our delightful host Valentina on a real island. We were able to watch the sun set, eat the food of the villagers and buy a couple of novelty alpaca-wool items. We were also dressed in local attire and made to dance in the local fashion with the natives of the island. It was during this charade that our tour guide for the 2 days wandered in wasted and, for no apparent reason, punched a fellow tourist. Needless to say Valentino decided it was time for us to leave – VAMOS! – and an extremely apologetic ‘Clever’ (and yes that apparently is his real name) arrived to explain himself in the morning – he had drunk too much and had not intended to come to the fiesta. Anyway, we made it back to Puno in one piece with no harm done.

The adventure continues…

March 18, 2009

Spanish, lasagna, and a bastard taxi driver..

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the blog with anything constructive so here we go..

The past few days have been reasonably uneventful given a lack of contact from Pablo. However, we did eventually get hold of him 2 or 3 days ago, and he assures us that everything has been arranged.. hmm.

Thursday night (12/3/09) was seemingly uneventful, although actually Dan managed to drag Dave out for alcoholic beverages, so that was probably an event in itself. However, on the way home, the taxi driver asked for some money to be changed for a 100 Soles note; the significance of which will become apparent soon enough…

Friday, and our second day of spanish (at 3 hours a day I might add), we attempted to buy lunch, with a 100 soles note, which turned out to be fake. Thank you bastard taxi driver. This is only 30 quid, and we obviously split the loss, but a bloody annoying inconvenience none the less, and a lesson well learned. Onwards and (literally) upwards (the palpitations walking up a hill are horrendous!), it’s time for more spanish… and an uneventful evening of homework ensues..

Saturday, not much to tell, except, of course, more spanish. Oh my god.

Sunday was a ‘lazy’ day, although we bashed out quite a bit of work. Boring.

Monday was, yet again a lazy morning – although this should have been our first day in hospitals. Pablo informed us on the Sunday evening that we were expected first thing on Tuesday, so just to take it easy Monday morning and he would come and see us. He did not. Instead he called and said he would come and see us at spanish this afternoon, which he did. He told us that, the following day, he would come and discuss our arrical in hospital, which was to be delayed until wednesday.

Tuesday. No hospital this morning, a lazy one, a spot of lunch and some spanish practice, and then on to, yes, you guessed it, more spanish. Pablo was to pay a vist, but unfortunately he did not. Then off out to the worlds highest irish-owned pub for a St Patrick’s Day special. Bargain.

That’s it really, watch this space for further developments, and of course, podcasts….

DB and DM

March 16, 2009


We thought given our lack of updates recently, and this being something we have considered at length, it was about time we added a list of quotes from the elective. We will update this list as more, no doubt, entertaining quotes arise…

“I am not racist… it is too expensive to be racist”
Quique, Extremely Talkative Proprietor of the Blue House, Lima

“I couldn’t be a closet gay… it’s too late to be a closet gay… I don’t
give a fuck, I have friends who are gay… and I say fuck it”

“I call her a witch… in a friendly way… I say… you are fucking
witch” Quique on addressing his wife and all other women.

“My mother does not like called witch… because she is real witch”
Quique on his mother

“Good night… I speak English?”
Dan’s opening line on booking a hotel in Lima (en espanol)

March 12, 2009


We returned home from the convent to find Goldilocks sleeping in Dan’s bed. Goldilocks on this occasion took the form of an Australian backpacker. He had also, rather unhelpfully, piled all remaining mattresses and “borrowed” Dave’s sheets. Having dislodged the intruder, we tried to get some sleep but were confounded by the hostel “buzz”. Neither of us felt it our place to exercise our international residential authority on this occasion.

At 1am, Dan was woken by a vengeful Goldilocks who drawled “alright, you’ve had your sleep, now get on out of here”.

We departed for the airport at 2am. Dave forgot his shoes.

On reaching Cusco, we were met at the airport – thank God as otherwise, we had no idea where to go – by a man holding a sign for “Daniel Metcalfe and David Border”. You can’t have everything.

He drove us to a very spacious flat and left us with instructions that someone else would telephone. This reassured us until we realised that we did not know where we were, where anything else was, or how to contact anyone. All we knew for sure is that we were at 11,000ft, somewhere in the Peruvian Andes.

To make matters worse; the microwave, cooker, water cooler, and multiple lights did not work. There were no plates or cutlery. And we had no food. The only person to make contact so far has been the telephone company threatening sanctions for non-payment of the telephone bill. Dan placated them in near-flawless Spanish: “I speak no Spanish, only me, my friend and our no Spanish”. Needless to say they have not called back.

March 10, 2009


Podcast – Dave discusses the hostel in Lima – click the link below to view.

DB and DM

Stuck in a New York cage

On travelling to Times Square, we naturally proceeded through a turnstyle. Unfortunately, immediately past said turnstyle, was a wrought iron grill which, despite our best efforts, declined to permit our exit. The result was that we found ourselves trapped between the metal turnstyle and the locked gate. Our cage was around 2 feet square. Unfortunately we were not alone in witnessing this embarrasing-if completely understandable-error of judgement. A dozen New Yorkers stood by idly enjoying our discomfort.

Dan Exposes Himself in McDonalds

Having reached the party side of Lima, the boys needed a toilet stop. Fortunately, McDonalds was able to fulfil its primary function of providing a clean toilet to desperate travellers. One diet coke and a strawberry sundae later, Dan went in for the kill. While stood at the urinal, however, disaster struck. The door was left open, and with nothing left between him and the restaurant, Dan promptly exposed himself, perfectly in the line of sight, of two unsuspecting Peruvian women.
Oh dear.
The women were aghast.

March 09, 2009

New York and Arrival in Lima

So.. after a couple of days we´ve arrived in Lima. We first of all had our 24 hours in New York, and were able to successfully manoeuvre our transfer to our hotel, which was basic, but on reflection.. palacial!
During our visit we sampled a local chinese restaurant, saw Time Square at night, ran through Central Park in the early morning, and just about saw the Statue of Liberty in the distance on Ellis Island (highly disappointing when we were in a rush-thanks to some moronic NY policeman who tried to tell us how to get lost, instead of how to get to ground zero, which we never arrived at).
Anyway, we continued from New York City, unscathed, to Lima, with a few memories..
1. Dave leaving the bag of our most important posessions on the stairs.
2. Dave forgetting his coat and walking half way down the street.
3. Me dropping my suitcase several times.

On arrival in Lima, we called and made a reservation for a hostel for a reasonable $9 per night per person, and arrived to find a very basic room, but it´s done the job nicely. In the light of day the place is pretty nice and we´ll stay here until our transfer to Cusco. We´re staying in the Miraflores region, which is apparently the safe area, and the beach looks pretty good too, which if we can get to it, we intend to go for some runs on. Pictures etc to follow, hello to all back home..

Dan and Dave

March 05, 2009

More prep…

Well.. it’s now Thursday 5h March, and we leave on Saturday morning at 10 am or there abouts. With insurance, indemnity, and all that jazz sorted out, it’s gonna be awesome!
We have now organised flights internally, but not until the wednesday, and we are now thinking of staying in a hotel on the night we’re in New York, simply for somewhere to dump the bags if nothing else.
So as it stands now, we shall arrive in new york on Saturday evening, stay through and then fly to Lima, where we will arrive on Sunday. Because the internal flights were cheaper, we are waiting until early on Wednesday morning before flying from Lima—> Cusco, which gives us an opportunity to check out the surrounding area there too. We will begin our orientation and adjustment to the altitude (complete with Spanish Lessons!) on the Wednesday.
More to follow…

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