Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Botswana Update (Sept 26)

Kgale Hill 4 km and 10 km (Sept 17-18): 4km up Kgale Hill on Saturday afternoon (which was brutal in the heat!) and a 10 km flat race at 7am the next morning. There was prize money, so runners came from all over- Francistown, Zimbabwe, Gaborone. Amazing runners and too much competition! Baboons and cows were our only spectators along the very dusty roads. Several runners ran either barefoot or with duct tape around their socks (and I don’t think this was because of the new running-without-shoes trend), and several of them placed. I felt a little ashamed with my Asics running shoes and gear. Highlight: meeting Tiyapo Mosa, who was the Botswana representative in the Sydney Olympics marathon! He had led the marathon until the halfway mark when he fell behind. In Kgale Hill race he placed in the top 10, but said that he wasn’t in top form these days.

Chris ran the 10 km and had a strong finish with many cheers and a congratulations from Tiyapo!

Of note: Esther and I (and the other people who placed in the FNB 15km race 4 weeks ago) got our picture in the Sunday Standard newspaper!

Mokolodi Cheetah visit (Sept 25) We went for a quick cheetah visit at the Mokolodi Game Reserve. It made me a little nervous when the cheetah decided to grab my leg and wouldn’t let go for about 10 seconds. Kind of like a cat would do, but a cheetah.

Work (Sept 27): The Tshedimoso Study has started recruiting at Tebelopele, the voluntary HIV testing center in Gabs. Our first week has had variable results, with anywhere between 1-10 patients screened per day. Some of the variation does have to do with the upcoming long weekend (Independence Day September 30).

All of the recruiting material (business cards and posters) have finally been approved by IRB, so hopefully we will have something in hand within the next 2 weeks!

Lab-wise things are a little shaky. Some supplies (Superscript III RT enzyme, for example) have been known to take months to arrive. Currently, I’m spending very little time in lab, but it would be nice to get something started. The plan is to set up single genome sequencing and start by looking at the env and nef genes.

Funny moment: Driving to the Riverwalk Mall, there’s a traffic jam because a herd of cows is moseying across the road at a robot (traffic light). The dusty cows are blocking 2 brand new Mercedes, in front of a very modern mall, underneath an advertising TV screen. Quite a contrast! I’ll have to get a picture.

Dust storms (Sept 26-27): Dust everywhere. It was even difficult to see while driving.


Blogger Baan Ranong said...

Perhaps if you can post the number of your recruited patients for the project from time to time, we can all help and give cheering.

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich and poor there still far apart as a heard of cows and Mercedes Benz.

But Mercedes Benz will be disappering from this world sooner then a heard of cows.

Now Africa will be a playing field for the championship.

8:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home