Photo Redemption

March 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

This morning, Charlotte confirmed something that I have been trying to ignore – the fact that I have been blagging (blog-lagging). I’ve taken a bunch of pictures over the past two weeks in hopes that I would have time to write a new post at one point, but the time never came. Now it is Easter break, which means we have an entire week off from school – amazing!

Since my last post, we have had 3 midterms, a snowstorm, a visit from Christian and from friends from Norway, toured the pediatrics department of the university, discovered that our cadaver in anatomy had lung cancer, and attended a first aid course.

Now, to catch up the past two weeks in photos…

Grabbing lunch at a popular soup place before our Medical Profession lecture. This place is packed everyday! For only 800 forint (about $4 or 20 NOK) you can get a cup of homemade soup and half of a sandwich. Felt a little bit like a local grabbing lunch there.


Our friends Else-Lill and Emilie (mother and daughter) came to visit us from Norway. Christian was set to come up on Thursday (his birthday) but Hungary was hit with a huge snowstorm and the trains ended up being shut down. When he arrived the following day, he was met with a little b-day surprise.

snowstormchristian's b-day

We started off the visit with lunch at For Sale:forsale

Else-lill and Emilie brought us some goodies from Norway (thank you, again!): peanut butter, instant rice pudding mix, brunost, makerel i tomat (mackerel fish in tomato sauce), kaviar (Norwegian creamed smoked cod roe paste – Skjalg eats it with hard boiled eggs on toast), and assorted Norwegian chocolate.

goodies from norway

On Day 2, we splurged on a guided tour of the city. We chose River Ride and it was well worth it! The first part of the tour was of some of the major tourist attractions on the Pest side and the second was a ride down the Danube, past the parliament.

boat bus tour

christian c and else-lillbuilding budapest
basilicaopera houseszechenyi bathsheros squares and b

Skjalg won a prize for knowing how many exits were on the bus 😉

skjalg prizeparliamentchain bridge and palacebudapest bank 4budapest bank 3

The following photo is view from the river of the Shoes on the Danube Promenade. Here is an except from wikipedia:

The Shoes on the Danube Promenade is a memorial created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay on the bank of the Danube River in Budapest. It honors the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.

bronze shoes danube

Café Gerbaud for coffee and cake:


Dinner at Cactus Juice on the last night:cactusjuice

On Wednesday, we had our first Medical Profession practical. For this course, the semester is divided into two parts. For the first 6 weeks of the semester, we had lectures in which we were introduced to various specialties within medicine, for example: neurology, surgery and psychiatry. During the second part of the course, we will visit each of the departments that were introduced to us during lectures. My group and Skjalg’s group have been paired for the visits, so we will be touring the same departments each week. This week’s department was pediatrics. It was honestly one of the first times that I felt like I looked like a med student, like the ones in movies.

We were first led up to a large lecture hall where we were told to leave our things and handed sheer, green scrub covers. We were then led through some of the hospital’s different wards: rheumatology, pulmonary and oncology. In the rheumatology department we met a teenage boy suffering from coxitis (inflammation of the hip joint). We looked on as the doctor spoke with the patient, examined him, and relayed his symptoms to us in English. In the pulmonary department we met a baby girl, maybe about 5 or 6 months old, with di George syndrome. She was so beautiful and sweet and looked so healthy, yet… she wasn’t. She had a scar on her chest from heart surgery and was quite pale in her face. The doctor showing us around the hospital explained how to examine a baby and how to involve the mother in the process. The oncology department was more difficult than the first two. The doctor took time to prepare us and reminded us to smile at the patients , to remember that they are still children. When we entered the ward it was so surreal that I felt like I was in a movie. All the children had shaved heads and pale skin. They were hooked up to IVs and laying in bed watching cartoons. But they were still children. We met a beautiful young girl who, though shy, showed no sign of insecurity as she lifted her shirt to show us her central line. She was nibbling on candies from a pez dispenser and was more concerned with the single candy stuck at the bottom of the dispenser than the 15 foreign medical students standing at the foot of her bed. It is such a surreal and amazing experience to meet real patients and get a taste of what lies ahead.

Here is a picture of us putting our scrub covers on in the lecture hall. The second photo is of Jannie and Martha after the tour.

jannieandmarthe1 jannieandmarthe2

So many people showed up for this past Thursday’s biochem lecture….Easter break fever hit early!


Friday was our last day before our week break. We started out the day with back to back anatomy lectures and then headed over to Hungarian. Our Hungarian teacher didn’t want to hold class (she used the excuse that many of us had gone home for the holiday – even though we were all there). We got our midterms back and I was happy to see that my studying had paid off. After our tour of the pediatrics department, I am more aware than ever of how much I want (and need) to learn Hungarian. After looking over our midterms, we were free to go.

I spent my free period in the library and then headed over to the anatomy building for my 12:00 lab. Our teacher began the lab period by continuing to open the thoracic cage of the cadaver. Normally he gives us a sort of lecture as he dissects, asking a couple questions every now and then. This time was a little different – possibly because we had some visitors (Jannie’s two sisters from Sweden and Christian’s – groupmate and not my brother – girlfriend, Ingrid, a first year vet student at Szent Istvan). Our professor began asking us a series of detailed questions about the digestive tract. I don’t know if we were all just tired from a long week or if it was pre-break laziness settling in, but none of us were able to answer the questions. He looked around at us over the top of his glasses, searching our faces several times before resting his eyes on me.

“Bianca, please draw the celiac trunk and its branches.”

I had drawn it earlier that week, but I hadn’t committed it to memory – and now the pressure was on. As I approached the board with 20 sets of eyes on me, I asked if I could use my notes as reference. He said no, told me I could only use Martha and Christian for help, and then relayed this experiment to us.

celiac trunk

I was able to complete maybe 30-40% on my own. My groupmates were nice enough to help me while our professor continued his dissection. At one point, I had to step aside so that my professor could plug in the bone saw. “Are you going to cut open my head?” I joked, as it passed by me. He smiled and joked in return, “no, but I’ll cut off a finger for each wrong answer.” Gulp.

When I was finished with the drawing, I presented it to the group. My professor made it tougher by asking me which organ each branch supplied. I tried to mask my insecurity with false confidence and I think it worked because I got a “good” and a nod from my professor. I’ll be ready for him next time!

After lab, Skjalg and I attended the histology consultation from 14:00-17:00. It felt good to stay after school on the day before a break. It’s so easy to check out when you know you have 9 whole days off ahead of you.


To close out the week, I attended a first aid course on Saturday. The course was normally scheduled for Thursdays, but we were given the option of taking the entire course in one day. It lasted about 8 hours and we learned how to identify and treat asthma attacks, burns, bleeding, strokes and heart attacks, as well as how to perform CPR and place a casualty in the recovery position. As a first responder, there really isn’t much you can do in terms of treatment, but we at least learned how to keep the casualty alive long enough for the proper help to arrive.


Now it’s off to bed for a couple of hours before getting up bright and early to snag a spot at the histology consultation. We have our histology midterm the week after we get back from break – and it is going to be a tough one! We will be there from 8-12 and then it’s back home to tidy up. Skjalg’s Mom and sister are visiting this week and his sister, Kaya, will be staying with us. I am so thankful that we have a place with a guest room!

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§ 3 Responses to Photo Redemption

  • Charkie says:

    Ok, caught up on your life!! What a whirlwind!
    Your Budapest photos are beautiful and I’ll be referring anyone who wants to see the best side of the city to them!
    Enjoy your next guest, who I’m guessing will be bringing even more chocolate?!

  • fantastic pictures. I am saving a few – especially of my grandson Christian Alexander who is lost somwhere in Hungary

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