I had a belated birthday celebration this year, given that my 40th birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day, 2010. While my family did a wonderful job incorporating a mini-celebration for me amongst the usual Turkey Day festivities, I never really did acknowledge the day with very much fanfare. Then six months into my 40th year I found myself presented with the rare opportunity of mixing business with pleasure and a second chance at marking a milestone year with a monumental event. At the coaxing of a colleague and friend, I said yes to taking a trip to a place that (20 years in the making) has been on my dream list of places to see in the world. This October I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa for the 2011 World Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health and below are just a few snapshots of the wonderful experience I had both professionally and personally.
Eleven days in total, half for the congress and half for exploring, the trip was both nothing and everything I could have imagined and more. The conference renewed in me my passion for medicine and reminded me of the importance and complications involved in addressing mental health issues on the larger world public health scale.
And my time spent exploring the city of Cape Town and meeting its people was absolutely thrilling. Cape Town is blessed with the most stunning natural geologic beauty but its greatest treasures, in my humble opinion, are found amongst its people, especially its artists. I hope you enjoy below a small glimpse of my attempts at capturing the many beautiful experiences I was lucky enough have during my unforgettable adventure in South Africa.