Dr Bambi Rakhel Ward

Medical Education Consultant|Author & Speaker

Month: March 2016

The lure of the Northern Territory

A few days ago my husband and I took our grandchildren to Chesterfield Farm so they could experience a sense of farm life and get toIMG_7223 interact with some animals. We watched cows being milked, learnt that pigs are as intelligent as four year children(!), and were able to feed and pat some of the animals. It was heartwarming to watch my one and a half year old grandson pat the rabbits with such tenderness and love.

One of the highlights was taking a tractor ride around the property. We saw many different animals, including turkeys, peacocks, ducks, geese, camels, sheep, goats, cockatoos, baby mice, rabbits, chickens, llamas and deer.

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An emotional rollercoaster ride

Have you ever experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in just a few days?

That’s what happened to me last week.

In the space of three days, I commemorated the anniversary of my stillborn sister’s death by lighting a candle, attended a funeral of someone two years younger than me who died of cancer, and found out that the husband of one of my dear friends probably has cancer. I felt like screaming out loud: It’s not fair!!!! They don’t deserve it!!!

However I resorted to pouring my heart out in my black Snoopy journal instead. Journalling gives me comfort. It always has a healing, calming effect on my soul.

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Thoughts on Writing

bird_by_birdI’ve just finished reading a book by Anne Lamott called ‘Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life’. I know that many of you who read my blog are writers, avid readers or both, so I’ve decided to share some quotes from the book that really resonated with me. I even marked them in pencil (which is something I normally don’t do in a book).

Here they are:

‘Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the actual act of writing – turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward’.

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March – a bitter sweet month

March was a bitter sweet month whilst my parents were alive.

Dad’s birthday on March 6 was followed one week later by Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary on March 13. If Mum ever heard a superstitious person say that thirteen was an unlucky number, she would reply that thirteen had always been a lucky number for her and Dad.

Mum and Dad met shortly after the end of the Second World War in Budapest at ‘The Joint”. (Incidently, ‘The Joint’ had nothing to do with smoking pot! It was short for the American Joint Distribution Committee, a Jewish humanitarian assistance organisation funded by American Jews.)

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Rainbow Beach, Sands and Art

I’d like to think I have an acceptable level of cultural competence. This is as a result of having worked in partnership with Aboriginal Cultural Educators in the Northern Territory’s GP training program for several years.

But during a visit to Noosa Heads in Queensland last year, I began to feel very uneasy. Here’s why……


The coloured sands of Teewah, north of Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia.

In 1969, my parents and I drove up to Queensland from Melbourne for a summer holiday after I’d finished primary school. One of the most memorable sightseeing trips was when a four wheel drive drove a few of us out to Rainbow Beach. We marveled at the variety of different coloured sands on cliffs near the ocean

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