Thursday, September 9, 2010

Storks and Pink Flamingoes

Last March, it was so nice of my aunt to tour her sister - that's my mom - and me at The Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

This is one of my most memorable experiences while I was in the United States. 

There are four theme parks at The Walt Disney World in Florida, namely The EPCOT Center, The MGM Studios, The Animal Kingdom, and The Magic Kingdom. 

One whole day, most of the time, is not enough to enjoy all the activities and to explore all the attractions of a certain Disney Theme park. Probaby, it's more like you really don't recover from a certain state of excitement when you are inside a Walt Disney Theme Park.  Of course, aside from the very fact that it's Walt Disney! 

 As a child, I have always been mesmerized by Disney stuff, I have heard of the existence of Disney Theme Parks and wished I could be there, and never did I expect it to become a reality.

The parks usually open at 9am and close at 5pm and that is the actual time you spend inside the park to enjoy the rides, the shows, and the sights.  As much as possible, you want to try everything in the park from the food to the rides and the shows.  You want to explore its sights as far as where your feet will lead you, and as far as where your feet will yell "Stop!" because they are aching like hell.

I realized that being inside a Walt Disney Theme Parks is like experiencing snow for the first time.  I felt like a child again.  I let go of being an adult and enjoyed.  Even my mom did.  Who would ever think that a poor child, the youngest in a brood of eight, who probably never knew about the existence of anything that is related to Walt Disney,  and who used to sell bundles of kangkong when she was in her elementary years, would come to America not to work but to simply enjoy the American life.  Imagine what exhilaration that must be for my beloved mother.

No one is ever too old or too young to enjoy The Walt Disney World.

At the end of the day, we, tourists aging from 2 to 95 years old, exited the gates tired and exhausted but brimming with satisfaction.  It was truly an experience of a lifetime.

Anyway, we visited the EPCOT Center first, and then the Animal Kingdom.  We spent one whole day in each theme park.  (I would like to think that we reserved the other two theme parks for a future return trip to the Sunshine State. LOL!)

EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  I have shared some of my photos at EPCOT in my previous posts.  (Click here to see some of the pictures.)  This time I am sharing to you some of my pictures in The Animal Kingdom.  For animal lovers, and yes, maybe the not-so-animal-lovers, I hope you will enjoy this first serving of Animal Kingdom pictures of storks and flamingoes at the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Mother and Me.

NOW TELL ME, HOW DO YOU EXACTLY DO THAT? These shy flamingoes could surely give us some lessons on how to curl our necks that way.  An American White Ibis looks on as the pink flamingoes show off the contortionists that they are.

SEE WHAT TWO B'S (BACTERIA AND BETA CAROTENE) CAN DO. Adult flamingoes will have plumage that range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply.  Here are two pink flamingoes sharing the water and the view with two American White Ibises. 

OOOHHHLALA. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured and thus a more desirable mate.

CONTEST.  Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some other animals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one side is rested, the flamingo will swap legs and then let the other half sleep,[citation needed] but this has not been proven. Recent research has indicated that standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.  (From Wikipedia) 

FLAMINGOES EVERYHWERE.  A white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingoes (like these ones) are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. This is changing as more zoos begin to add prawns and other supplements to the diets of their flamingos. (From Wikipedia)

Stork the bird, not the candy.

Simple but elegant.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tips in going to medical residency (Part 1)

In the past few months, I have been contemplating to go back to residency training here in Cebu City, after not successfully matching for a residency position in the United States.  

The prevailing question was, "Where in Cebu City?" "Which training hospital?"

Of course, I did not count out Cebu Velez General Hospital as one of my choices, since it is where I did one year of residency in Internal Medicine.  However, what-if questions were flooding my mind big time.  I had to have a back-up plan.  There were three more hospitals to choose from - Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu Doctors' University Hospital, and Perpetual Succour Hospital.

The question of where to train might seem easy to answer but it actually isn't.  The incoming resident, who actually is an incoming slave of the residency training program has to consider a lot of factors, and I can't begin to describe how enormous the considerations are.

Thus, day and night, I was haunted by that question which demanded an immediate answer.  I had to decide so I could move on.  But I was utterly confused.

Then here comes my doting mother, who probably saw and felt how burdened I was.  In the goal of helping her daughter, she gave me an advice, "Sa Cebu Doc na lang, Shing.  Kay one ride ra. (Go for Cebu Doctors', Shing.  Anyway, it's one ride away from where you live.)

I did not react one bit.  But inside my head, I had a wide grin.  My mom is not from the medical field so I found her gesture of advising me as something sweet and heartwarming.  Even if she did not know what she was actually saying.

Location of the training hospital is one of the last things an incoming slave, uhm, resident considers, and probably, he or she will never give it a thought at all.  I mean, once a doctor makes up his mind which city or hospital to train in, the question of commuting to the training hospital comes way down the list.  The mantra is, choose the city or the hospital where you want to train, and you simply look for a pad or a place to stay that is as much as possible, not so distant from that hospital.  My mother happened to consider it the other way around.

Hehehe.  Mothers.  They have their own way.  Her advice might not have served a major (major) point in the decision that I made but surely, she made me smile and made me feel loved as always.  With what she said I knew - though it didn't show -  that deep in her thoughts, she was also grappling for the answer to the ultimate question.  Deep inside, she was sharing my yoke.

This happened a few months ago but each time I recall this scene with my mother, it never fails to make me smile.  Mothers.  They really have their own way.  I love you, Mom.

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