I admit, studying for this exam was … chaotic. Our (frequent) internet and electricity outages meant I couldn’t use my online question bank, or even read a book unless I read by flashlight. There were days not just my flat, but the city ran out of electricity.
Painfully I didn’t have time to explore more of Botswana, as it was crunch time for this huge test I couldn’t ignore. And oh yes, I had to work on online residency applications too, which barely loaded on my internet. Luckily, we always had running water, unlike some unfortunate colleagues from other medical schools, who were furious about the inability to shower.
Still, these are all first world problems. I was grumpy about having to do thousands of questions on various diseases, but everyday when I saw a sick patient, some in the process of dying, it was a good reality check.
While in Africa, we had lots of coffee in our flat, left behind by prior rotating medical students and resident. Although people in Botswana aren’t big on coffee, nor do they produce it, I’m giving it a slight African twist with Amarula, a delicious cream liquor made from the fruit of the marula tree, which famously makes elephants drunk.
Coffee snobs will say one must use cold brew for iced coffee to avoid oxidation, but in my flat, I just used instant coffee brewed on our stove to quickness. In Botswana, people don’t drink low fat or skim milk, so I literally drank whole milk the entire month – something I hadn’t done since a toddler! I do admit, the sweet creaminess is delicious.
I also have to confess, since I rarely drink coffee, I’m exquisitely sensitive to its caffeine. Drinking one tiny glass gave me serious palpitations the entire rest of the day.
The whole time change back to the US, starting my Ob-Gyn rotation, and taking my licensing exam within a week has been exhausting, but caffeine always resets the clock. Enjoy and study hard / work hard / play hard with this central nervous system stimulating “black magic that is coffee” as B calls it.
Iced Coffee: Coffee Ice Cubes and Milk
1/3 cup ground coffee or coffee beans
3/4 – 1 cup cold water
1 cup whole milk (any milk)
optional: splash of Amarula liquor (can substitute Bailey’s)
The proper way: In a small pitcher or jar, combine together coffee beans and cold water or stir ground coffee and cold water until combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate 5 hours or overnight (if using whole beans, up to 24 hours). Strain the coffee through a coffee filter-lined strainer set over a tall glass, pushing it through with a spatula.
The shortcut way: Brew instant coffee until desired strength.
The coffee should be very strong. Pour coffee into ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, put ice cubes in your milk. Add amarula or any cream liquor if desired. Enjoy!