PAW + Holiday with Anis

During Pulse Awareness Week, (PAW) I visited the GMS Cape Town site. Whilst there I gave a short presentation detailing the PULSE application process and a little on my time at UCT. My host Simphiwe Otto also took me on a tour of the site. GMS Cape Town was born in 2001 however the site had been in the hands of GSK legacy organisations since 1983. The site manufactures and packages a variety of medications such as Eno, Calpol and Scott’s for day to day ailments. It also manufactures Albendazole, a drug used for the treatment of the neglected tropical disease Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as Elephantiasis. GSK is an active partner in the WHO lead global alliance to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. To date GSK have donated 2.6 billion treatments to help stop the transmission of the disease and aim to donate as much Albendazole as required to treat all those at risk from the disease.

A photo of Simphiwe, (second on left) and I alongside some of the presentation attendees.


At long last Anis arrived on Saturday the 12th of October ready for an early start the following morning to run a half marathon! The weather conditions were perfect, clear, no rain, no wind and not too hot. The course was stunning, set against the Twelve Apostles and the beautiful coastal regions of Camps Bay and Green Point. We both managed to sneak in below the two hour barrier with a time of 1:58:38 (though Anis could have run much quicker). I am super thankful to Anis as without his incessant badgering to run faster and lengthen my stride I would not have achieved my goal of finishing in less than 2 hours. My colleagues Claire and Leslie also ran the event though for Claire who finished with a time of 1:31 I think “sprint” is a more appropriate term. Leslie also finished ahead of Anis and I yet unfortunately suffered an injury. He is currently hobbling around on crutches, I hope he heals us quickly!

GunRun_Group Shot

I took the rest of last week off on leave. Anis and I had the most lovely time! We explored the beautiful coastal areas of Simon’s Town to spot the Penguins and Muizenburg to spot the surfers. We shopped till we dropped at Green Market Square and the V&A Waterfront, (our family should be prepared for an African Christmas :)). We visited Hermanus to see the whales, we were lucky enough to spot a Southern Right Whale only 15 meters away from the shoreline. We also took a mini-break in Stellanbosch where we drank copius amounts of wine, all in the spirit of tasting of course. We visited 5 wineries in total yet only scratched the surface of those available, the greater Stellanbosch area has around 300 wineries, this is before you factor in the other major wine regions of Paarl, Franschoek, Wellington and Constantia! For those with even the slightest interest in wine, this is the place.


We also took a day trip to an animal reserve 2 hours outside of Cape Town named Aquila, there we saw elephants, giraffes, springbok, hippos, rhinos and of course lion. We even spotted a Rihanna! she had performed in Cape Town the evening before and like us fancied a spot of wildlife. Amongst all this we managed to fit in a few hikes, multiple fresh produce markets, (Anis’s favorite game is gemsbok) and a dinner with my friends. Fantastic!


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