Sunday audio

culture

One of the hidden gems of Radio 4 is a World in Your. The series brings together the cream of English language radio from around the world. Each programme has a theme, and this week's was jobs. You get such a varied an interesting view of the world: one fascinating piece from a radio station in the States (I missed the station name) involved a presenter asking various people what they would rather do as a job. So, the first guy was a cellist in an orchestra, but really wanted to be a tug-boat captain. The presenter then called a tug-boat captain, who had a longing to run a cajun restaurant. He then spoke to a woman running a cajun restaurant who had always wanted to run a dog day-care center... You get the idea. In fact, the chain broke when they got to the dog day-care center, as canine care assistants seem to be an unusually contented lot.

If you're squeamish, don't read the rest...

Another piece that grabbed me was about a Dutch doctor working in Nigeria, who has devoted his life to surgically repairing Vesico Vaginal Fistulae (VVF) -- a condition common in less developed countries when women without access to good medical care end up in unrelieved obstructed labour, and a tear develops between the vaginal wall and the bladder. They then suffer from continuous incontinence, and tend to be shunned from society (the doctor commented that they are more ostracised than lepers). The tragedy is that -- with proper medical care -- VVF are relatively easy to correct, but many women spend most of their lives in torment. One woman of 65, who got a VVF at the age of 15, had spent 50 years of her life in pain, shame and despair. There can't be too many people who change as many lives in their job as that doctor.

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