KBTGSP Newcastle - A World of Difference
by Edidiong Udoyen

We come from around the world
but mostly two countries of North American location.
The few of the rest of us, the smattering,
hail from Africa West and the great Asian Southwest.
We come for one goal, one objective:
To earn the medallion, to proudly wear the coat
In the service of mankind and the ones we love.

Noble is the goal and so we pursue it.
But how humdrum are the means? How mediocre are the weeks
as we sit for hours, being talked at, hopefully learning a bit.
We listen to wonderful teachers; don't get me wrong!
It's just the passage of time, dense with the knowledge of science.
Too much to take in but so little time.
Always, always so little time it seems.
Then come the bittersweet hours of study after the lectures
When we try to balance rest and work, a delicate endeavor.

But we try to spice the days,
Imagining new colors to paint the many fluorescent-tinted minutes
which we spend sitting with our backs bent studying in our rooms.
Or in the library on the quiet floors.
And we are quiet.
But we hear the city buzz around us,
Students milling in the central square,
The bars alive with raucous glee —
The sounds of a campus in the middle of a social city.

We birth many plans of adventure.
Weekend escapades.
Adventures that break the continuum of monotony.
Short-term they may be, but seemingly essential for sanity.
We fly to historic Europe, visit grand museums,
Experience novel tastes, sounds, smells,
Relax on the scenic beaches of the Mediterranean,
Soaking in the otherness of the continent across the English channel.

When we return to our books,
Still dreaming of our previous jaunts,
We feel a mysterious energy, an extra rush in our veins.
Cloudy and wintry Newcastle may be,
But she is zestful and cosmopolitan.
Anyone can feel at home within her.
There's a warmth that her weather never diminishes.

Now we set out for tropical seas
In pursuit of our medical dreams
But though we bade adieu, Newcastle,
We will not forget you.
To walk upon your bridges as we cross your streams and river,
To holler within your iconic stadium,
To mingle with thousands that call you home,
We hope to once again.


Author's Note: "I am an SGU medical student from Nigeria. I decided to write this piece to reflect on the time I spent in Newcastle in my first year of medical school through the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program. This piece is only catches the tip of the iceberg of my experiences in Newcastle."