Want an insider’s look at the Jon Baines experience? Read the words of Mary and Raema as they reminisce about the recent History of Medicine Tour in Turkey and the Greek Islands. The Tour was led by Professor John Pearn and explored the historically and culturally rich city of Istanbul, the beaches of Galipolli, Pergamum, Ephesus, Kos and Rhodes.
A poem by Mary:
If you can meet and greet the late arrival
And introduce her to the friends she’ll make
Ensure the whole group’s ultimate survival
And mastermind the trips they’ll undertake.
If you can wear your knowledge oh so lightly
And know just when and where to let it show
Recall the myths, and lecture to us nightly,
And quiz us on the facts that we should know.
If you can sit with Helen and King Priam
Upon the walls of Troy and watch below
The battles of the Trojans and Achaeans
And brave Machaon, oldest doc we know.
If you can pan for gold in the Meander
And mint the coins that made old Croesus rich,
And tell the tale of Hero and Leander
And cross the Hellespont without a hitch.
If you can count the different types of column
Within the cistern where Medusas hide
And then be reverential, not solemn,
In church and mosque, with Alp our trusty guide.
If you can name both butterflies and flowers
With genus, species, habitat and use
And say which ones have special healing powers
(And warn us which ones sometimes face abuse)
If you can gain us entrée to see Florence
In barracks that are off the tourist track
Where, at Scutari, we see her abhorrence
At means of care the injured soldiers lacked.
If you can share the dawn at Anzac beaches,
Commemorating both the friend and foe
And benefit from all their valour teaches
Humanity and peace, we strive to know.
If you can make our history serve the present,
The Hippocratic Oath a modern text
So future doctors, ethical and pleasant,
Can swear to standards that we all expect.
If you can join the knights of holy order
Explain the past to make us each a fan
You’ve proved yourself a worthy Jon Baines’ Leader
And – which is more – a friend and gentleman!
In response, a poem by Raema:
It is barely a week since we’ve been home
And then up on our screens we find Mary’s poem!
The memories again flood back so clear,
Though they’d started to fade, I very much fear!
Now again I am thinking of those rocky mountain sites
The sunny skies, the turquoise tiles, the sparkling city lights
Huge bowls of runny jams, chocolate treats before bed,
Emotional showers, gloomy cisterns– all swimming in my head.
Mosques and temples, rods entwined with that well known coiling snake,
The glittering bazaar full of goods real craftsmen make
Minarets soaring, repeated calls to prayer
Bold butterflies that wing it home in freshest streams of air
Long lazy lunches and dinners by the sea
Dark eyed children up too late, begging alms from you and me.
Wide stone steps leading up to vistas grand
The carpet sellers–the endless tea
The constant refrain–“come buy from me”
The harbours and the ferry trips, the clear azure sea
The beauty and tranquillity of today’s Gallipoli
The laurel and the olive leaves, the tales of gods of yore
The mediaeval castles, the horse of Troy—-and more–
The bright collage continues, flashing pictures in my head
Of white clad smiling women sitting punching out their bread
The images come bubbling out, those talks, and new friends too
The tribute to our leader which was done so well by you
You’ve sparked again our memories with that verse sent out by you
We thank you Mary for your poem
Which has brought back the joy, after one week home!