Campfire Stories

On Closing the Gap

It is a Saturday in Spring, and the venue is on a hill in Mission Beach, Tropical North Queensland. The green islands float below on silk, and the azure wrapping cradles the chalky sands, offering little handshakes of frothy waves to the beach. Why did I ever agree to a medical conference on a day like this?

Part 1 Cyclone Yasi

The war in the windows has been going on for months.

Sue and Sarah lived right next to each other and spent their time spying on each other through their windows, brewing and stewing on new information. Sue’s dog was neglected; Sarah’s dog was barking and scaring Sue’s cat.

Ship Ahoy!

Mossel Bay shelters from the sea on the south coast of South Africa. The seaside of the land spear takes the brunt of the turbulent and unpredictable waters over the edge of the continental shelf, called the Agulhas Bank.

Feet of Clay

The pitch of the engine noise rose to a crescendo as the plane went into a dive, roaring over the hospital, sending dental syringes clattering on the steel tray.

Death & Dying

My initial idea was to hold back on this story until we got to know each other better. But then I thought, no, let’s get it over and done with. Death’s scary shadow lurking in the dark has caused enough chills in this place!



The dust was glued to the skies and hung over the yards like bad news on a Sabbath. The vet was in a hurry to get back to his surgery, but the listless cattle were slow to move in the midday heat.

Frames and Silos

I bet you’ve felt boring and uninteresting at least a few times. Especially after looking in the mirror, right? And then some people seem to just stay on the merry-go-round, cruise around problems, find answers, invent solutions or talk infinitely about interesting things. This makes us feel even more incapable and boring. Well, at least, that is how I experience it.

Ubaba ('my father')

It’s just after midnight in the emergency department of the city hospital. The cleaner looks tired and frustrated. He kick-pushes the water bucket with his boot, dips the mop, and looks over his shoulder. The screaming and shouting have subsided a bit. He turns to clean up more of the vomit and blood on the floor.

Skin lesion of concern?
Create a simple MoleScope account and consult with Dr Gabriël Roux online
Welcome & Housekeeping

Campfire Stories Dear Visitor, Colleague, Friend, Customer, Patient or Family member,

You’re welcome to join my 2-weekly blog stories originating mainly in Africa and Australia.

The short stories based on actual events should be captivating and written against the backdrop of nature, medicine, culture and everything making us tick. Please note that where applicable, the names of people and places have been changed to protect privacy.

The blogs are the beta version of concepts and stories in a series of 3 books — still in the making. You are invited to rate your enjoyment, give feedback, participate in discussions or simply sit back and enjoy. Many of the stories will warm your heart, but some will be challenging and controversial. It is, after all, also an honest and critical review of the fascinating journey called “Life.”

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However, this simply requires a fair level of decorum and regard for the rest of us around the campfire.

Dr. Gabriël

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