The journey of adventuring doctor Joan Louwrens

Dr Joan Louwrens visits the Antarctic.

“Life is a daring adventure – or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

Grab a cuppa and get comfy in front of your PC screen for the U3A Helderberg live-streamed presentation on Wednesday April 7, at 10am, when Dr Joan Louwrens, a doctor who dared to combine medicine with adventure, will share some of her many breath-taking experiences in the four corners of the world.

As a young widow and single parent, South African-born, Zimbabwe-schooled and UCT-qualified doctor Dr Louwrens directed her energy, curiosity and spirit of adventure to take her little family to far flung places like Tristan da Cunha and St Helena Islands, usually in the name of work.

She found working in wild and desolate places therapeutic and gratifying, so as her parental responsibilities diminished, her travelling jobs flourished.

Ships and bicycles and lots of endurance saw her cross the oceans, seven continents and many mountains, Dr Louwrens was always learning new lessons and experiencing the natural world.

Dr Joan Louwrens on her bicycle in the Zambezi Zone during the Tour d’Afrique.

The southern tip of Africa is, however, where her heart is, and she loves living close to nature on her small farm in Knysna surrounded by the indigenous forest and its animal dwellers.

Nevertheless her unconventional spirit means she is easily lured to work alongside the animals in the Kruger National Park from time to time.

Her life remains an adventure, with medicine playing a smaller role, her bicycle still looming large and being a grandmother adding a new challenge.

Dr Louwrens has written two books: Making Tracks (R100) and A Wilder Life (R270), both of which are available at Exclusive Books, the second book with a 10% discount for U3A members.

Members of U3A Helderberg will receive an email with the link to this talk in the preceding week. All members are reminded that the monthly presentations are now streamed live online.

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