Sunday, May 23, 2010

Africa is a doozie. The flu is horrendous. Bus travel is torturous. Mosquitos are out for blood. I mean, even more so than normal. For the first time ever on this trip, we have begun to question how much longer we really want to do this. Ahead of us lie the great pyramids of Egypt, the intrigue of Zanzibar, a volunteering job in Kenya. But if I am to be perfectly honest, right now my own bed, a stack of blockbuster movies and some take out sounds much more enticing.

We are fairly confident that this phase shall pass. Once we are fully back to good health and in destinations with lots to see, we'll get back in the swing of things. People say you hit a hump around three months, and if you survive that you can keep going forever. At three months we laughed at the thought of it. Looks like our hump has arrived two months late.

The thought of venturing through India after a few more months in Africa blows my mind. To jump in the fire after being put through the ringer. To add insult to injury. We have had thoughts of skipping the challenging stuff and going straight to someplace like Australia instead. Though who knows, maybe we will be hardened, rugged travelers by then and approach India with ease. Either way, it's good to know we have otpions. Our itinerary could change, the time spent on the road could be shorter or it could be longer. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that we aren't bound to anything and can, at any time, do as we please.

Today, I had to visit the hospital in Malawi for emergency shots of adrenaline and hydrocortizone. Prompted by what, we'll never know, my entire body had broken out into a horrific rash. In 24 hours it had spread from bug-bite looking dots on my arms, to welts covering my entire body and working their way quickly up my face. My knees were so swolen from scratching them that I could hardly walk. It was pretty terrifying, and in my head I began to develop a plan for finding the nearest international airport and getting home asap.

Luckily, however, our hostel is literally around the corner from a hospital. A good hospital, clean and efficient and nearly as nice as any you may find at home. I can't think of any place we have been in weeks that could have offered us this level of care. The doctors are also English speaking, a luxury that would not have been the case if this had happened to me even one day sooner. We truly have been blessed.

And that, I suppose, is one of the most important things to learn from this experience. To know we are being watched over, and that somehow it will always work out in the end. To have faith that no matter what befalls us, it could always have been worse. To gain confidence in our ability to take care of one another under any circumstances, so far away from home. To embrace that we can choose any path in this journey, and support one another in whatever decisions are made.

So, for the time being, we're stickin' within the vicinity of this hospital. Then it's onto whatever may lie ahead.


  1. I hope you feel better soon!!!

  2. Shannon Ho'NealMay 25, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Your rash sounds really scary. So glad you were close to a good hospital. Keep your faith and courage and take care.