Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stuck inside of Lusaka with the Malaria blues again

The plan was perfect - leave Ndola early on Sunday morning to arrive in Lusaka by Noon. Spend the day in Lusaka doing last minute preparations and final work related emails and then head to Kasama for a village stay. Head to the market on Sunday and grab a gift or two for my intended host family, eat a good meal and most importantly GET SOME SLEEP!

But plans never work out as intended, which is why I am not a fan of rigid plans. Saturday night I felt ill - not desperately, but even my last meal with the Bala family was strained due to aches and fatigue. Sunday morning greeted me with similar symptoms and accompanying vomit. "Maybe it's a flu..." I boarded the motor coach in Ndola around 6:30. After a quick call and a text again thanking Joseph for his hospitality over the last six weeks it's already 6:52. The bus is full now and hitting the road. Symptoms persist. I try to dose on the bus in between conversations with my new friend headed to Mazabuka. I wonder if in Canada complete strangers can become fast friends just by sitting beside one another on a bus?

Upon arriving in Lusaka I felt improved - I met up with some other EWB volunteers (OVS). In the evening the symptoms came back in full force - they even brought their ugly cousins "chills and body pain". By nineteen hours (or so) I was slumped on a chair. The next day I went to the doctor with the help of an EWB volunteer. "You have Malaria." He handed me a bunch of pills for addressing the various symptoms (vomiting, pain, ect..) some coartem to kill the parasites... and Doxy to treat some other infection he thought I had. I left the doctors office with a pocket pharmacy and crashed.

Malaria round three. Despite wearing bug spray and sleeping under mosquito nets one (or more) little vampire(s) was able to bite me "seven to fifteen days" ago. Tricky mosquito, it must have known my plans and set out to destroy them with one little bite. What foresight on the part of a tiny insect.

So I'm stuck in Lusaka till at least Thursday. The doctor (who oddly was from Kasama. And all around the best doctor I have visited while overseas) told me "Kasama is very nice, but you can't travel for three days. Maybe more." So now I am waiting so patiently in Lusaka till I'm done my medicine and feeling well enough to step out into the world. Hopefully I can make it to Kasama on Thursday, but I'm not counting on anything!

Moral of the story: don't make time dependent plans at the last minute that can be easily derailed by something as tiny as forty thousand ish parasites swimming through your blood stream munching on red blood cells while throwing a party in your liver.


  1. Shit Patty,

    Best of luck and get better buddy!

  2. Thanks Luke! I had no idea you were following my blog. How are things in Jolly ol' Europe?