Saturday, September 17th, 2016

6:42 pm

I would love a real shower right now. Like REALLY love it. Since I’ve been at my home-stay (just over 2 weeks) I’ve been living without running water. While there is a water system in the house, the taps are rarely ever on.  The city has a very dispersed share of water and electricity, so both can randomly turn off for any length of time. My home has been fortunate enough to not have to go without power yet. However, some of the guys in our program who live just down the street have theirs turned off for long periods of time, multiple days a week. On the flip side I’ve only ever seen our water on about 3-4 times for roughly half hour periods. It’s very random so you just sort of have to deal with it.

At this point you’re probably wondering how I shower. BUCKETS!!!!! So whenever the taps do come on, we spend most of that time filling up as many big buckets as we can. Then we keep them in our shower for us to use when we need to wash ourselves. I just take a little bucket and pour the water over my head, which feels twice as cold when you’re living in this heat. It takes longer than it would to have a shower with a running tap, cause you have to awkwardly pause and stand there cold while you try and wash your hair. Usually half way through I give up pouring it on myself and just dunk my head into the bucket. So much easier than having to pour with one hand and try to get the shampoo out with the other!

…Also if you still haven’t heard I got really sick last week. While sitting in class I started having really bad nausea, and ran out past the professor to go puke in the washroom. After sitting on the bathroom floor spinning for a few minutes I finally thought I could go back to class. Less than 10 minutes later I found myself back on the bathroom floor. At this point I decided I needed to go to see a doctor, as the symptoms started hitting me really fast. All the symptoms of malaria. Even though I’m on Malarone, I was semi-convinced it was what I had. Fortunate enough my program coordinator told me where I could find a western style hospital which I then took a taxi too. While I still had to pay out of pocket, which I’m not used to in Canada, I was seen almost immediately by a doctor. I’m terrified of needles, but he took my blood and told me I had a bacterial infection in my intestines from either water or food I had ingested. FUN. My stomach was having the worst cramps so he offered to give me a needle in my stomach, but I politely said I’d rather just deal with the pain myself.

Being sick at home is never fun, but being sick in another country is always worse. You really miss the comfort of home and just want to be in your own bed. At least I did anyways. I was on three different medications, one of which gave me the craziest dreams. So that was kinda fun. I did get over my sickness in a few days, so I only missed a day and a half of class. I’m back to feeling great and having a good time, and happy I got that sick phase over with. From now on I’m going to be a lot more careful what I eat and drink!

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Published by

Taylor Holmes

Studying Cultural Anthropology and International Development at Trent University

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