I got really sick this morning. I tossed and turned all night and kept waking up freezing cold, which admittedly was strange because it was about 80 some degrees and there was no air conditioning. I remember touching my forehead and feeling that my skin was hot, but there was nothing that I wanted more than a sweatshirt or even an electric blanket. This was the one morning that I lay awake waiting for Sara’s alarm (usually she would have to convince me to get out of bed and I would end up scrambling to make it to breakfast or the bus on time). When her iphone apple ring alarm went off I whined, “Sara, I think I have a fever.” She inhaled really quickly and shot over to where our beds met in the center of the hut. After pulling up both our mosquito nets she felt my forehead and said, “yeah you’re burning up.” Luckily Sara had brought tons of individually wrapped different medications and knew to give me ibuprofen. She then threw on some clothes and went to Carol’s hut.
Carole came in about 15 minutes later with her hair wet. She told me that she was sorry she didn’t come sooner and felt my forehead too. It started to set in that I was going to miss the safari, which was early that morning. Carole explained that I really shouldn’t take my antibiotic unless I had actually gotten sick, which I hadn’t. But at this point, my body ached so badly I could barely move and I had thoroughly convinced myself that I had malaria. About two hours later, after lots of cold washcloths and water bottles, I did in fact get sick. The trick now was to keep the antibiotic down. The Safari Resort was about one hour away from any other building and about a six-hour drive from Kampala. Fever. Dehydration. Malaria. Whatever this was, I needed it to get better.
Two hours after I took the anti-biotic I woke up sweating and knew that my fever had broken. Now I just had to pick myself up and endure the six-hour bus ride to Kampala, about half of which was going to be on a dirt path that made the bus rock back and forth like the Indiana Jones ride. Sara gave me her pillow for the bus ride. It was sitting in my seat when I clambered on. I immediately thought of Teresa. She had taken my pillow home with her to Colorado and I wondered where it was now. Needless to say, I felt much better by the end of the day and was even able to eat some toasted breadstick crackers at our favorite pizza place in Kampala. Carol had spent at least half of her time in Africa taking care of students. I wish that I knew how to return the favor, because I am so glad that I was not missing the safari while sick and alone with the water buffalo and baboons.
The rest of the students and I deduced that I got sick from the drink that I had the night before. We invented a drink called a Waka Waka. It was my favorite Stoney ginger soda mixed with whiskey and ended up tasting quite a bit like a Dark and Stormy (Rum and non-alcoholic ginger beer with a lime). Because one of my favorite drinks is a Moscow Mule (Vodka and non-alcoholic ginger beer with a lime) I thought that I would try some Smirnoff with my Stoney at the bar. We came to the conclusion that the vodka must have been watered down with bad water. I had a rocks glass with a double shot and couldn’t even taste the vodka, not to mention that the drink had a strange stale flavor that seemed a bit odd. After two of the drinks I was sure that it was watered down because I wasn’t feeling anything. Sara and Gabby both tried my drink and were both not feeling well at all on the bus ride to Kampala the next afternoon. After all, why would the resort use expensive bottle water to cheapen a drink? Lesson I learned? Only drink colored liquor when in a developing country.