13 November 2011

The day of Shida (Problems).


I awoke groggy on Wednesday.  I took about 5 pills to get me going: one routine pill, 2 to stop my body from aching ALL over, and 2 more to slow down my intestines…

I slowly started to pack.  It was the easiest packing job of my life:  I was only taking home 3 dresses and a skirt.  And my new T-Stars Jersey.

I left everything else for the kids.

I only wish I could have brought more to leave.


What started out as a trip of 3 girls going to town to have a nice lunch and drop me off at the airport quickly turned into a huge trip of 10 people going to town for various reasons: 2 for the hospital, one to visit his sick wife (people tend to get really sick in rainy season), 1 driver, 1 guy to fix a tire, 1 lady to direct everything, and 3 girls going to town.

I was ok with lunch probably not happening as I felt too nauseous to eat breakfast anyway.

But Stephanie reminded me I had yet to throw up, which I was quite thankful for.


I realized I never got to say goodbye to the girls the night before.  I was too sick to move from bed and I fell asleep around 7 pm.  They were already in school by the time I drug myself out of bed and drank the tea Julia ever-so-sweetly made for me.

I hate saying goodbye anyway.

I think God knocked me out because he didn’t want to see my heart break into 1,000 pieces.


We got near town and hit a lot of traffic.

Which is funny because not that many people actually own vehicles, so traffic isn’t a normal thing.  But neither is police walking around with machine guns on their backs.  They explained that there were some riots in town and no one could get in or out.

Not that I really wanted to leave, but I really didn’t want to buy another plane ticket.  I wonder if “riots in the town you’re flying out of” is an excusable reason to miss a plane flight?

Thankfully, our driver knew the back way around town.  We made it to the airport and I was beginning to feel much better.  Stephanie made a beeline for samosas, yummy meat filled pastries.  I went to see if I could get my boarding pass printed.

I was able to get a boarding pass, but I was forced to enter through security and passport control before I could eat a samosa.

Or say goodbye.  I even had the security guard call out “goodbye Julia!” for me, but he said no one answered him.  I hoped Julia knew it was ok to leave the airport.

I made it through all security checkpoints before I realized I had no water to take my next round of malaria pills with.  I could buy water, except I left the last of my money with Julia to use.  Hmmm. 

I dug through my bag and found fruit snacks. I thought possibly they would make me salivate enough to swallow the pills.  But actually, I discovered if I chewed one up really well then I could throw a pill in my mouth and swallow it all.  It was brilliant.  Delicious.  I highly recommend it if you find yourself in a similar situation.

I looked out the window and saw Logos, our vehicle!  Julia and friends must still be at the airport!  I got squishy close to the man sitting near the window so I could look out and try to see any of my friends from JBFC so I could wave bye.  I just really needed to say goodbye before I left.  I felt like I might cry if I didn’t.

I saw Cha Cha and Rachel and the Driver.  I knocked on the window and waved my arms around violently, which elicited more than one crazy look from the airport lounge occupiers. 

Finally they saw me and motioned for Julia and Stephanie to wave goodbye too.  They were still waiting outside the security checkpoint hoping to pass me a samosa.  No luck on the samosa, but I got to wave goodbye with minimal tears in my eyes!  I was so thankful for the chance to wave!

I was fed gourmet food on the plane.  A coke and a “beef” sandwich with a cucumber and cheese spread on it.  Better than nothing.

I have always looked through the seat pockets in planes, glancing at the airplane safety card, the sky mall magazine, the airplane sickness bag, and the airline magazine.  I always wondered if anyone really had good enough aim to actually make it in the airplane sickness bag.  I mean, honestly, I sometimes have problems hitting the toilet when I’m sick, and it’s at least 4 times the size of the airplane sickness bags.

But good news friends, I can aim.

We’ll just say that I am now able to cross off one of the unofficial goals on my life “to-do” list.  I felt really terrible handing my used baggie to the flight attendant.  I sealed it up for him all nicely.  I don’t think he was really happy to grab it.  But probably he was happier than if I had missed the bag entirely.


I made it to Dar Es Salaam, which used to be the capitol, but now it’s Dodoma.  I walked through the airport, dragging myself because I felt yucky.  And exhausted.  I took notice of all the trash cans along the way just in case.  Now that I know I can aim, I need to know where my closest target is.

I was fine and made it onto the second plane.  I was served a meal of fish-on-the-bone.  I wasn’t feeling up to eating it anyway, but I spooned myself a scoop of orange juice every minute.  I didn’t want to hydrate myself too quickly and end up tasting my food again. 

I made it to Johannesburg around 11 pm and grabbed a cab for my hotel.  I got to the hotel and loved it.  Soft bed.  Cute room.  Free internet.

I fell asleep soundly and didn’t wake up until the wakeup call the next morning.  Fabulous.

I highly recommend Life Hotel in Johannesburg.  It’s close to the airport and has a free airport shuttle, which saves you about 60 dollars.  It also has free breakfast.

Which I was able to eat the next day after 2 more rounds of malaria medicine.  I had fresh fruit and granola, taking it easy because my stomach was still a bit uneasy.

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