Thursday, June 21, 2012

Queen Elizabeth National Park + Malaria

This past weekend, a few of the other interns and I took a 4 hour bus ride to Queen Elizabeth National Park!  I didn’t actually know where we were going until I met up with the other interns, I just agreed to join them on a safari last minute.  Regardless, we had a great time.  We arrived in an even smaller town than Masaka in Western Uganda then hired a driver to take us to the city of Katwe.  When we got there we were so shocked to see how different the landscape of Western Uganda is compared to the region that we live in. The air was different, the landscape, and most notably to me the color of the sand lol.  We arrived and met up with Ouma and Thomas, our safari guides who work for USAID we randomly heard about through a girl in Kampala the weekend before.  They were really cool and showed us to the hostel we would be staying at.  So this hostel was… lets just say…very local.  The rooms were nothing like the Mzungu hostels we usually stay at but I guess its cool to say we experienced it right? Ciara and me shared a teeny bed but only had to pay 10,000 shillings (4 bucks) a night! So I would say it was worth it.  That night we got food then decided to pay boda boda drivers to chase after hippos in the river for 5,000 shillings.  It was one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever done and now looking back, it could have been veryyyy dangerous had there been a baby hippo and an angry hippo mama around but all ended well.  All of us interns had a blast doing it and loved how, “Chasing hippos on boda boda” sounded haha.
The next morning at 6:20 am we met up with Ouma and Thomas to take us on the Safari.  I know the pictures can speak more to the experience, but let me say it felt so unreal to be sitting on top of a moving van, in Africa, trekking for wild animals. After the safari ride we took a safari boat ride where we got to see even more animals.  My favorites were the Elephants for sure.  Definitely a day I won’t forget :). Thanks to my Mom who forced me to go on this trip and sent me some extra money to do it! I really appreciate it!

Yo girl got malaria. Yup, again. And don’t ask me how because I have no idea.  While at Queen Elizabeth I felt very sick and even had a fever.  I went to a local clinic in Katwe to get medicine but by the time I was home on Sunday I knew something was wrong.  My host mom took me to the hospital Sunday night and the doctors told me that I would need to say over night.  For the time I was there I had blood work done, injections, and was hooked up to 4 IV drips.  And to make matters worse, I had to stay an extra night.  While I was lying in the hospital and in between crying and almost vomiting, I did a lot of wall watching and thinking.  Something I noticed while wall watching is that every time ants pass one another; they always stop and greet whomever they pass. Humans should be more like ants.  What I was thinking about was, my sucky situation of being suck in a Ugandan hospital with no one telling me what’s being injected into my body and how grateful I am for the people in my life.  My host Mom stayed by my side the whole time and did everything in her power to make me comfortable and happy.  She just met me 5 weeks ago and was treating me as if I was one of her own.  I was also thinking about my real Mom back home, she stayed in constant contact with me the whole time and called who ever she could to make sure I would be all right.  She does worry a lot so I felt bad that I was so far away and she had absolutely no control over the situation. My Dad helped me to stay calm and made me realize that my health really does come first.  He got pissed when I told him I was mad I was in the hospital because I would be missing work haha. Anyway, I’m glad that I am well enough to write this without feeling the need to vomit.  Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes! 


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