Tummy Aches


This blog entry about the events of Friday, April 23, 2004 was originally posted on April 28, 2004.

DAY 188:  If you’ve kept up with The Blog since the beginning, you know that when I mention issues of the stomach I sometimes feature photos of my own diarrhea.  Fans of these photos (as “sick” as they are) may be disappointed at this entry for this day was filled with others having stomach problems, and I didn’t exactly follow them to the toilet with a camera.

First thing in the morning, my dormmate Ed rushed to the bathroom feeling sick.  Later that day he found out he had the pathogenic cyst giardia, possibly from drinking contaminated water.  The stomach sickness kept him in bed all day, away from his NAUI scuba certification class with the Taro, Mari and two other Japanese diving students.

“HEY!  IT’S THE GIRL FROM MEXICO!” guys called out to Anel as we and Maaike walked into town via the dirt road to buy some supplies.  Fezelle, the guy who followed me around the day before, was waiting for me on the street to tell me he hadn’t started making the shirt he said he would make for me; he wanted approval on a beige shirt to paint on since I told him I wanted blue.  “It’s fine,” I told him. 

At the markets I was looking for a wide-mouth bottle of sorts so that I could put my little camera inside to waterproof it for canoe trips.  No such bottle existed in town — a Gatorade bottle from home would have been perfect — so I just wandered the vendors with the Mexican and Dutch girls, who were shopping for a notebook and a blanket.

MOST OF MY EARLY AFTERNOON was a lazy one, sitting out on the lakeshore watching the local fishermen in canoes work collectively with fishing nets.  Fezelle did paint me a shirt after all, and politely came over to give it to me.  I paid him what I owed him and that was that.  I tried to write but fell asleep instead in a wooden lounge chair.  When I awoke I was approached by a guy named Benson who was going around trying to sell tours from Chimango Tours, the only tour company in town.  I had already enquired at the office in town the day before about bike tours and told Benson to go find me a second person so I could meet the two-person minimum requirement.  Anel, who was nearby, was iffy.

I had just finished eating a bunch of crackers with one of my cans of tuna when Luka decided to take a break from his work at the desk and suggested swimming across the bay and back — a total distance of one kilometer.

“I just ate,” Anel argued to Luka.

“Right after eating is when you must do your strongest exercise,” Luka retorted.

“It’s not good for the stomach,” Anel said.  “In Mexico, after eating we sleep.  The siesta.  It’s famous.”

The two argued back and forth.  I told Luka I’d go in an hour.

When the hour was up, Luka and I were out on the lake with fins on.  We stopped at the floating platform to pick up any other volunteers — Maaike and a guy from Mzuzu were up to the challenge.  Maaike and I took our time (I still felt the food in my stomach) while the two Malawians had an unofficial race, each representing their respective cities.  They did the one kilometer in about ten minutes.

“Anel, she bewitched me,” Luka told me back at the bar.  He got a tummy ache from all that exertion after eating after all. 

AFTER HER MEXICAN SIESTA, Anel was up for Take Two of our canoing (picture above) across the bay. The day before we zig-zagged across the way and capsized on the way back, having to swim the canoe back to base.  This time around we were much more controlled, keeping a straighter path despite the heavier waves caused by the winds.  The waves crashed into the rocks on the other end of the bay, making it near impossible to dock, but luckily a lone boy in another canoe who didn’t speak any English helped us and led us to a bank where we could keep the canoe without it floating away.  He left us to snorkel for a bit, but it was getting dark already so we head back — only to fall out twice.  Fortunately for us, the canoe didn’t flip over and fill with water.

ED WAS STILL RECUPERATING from his giardia stomach sickness with pills he got from the clinic when I ran into Maia on the pathway from the dorm.

“Are you trying to do the bike tour tomorrow?” she asked me.  “They told me that there was a Japanese guy who didn’t have a Japanese accent at Mayoka who was interested.  I said, I think I know who it is.”

Upon discussing it at dinner, Anel was convinced to go as well.

AFTER ANEL AND I TAUGHT KENNEDY SOME SPANISH, we just hung out at the bar.  A group of rowdy guys and their dressed-like-stripper girl friends from Mozambique came to stir things up from the usual chilled out atmosphere — being loud, obnoxious and rude.  One of the Japanese guys put them in their place on the pool table, schooling every one of them.  Anel told me the rowdy Mozambiqueans — the type which she called necos in Mexico — were at Mayoka a couple of weeks before and were just as disruptive of the vibe then.  But business is business and you can’t just deny someone for being different.

Those guys didn’t stay long and went into another bar in town.  One of them started a fight with a local guy and stabbed him in the stomach with a broken beer bottle — which resulted in an open wound so big, people saw the victim’s intestines spill out.  Now if that didn’t take the prize for the worst tummy ache of the day, I don’t know what is.

(By the way, the guy was rushed to the hospital and the assailant, who fled, was arrested in Mzuzu.)

Next entry: More Than Just A Lake

Previous entry: The Malawian Feel

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Tummy Aches”

  • dude no pics of the intestine?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  04:42 PM

  • holy crap! those sound like some rough dudes - how’d you find out about the assault?

    Posted by dunlavey  on  04/28  at  06:41 PM

  • if only the gods must be crazy dropped down a wide mouth cocacola bottle, huh?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  06:45 PM

  • no pics of the stripper chicks?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  11:09 PM

  • dood..stripper chicks = automatic flash!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  11:53 PM

  • SCOTT/LOVEPENNY:  Um, those guys spilled out a guys INTESTINES remember?  Don’t worry, they weren’t hot, just wearing suggestive clothing…

    DUNLAVEY:  In a town of about a thousand people, word gets around fast…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  03:38 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
More Than Just A Lake

Previous entry:
The Malawian Feel


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