"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Manzanilla tea vs. 100.2 degrees

I was perfectly fine yesterday until I took a shower. It wasn't a cold shower, not a hot shower, somewhere in between. Somehow after the shower, I felt terrible. I was freezing cold, and curled up in bed to shiver for an hour before finally falling asleep. And it's not that cold in my room - like 64* at night which isn't terrible at all. I spent a winter in New Mexico in a room that went down to 42* and lower at night... this is nothing.

When I woke up, my throat hurt and I coughed some drip out, popped one of those throat numbing tablets in my med kit (haha, am I the first to use my kit??), and went to breakfast. I tried to explain my symptoms as best I could to my host mom, and I'm happy to say my family seems to totally get me. I had one fried disc of platano verde (YUM YUM YUM) and would have had more if I didn't feel so lousy. And then, as seems the fashion around here, we were rushing out the door. My host mom Paula led me to the bus stop many blocks east from here, and we waited for probably 20ish minutes before it finally showed up. $.20 will get you anywhere in Tumbaco. The ride to Campo Alegro (our training center) is easy, but the way back is harder...

So we arrived at "school" and I thanked Paula. We had a full schedule today about policies and the like, and I'm heartbroken to say PCT/PCVs have been prohibited from going to Banos, or anywhere near the volcano Tungurahua. It being one of the reasons I was beyond happy to accept my invitation, I was less than pleased today.

At lunch, we wandered up the dirt road to a casa where, in the back, the family had a cozy restaurant set up. Lunch is just $2, and included a soup, a salad, rice, a chicken leg, pina juice, and a watermelon slice. Unfortunately, the soup had a chunk of beef in it and I think it was chicken broth. But Chloe nabbed my chicken leg so all was well with that.

More meetings and more of me trying very hard to pay attention to the speakers and our activities and not to how cold I was or how achy my head and body were. I'll admit it was a bad day for my Spanish, I felt annoyed and just wanted to speak English. With any kind of illness, it's no fun to expend energy other than taking care of oneself. Finally, it was 4:30 and we waited for the bus outside. The first one to pass didn't have Paula, but the one 40ish minutes later did. She showed me how to get home, so I sure hope I can manage my way there and back tomorrow. She asked me if she should come with and I said... no... I'll try alone!

Greta, my host abuela, immediately asked if I wanted something hot to drink. Yes, I said, hot is good. She presented a cup of manzanilla and lemon and ordered me to drink it all while it was hot, and when I slowed down, Paula took her place. It took a while, and Paula and I made small talk... I realized mid-conversation that *I was speaking Spanish and understanding most of it*. Sweet relief, I thought, this is possible! And then we even had an argument in Spanish! She asked if I wanted to put more tea in my metal bottle, and I said no, it's only for cold water. She then told me yes, I need to drink warm liquids. And I bowed my head in defeat and said OK. Con dulce? No, sin dulce. I laughed.

So out of curiosity I busted out the med kid again and took out a disposable thermometer. Ugh, 100.2*F, a low grade fever. Best remedy - rest, liquids, stay warm. I'm keeping an eye on it, but I must say, I'm really excited to see the PC medical team tomorrow. I don't know why I'm ill, but maybe it's a reaction to the vaccines we had a couple days ago?


  1. Bummer about the illness! And double bummer about Banos! :( GREAT news about your Spanish, though! I never had any doubts, honestly. This is so fun to read.

  2. It's perfectly normal to spike a temperature after getting vaccines. I hope you feel better soon! And just imagine all your cute little B-cells working away to churn out antibodies!

  3. I agree with Amanda :)

    Huge bummer about Banos...but maybe in two years time it will be cleared.

  4. oh. and just wait until you get a stomach bug...then youll have colada to drink...kind of like a hot smoothie of platanos....not the tastiest thing but it does the job.

  5. Uggh. Blogger ate my other, longer comment. So I'll just say sorry that you're feeling bad. Welcome to the sickie club ; p

  6. LJ - I'm glad :) Also happy to see you posting!!! :)

    Amanda - Somehow yes, that makes me feel better! My host mom's doctor friend and the PC doctora both agreed it was probably due to the vaccines... yellow fever, I think was the vote...

    Jen - in two years or whenever I close service, I'm going straight to banos. But two years sounds like a very long time... and I'm not excited about that stomach bug thing! My host mom made me a smoothie of platano y leche de soya the other day - very tasty and I drank it all, but I'm way not used to bananas or platanos!! I'm forseeing a problem here for me: everything is so sweet!

    Strix - Many thanks :P Technically you came in sick and I only had a short reaction to vaccines (maybe) so I won't count us among the first to get sick in Ecuador ;)