Mozambique

Writing this from Jo’burg airport. This is really the end of my trip. Doesn’t really feel like it though. I know I’ll be back for sure at some point, but I think I’m as ready as I can be to go home. It all feels a bit of a dream.

I’ve met so many cool people and had so many experiences… many planned, but most completely random.

Maputo was a good way to ease me back into Western life, mostly the availability of good food and standard of service set Maputo apart. Actually, in many ways Moz felt the most exotic and foreign place I’ve been because I don’t speak any Portuguese (luckily I had Vicente as my translator ;) ). We did a lot of eating, and shopping at markets for ingredients to cook with. We visited the geological and natural history museums which was super fun. On our last night in Maputo we cooked up a seafood fiesta with four others from the hostel. Or rather, Chevvy did the cooking. We made salad. And drank wine. Oh so much wine. Then smoked hookah.

On Thursday we took a chapa to Namaacha, about two hours from Maputo, where Vicente used to live. We stayed with his old host family, who speak no English. They were lovely though, and fed us and gave us a place to stay. Was good to see Moz other than the big city. So many times in Maputo I kept thinking “this doesn’t feel like Africa” – the restaurants, cafes and language are so European.

Mozambique… I’ll be back to see more of you soon enough.

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Bubble

I just paid fucking $3.50 on credit for water. Right now I hate western society.

I was only away two months and I feel so out of kilter with everything. On the one hand, nothing phases me, like traffic or lines or waiting. In fact, the orderliness of Perth traffic is unnerving. It weirded me out to see Australian money, and it’s dangerous that I actually have a working credit card.

I’m also not used to answering to anyone else. Or keeping a schedule. Now I have to factor other people in, and be on time to things. That’s going to be hard.

Also, the fact everyone is white and speaks good English, and isn’t greeting me is bizzare. And machine clean clothes? What the hell? No dirt under my fingernails? Footpaths? Fat people? Shit happens on time? You can drink tap water? Crazy.

I want to hold on to the feelings of knowing what’s important in life. And not being easily infuriated…. but I think the caring about crap and western impatience is beginning to come back. On the one hand Africa was eye opening, but it’s also its own bubble world.

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Kilimanjaro

What to say about Kili?

Still working out my feelings on this one. I’m glad I climbed it – for how much it cost, you’d want to be. Intense describes the experience well.

The climbing itself wasn’t particularly hard, it was less physically demanding than I expected. It’s the weather, the length of time spent climbing each day and the altitude. Oh, the altitude. I have never appreciated the ability to breathe quite so much.

I think overall Viv and I went pretty well with the altitude. The hardest day was the third, where you go from 3850m to 4600m at lava tower, then back to 3900m to sleep. We were both yawning and nauseous most of the way up. Then it began to snow ice pellets. At the top we both had splitting headaches so had to keep moving back down quickly.

Being above the clouds is pretty amazing. I think my favourite moment was the fourth night – the snow was shining in the moonlight and you could see sooo many stars, and there was a gap in the clouds where you could see faint lights from Moshi. I wish I could have taken a photo of how pretty it all was.

The three nights before the summit attempt were SO cold, and crazy and apparently unseasonsbly windy. I thought our tent was going to blow away. So over three nights I think I got about six hours sleep. On the summit attempt day you begin climbing at midnight by torchlight to reach the peak at sunrise.

I heard later that with the windchill, the temperature was colder than -20 degrees C. Certainly felt like it. I had seven layers on top, and four below. Around 4am my feet and hands were numb and I was sure I was getting frostbite and decided it wasn’t worth it. So I gave up and turned around somewhere between 5000 and 5200m (the peak is 5895m). Viv carried on though! Albeit crying the whole way because I ditched her (sorry!).

So, I didn’t make the top, but I was happy with my decision. I just didn’t want to keep going. I also didn’t want this to be another Tongariro – I decided not to go to Ngaurahoe peak when I was there because I wasn’t fit enough. Telling myself I’d come back to do it (its only in New Zealand). Howver, that volcano erupted about two weeks ago. Might be a while till I get to do that now. One day Uhuru!

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Arusha and Volunteering

Eek. I have been in Arusha for three weeks now and not found time to blog. I know you’re all devastated.

Vivian and I have been staying at a volunteer hostel, which is something between living in a giant incestuous family and the Big Brother house. Take what you will from that. It’s been oh so much fun, and there is a constant rotation of great people to hang out with. And inevitably, there is drama associated with any group of people living together and working together 24/7. Overall though, it’s been great, and I am already missing so many of the awesome people I have met.

Volunteering has been fun, and not quite what I expected. Viv and I signed up for volunteering in an orphanage, but spent the first two days painting a school for special needs kids. Which was good, but exhausting. After that we got to go to a baby home and basically play and feed babies all day. I discovered that babies aren’t exactly my thing… they are so much work! There were about nine of them under age two…  it was a steep learning curve, I’d never really had to change a baby, or feed one. I also had to very quickly be okay with being vomited on, peed on and snotted on. Good experience though overall. The babies were cute, and fun for a while. The girl who runs the baby home is my age, and has adopted four Tanzanian children. FOUR, AND SHE’S TWENTY THREE. Seriously, respect, but she is crazy! We also got to visit the children’s home set up by the owner of the hostel. Six kids between six and fourteen, we hung out and played soccer with them which was pretty awesome.

Arusha is a weird town – full of muzungus because of Kili, and volunteering and safaris. So it’s full of Western style restaurants and nightclubs. Naturally, there has been a lot of partying….

Vivian and I have been doing our best to learn more Swahili… East Africans have this custom of apologizing for ones misfortune on the most minor of things. Like, if you trip in the street, usually about three people will come up to you and say “oh pole sana” which is “sorry, very much”. The other week when returning from lunch to volunteering we all got completely drenched (most rain I’d seen in Africa, considering it’s dry season!) and then our shoes and legs were also covered in mud, and naturally about three people said “pole sana” to us. It’s really cute. I think I’m going to bring it to Australia.

Hmm, what else? We did a day trip to Moshi… about an hour from Arusha. Wasn’t to exciting, but we had good food and caught a few glimpses of the top of Kilimanjaro. OH and we did a one day safari to Lake Tarangerie – one day was certainly enough for us, we were falling asleep by 1pm (definitely nothing to do with going to bed at 5am and drinking all night). We saw elephants, lions, giraffes (my fave), warthogs, wildebeest, impala, antelopes, a snake, monkeys and zebras (my second fave)! I wasn’t that excited about the idea of a safari, but I’m so glad we did it. When I come back though, I am going to Ngorongoro Crater though!

Ok, that’s all I have to say about Arusha right now. Next blog: Kili.

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Zanzibar

So my updates have gotten a bit sporadic. This is pretty much entirely because I am no longer travelling alone, and it’s no longer acceptable for me to spend my lunchtimes writing blogs. Or emails. So sorry if I haven’t replied to your email lately.

Currently on a flight from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro, via Mwanza which seems strangely out of the way. But I’m thankful for some alone chill time that I have had very little of since the hilarious and occasionally inappropriate Vivian joined me last Sunday. All said with love of course. It’s great travelling with someone, but after a month alone its strange to get used to the fact I will be with someone for the whole rest of the trip. Even after Viv heads off to La Tomatina in Spain, I will be meeting Vicente in Maputo.

It’s funny to compare last time Viv and I travelled together – two years ago we didn’t know each other at all and then spent two weeks straight together in Seoul and Vancouver. It was a learning experience… its hard to be really honest with someone you don’t know at all, and they are going to be your “guaranteed friend” for the next six months in a foreign country. But now, our friendship is completely different, though odd because we are very different people. We make a good team though, we each bring useful traits to the table: I’m good with the less stress and practical skills like navigating, Viv is good at making interesting friends and ensuring I don’t do too many stupid things. Between the two of us we have a lot of fun.

ANYWAY Zanzibar. You just say it and it sounds exotic. My first few days were a bit quiet, waiting for Viv to arrive so I didn’t do much without her and I sort of needed to recover from the liver abuse and lack of sleep that was Mombasa…

Things we did: lots of wandering (and getting lost in) the streets of stone town, exploring the crazy markets of an evening, learning a lot about Ramadan, having impromptu Swahili lessons over masala tea, cocktails while watching sunset. We visited the former slave market, which is now a church, it was pretty messed up.

Tuesday we did a spice tour where we got to visit a spice farm and try lots of the spices, followed by a visit to Mangapwani caves (full of adorable, yet terrifying tiny bats) – also a site of the slave trade, and Mangapwani beach. We met some lovely Texan brothers on the tour. They had decided to swim out to an island, maybe 150m from the beach, so I accompanied them. Of course it was a coral reef island. Like all of the coast.
I managed to cut and scratch up my forearm, thigh, ankle, feet and hands. Finally getting to the top of the island dipping with blood and many expletives later. The quote of the day was “you might have more luck sitting on the dead crab: its softer” which sums up the whole island experience. That said it was worth it to jump off the top and squeal like a girl.

Wednesday, again we were hanging with our favourite Texan brothers. We went to Dolphin Beach to swim with dolphins (original name, huh?). This sounds nicer and more graceful than it was. Basically we were taken out in a boat to find the dolphins, which took a while, then when we did the boat would race them and position itself in front of them and then we were told to jump in the water and swim towards the dolphins. Of course there were about three other boats doing the same thing. And went twenty people jumped in the water from all different directions, naturally the dolphins decided to fuck off really deep into the ocean. It was still cool, and dolphins are really beautiful animals. I got quite close twice. After this we snorkelled on the reef. Then we were taken to Jozani Forest, home of the red and white Colobus monkeys. They are so adorable, and entirely wild. But apparently so accustomed to humans… we patted one. Probably weren’t really meant to.

Thursday’s itinerary included a visit to the House of Wonders – chock full of information and artifacts, but terribly organised. Named so as it was the first house with electricity and running water, also the main target of the shortest war in history – forty five minutes. Checked out the only Hindu temple in Zanzi – so beautiful, I’d never been to a Hindu temple before. Thanks to Simon T I think I will always have a thing for checking out religious sites of minority religions in places. It was quite hidden and the people who ran it seemed confused by our presence. We had lunch at a rooftop restaurant with hibiscus tea which is delicious, then Ethiopian dinner with our Texan buddies. They’d made friends with an eighth generation goldsmith, who took us to one of his workshops and gave us a tour which was a pretty unique experience.

Early start Friday – 5am for the 7am ferry to Dar. There has been a few crashes in the past year so I was a little nervous, and this is why Viv and I traveled separately to Arusha, she flew. The ferry was meant to be a little under two hours. It took two and a half and was awfully rough. I was pushing it for time even if the ferry was on schedule – my flight to Arusha was at 11am. It was so rough that I had the feeling of my stomach being in my lungs approximately every thirty seconds. At least half the boat was sea sick (I discovered that luckily I don’t get sea sick!). I decided to go for a walk (it was more like an awkward stumble) and ended up talking to one of the ferry staff – we had to lean against a wall for stability. He decided that I should be in first class (a whole $5 more than economy), they had air con, couches and flatscreen tvs! Plus it was gentler upstairs. Sometimes being a girl is great. I got to watch Jackie Chan films. Bizzare cultural fusion.

Had to run for a taxi, the traffic in Dar is ridiculous… but I managed to check in as boarding was beginning at 10.30am. I simultaneously love and hate Africa time.

Anyway, here I am in Arusha now. Got to see Kilimanjaro when flying in. It’s so huge! Unbelievably huge. I’m climbing that in thirteen days.

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Welcome to my motherfucking country: Five muzungos take on Mombasa

The title of this was a rather enthusiastic greeting from an old man in the street to a group of us. Every Kenyan I’ve met has been incredibly friendly and willing to help you out. Which is interesting as I thought Kenya would be the most dangerous and difficult place I’d visit on this trip.

I’ve stayed the past five days at Mombasa Backpackers, who I would recommend to anyone coming to Mombasa. Basically a big party house in a compound full of dorms, nice tunes, cheap food, good rates for beds and beers, a pool AND five minutes from the beach. Ok, so it has cold showers, it’s so warm here it doesn’t matter. No they didn’t pay me to say that, I really love this place.

I’ve never stuck around a hostel alone, or long enough to form a clique. The second night I ended up drinking with a crowd of Kenyan British kids, playing drinking games. Earlier in the day I’d visited Fort Jesus and the old town. Again reminded me of Essouira in Morocco. Dirty, busy, winding streets, cats, seaside, Muslims, call to prayer, melting pot of cultures, rich history. Felt a bit like the city was kicking my arse… just was finding attention from men (everyone really) tiring. Think I’d hit the first wall of traveling. The novelty had warn off and I was sick of being different, and never feeling clean and wanted some ‘normal’ food. Compounded by the fact I discovered I’d lost my SD card with all my Malawi and Rwanda photos. It’s still missing. I am still kicking myself.

Then the next day I met an American, Brit, and South African who I’d been in contact with through Lonely Planet forums. I took a tuk tuk (see pic) to Diani beach, which is south of Mombasa which you get to via a ferry. I visited The Colobus Trust which was awesome. By the time I got back to the hostel the others had started on Tusker, the local beer, so I joined them for the next eleven hours. Interspersed with night swims.

The next day was spent commiserating our sore heads and napping off our hangovers, with more swims. We were joined by a Canadian guy – I think someone made references to us covering all the corners of “The Empire”. We didn’t quite manage another eleven hours of drinking, but we made a fair effort. Realistically, most of what made Mombasa awesome has been agreed to stay in Mombasa. But I really haven’t laughed as much over those three days as I think I have all year. My stomach muscles hurt a little.

The next day we went exploring the old town, in search of Amex, a post office, sarongs, samosas, and ATM’s. It’s funny the things you’ll do with someone you just met. If it weren’t for random strangers I would never have gotten on a motorbike in Rwanda, walked around at night in Malawi, considered going to Mozambique, started buying and cooking my own food from markets here in Zanzi (means I may even get by not have to ask my parents for more money!), or even tried any street food for fear of getting sick. But I tried pretty much everything that appeared to be vegetarian in Mombasa, making everyone else try it too so I wasn’t the only person to get sick (I’m kind, no?). It was all quite delicious, and I am very much still alive.

Avocado juice – better than it sounds.

Freaking delicious street food.

Fruit salad in a bag. Yep.

I offered this to who was child begging for money. They didn’t want it. Despite the awkwardness of eating it, it was good!

Exploring the markets and old town, I think we were all a lot more comfortable as a big group, much easier to chat to shop owners and joke and barter without having to watch your back constantly. It’s incredible the intensity of bonding that can happen between strangers who away from home and familiarity. We were sharing food and waterbottles and in jokes in no time. So many experiences that made Mombasa amazing that I don’t think I will ever forget.

The last night was a much quieter affair, as we all had early planes and trains to catch. That said, mangoes and a bike still ended up in the pool. You have my heart, Mombasa.

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Snapshot: First impressions of Zanzi during Ramadan

It’s 8pm as I write this over the last few mouthfuls of my first self cooked meal in a month. Which if you know me, is very out of routine. For the first time this trip I have access to a kitchen, you see. I’ve opted for a bastardised version of pasta arrabiata, using ingredients from the local market. Dried pasta noodles, garlic, onion, green capsicum, tomatoes, a chilli pepper and some roasted cashews for protein / cheese effect. All up, its cost me about $1.80, and there is so much food. Yep, I’ve braved boiling local water, using local raw veggies with, like, dirt on them when you buy them. After a month here I finally feel pretty much entirely comfortable in markets, talking to locals, joking and bartering, and testing my Swahili. Finally have gotten used to being a muzongo and realising that all the attention has no ill will behind it, mere curiosity and an odd attempt at welcoming.

Arriving in Zanzi today I’d had approximately one hours sleep the previous night, and about eleven over the preceding three days. The post explaining this is under work. Food is hitting that sweet spot that makes me want to sleep standing.

I’ll try and keep it short… I just want to provide a verbal snapshot of this moment. Not being Muslim, it hadn’t occurred to me that I was going to two major Muslim cities in east Africa during Ramadan (Mombasa and Zanzibar). Right now I’m quite excited about the fact. Sure it means a lot of cheaper, local restaurants are closed during the day. But it means the city comes alive at night. All advice I’d been given about Zanzi included “whatever you do, don’t walk alone at night”. Fair enough. It’s Africa. However all locals I’ve asked have assured me that during Ramadan the city will be busy all evening and I will be completely safe. (Edit: went out, stuck to main streets, survived, in fact got less attention than usual.)

But from where I sit, outside I can hear women gossiping, calls to prayer layering over one another, children playing and occasional cats fighting. I feel like I am, at least right now aurally, privy to a unique cultural practice, that normally never really crosses my consciousness. I think this will be interesting…

Been talking a lot to a guy who works at this lodge, he suggested I try fasting for a bit. I might just do that. Purity and all. Ha.

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Rock this Bitch: Musanze

Got up at 5am today (Thursday) to trek up to the ruins of Dian Fossey’s research site, Karisoke. I have to say, this actually felt more important to me than seeing the gorillas themselves, after studying primatology. I was lucky enough to see Jane Goodall speak in Calgary two years ago. So this felt similarly special. The trek wasn’t, or shouldn’tve been particularly taxing but I think I’m still lacking some stamina from being sick. Was a beautiful walk through rainforest. Surprisingly cold – there is actually a quote from Dian Fossey “in the heart of central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat, are great, old volcanoes… the Virungas”. For our trek we were flanked by three army guys with terrifyingly big guns, apparently for our safety from elephants and buffalo. I personally think our proximity to the Congo border had more to do with it. Though you could see plenty of evidence of buffalos, we also saw antelopes and a gorilla – we think – in the distance. That’s good enough for me.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it might be like to be hacked to death with machetes this week. Rwanda is cheery!

My guide on the Dian Fossey trek was a girl, which was cool. She was only twenty and asked me a lot of questions about Hillsong. I didn’t know it had spread outside Australia…. yuck.

This afternoon I went to see what lonely planet called Musanze Cave. No one seemed to know what I was talking about, but I convinced a boda boda driver to take me out of town, where he asked some university kids what I was looking for. About eight twenty year old boys led me down into a cave system… I kept asking if it was safe because the tourist office said they no longer give out permits due to the bats and rabies problem. I didn’t actually go in. Some of the boys did and said there was a “bad person” in there – the cave (not sure which part) was a site of a huge massacre during the genocide, so I wonder if that’s what they meant?

Then they said there was another entrance, about a ten minute walk away and took me there. In fact there are thirty one entrances to the system. I got some cool photos from outside, got to wander a little around the university and chatted to some local kids. Walking through the uni we attracted a bunch of young kids who ran ahead into the cave, so I’m probably responsible now for a rabies outbreak in this town.

Friday was another 5am start to climb Mt Bisoke, towering over Musanze at 3,711m. You begin from the carpark at 2,500m, so it’s a solid climb for a half day. The first forty mins is the same as the Dian Fossey trek, then it splits and goes up up up. I think I’m having trouble with the altitude, because pretty soon I had to stop every ten steps to let my heart rate return to a vaguely acceptable rate. And then I started getting dizzy. I wanted to quit so many times. How the fuck am I going to handle Kilimanjaro?

Eventually one of the guides just grabbed my hand and started dragging me singing “five more minutes, five more minutes, FIVE MORE MINUTES JUMP JUMP JUMP FIVE MORE MINUTES”. I think that went on for about half an hour. The song became “three more minutes”. But I got to the top, above the clouds. I saw the crater lake. I collapsed next to the crater lake. It was pretty. Could see into DRC and Uganda. Coming down was a breeze compared to up, apart from the rain. Managed to get stung by stinging nettles – like the name suggests, they sting a surprising amount. I really really hope my energy and stamina is just fucked up from being sick, probably not eating a lot lately hasn’t helped.

Another 5am start Saturday for tracking golden monkeys! Nice easy walk today, the monkeys were adorable, think I got lots of decent photos! Then had to battle the crowds to get a bus ticket back to Kigali. University had broken up the day before so there were heaps of people trying to get buses.At midday, they told me there were no bus tickets till 7pm. I went and asked again and managed to get on a bus at 3pm. Had to fight my way on by getting my pack under the bus first, but I was still towards the back of the crowd then the driver pointed at me and told me to get on, so I’m pretty sure I got a lot of filthy looks from the locals. Perk of being a lone white female though. I’ve learnt that there are times where you really just have to be a bitch. Getting a seat on a bus, bargaining for transport costs and ignoring children asking for money are these times. I used to be so polite and apologetic, I really don’t care now.

Leaving Rwanda today for Kenya!

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Kigali

Kigali reminds me of Morocco more than anywhere else. French (Belgian actually, sadly no waffles spied yet) influences, heat, and clearly there’s a lot more money here than Malawi.

Rwanda is tiny – I looked it up, its a third of the size of Tasmania. So many mountains for such a tiny space! Been carrying contraband all over the countryside – plastic bags are banned here.

I’ve also been riding motorbikes around town. As a passenger, to clarify. Or “boda bodas” as they’re known. Sorry Mum. But I’m telling you now that I’m still alive and not going to do it again. There were helmets, okay? I only squealed once I think, and now after about six times I’m pretty comfortable on them…

Road rules are not really a thing, sides of the road are a mere suggestion. Lanes? Ha. However many cars you can fit, that’s how many lanes there are. I imagine its rather like south east Asia from what I’ve heard, crossing the road = walk and they will go around you, and follow the locals.

Language was easy in Kigali, generally. Less English out here in Muzanze, kind of sandwiched between the borders of DRC and Uganda. French is coming back to me though, find it gets a warmer response than English.

Muzongo is the stock standard term for someone who is white, but its not a bad word, used all over East Africa even where there are no common languages. Today I bought a mango on the street from an old lady, and her friend said to her “muzongo something haha” which I assume was like “white girl is buying a mango, hahaha”. I love that they think we don’t know what it means!

It’s hard to adjust to “Africa time”, which is totally a thing. I have to keep my impatient Westerner attitude under control sometimes. Kigali is a city of slow walkers. But I am thankful that I am far less of a novelty here… not everyone wants to greet me like in Malawi. Feel much safer and will walk around at night a little (only after I did so with a man and realised it was actually fine).

The genocide memorial was an excellent museum. Very professionally put together, neutral, informative and modern. The weight of it hit me quite hard at first. So… horrifying to see it all laid out, the calculating hatred and pure evil. By about a third of the way through I became kind of desensitised, detached. The upper floor of the museum is dedicated to other genocides of the past century, most of which I knew nothing about. It was really interesting though, and really cool of them to put the Rwandan genocide in context. I also like the French spelling of genocide, jenoside.

One of the rooms was a “children’s room”, which I thought was like a display for kids, help them understand genocide (retrospectively, why would anyone do that!?). No. Room full of pictures, with blurbs describing children’s favourite foods, first words, best friends etc, and finally how they were killed. Oh with photos. If the rest of the museum wasn’t confronting enough, then this should’ve done the trick.

There are 250,000 individuals remains buried at the memorial. The hardest thing to stomach, I think, was something the museum said, and I’d never heard and I hope its untrue. But in 1932, the Belgians classified everyone who had more than ten cows as Tutsi, and those with less as Hutu. So, if its true, effectively the massacre of a million people in a hundred days comes down to cows. Fuck.

The disconnect is weird. I have handled a lot of dead peoples bones at uni – children even – who’s families donated them to science. With only the occasional passing thought as to how these used to be people. Many skeletons were old, they worried me less. But the children… it amazes me that those children’s parents could allow them to be used for education (and I am grateful that they did donate them). But seeing photographs of skeletons of those have been brutally murdered is so much more confronting than actually handling real bones. For me anyway.

Sorry for not very good writing. Been typing on my phone as I go when I stop for lunch and that kind of thing. Gives you a more “this is my reaction to this”, however probably doesn’t make for engaging, easy reading.

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Lilongwe to Kigali

I will spare you the details. It’s food poisoning, you get it. I spent my flight from Lilongwe to Nairobi pretty much lying on the floor of the plane bathroom (Mrs Jugs, it’s not a cityrail train, and it wasn’t alcohol induced, but I’m ticking it off the bucket list!).

There are three main points I want to make about this experience:

1. Don’t go overseas without bringing tablets that stop you from throwing up. I can’t believe I didn’t have any of these.

2. Despite my apprehension about Kenya Airways, after a friend linked me this article. They were actually pretty good, even if they charged me an extra $6 for a meal I didn’t end up eating. Though they did make me walk off the plane, despite the fact I told them I couldn’t and had to sit down every ten steps or so, they gave me a doctor and a bunch of drugs.

3. After the doctor gave me all the drugs and left me to my own devices I was kind of stuck, being unable to really walk due to extreme dizzyness, but also knowing I needed sugar and to, at some point, get myself to the gate for my next flight. I kept trying to get someone official looking’s attention. After this failed about three times a guy who was sitting near me offered to go get someone for me. No one ever came, but the guy kept me company and coaxed me to drink the horrible tasting oral rehydration crap. I say “coaxed” but it was more gruffly barked “drink” “drink” “drink”, and just having SOMEONE talk to me made me feel so much better. He also made me start walking around to get my blood pressure back up. Turned out he was actually a doctor, haha. I am so grateful for his presence and kindness.

Turns out I might be twenty-three and travelling Africa solo. But if I’m sick, I’m going to call my mum. No matter how much it will cost me on my Australian mobile. I think the biggest purpose it served was to worry her and make me cry. But it’s what you do.

Took me a full three days to be okay. Still pretty weak, and my Rwanda plans have been messed up a heap. But I factored a lot of time here. I keep thinking “if only I’d gone to Mozambique instead of Lilongwe”, ah well. Experiences, right?

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