I’ve been surprisingly lucky that I’ve gone six months in rural Africa without so much as a cold. But a couple of weeks ago I caught a stomach virus that was going around the peace corps volunteers. I started throwing up and couldn’t stop. It was after dark, so there wasn’t any more transportation to the nearest town or hospital. I called the lodge and they came and picked me up and drove me to the hospital, but not before I had thrown up eleven times in two hours. I’ve had food poisoning and the stomach flu before, but this seemed worse.
I am so lucky that I have a host organization like Maliba Lodge that was so easy to contact and helpful in getting me to the hospital. The hospital was in the camptown closest to my village, Butha-Buthe.
Even though it was after hours nurses were there and they gave me a charcoal drink and a shot to stop the stomach pains (though there was no alcohol swab or bandaid with the shot). I felt a lot better almost instantly, but was too weak to leave. Throughout the night I kept asking for water, and the nurses told me there was none. Finally they turned on the tap to show me that it was dry and there was no running water. Read more