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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Ugly, the Good, the Luminous and the Rest

The ugly:
Another weekend not feeling quite right. Fever up to 37.7C, headache and oh-man-diarrhea. Sundays the lab is closed so after my 3 hour church service and before our dinner with friends, I lay my head on my pillow. This morning off to the clinic with my stinky poo sample in hand. Poo is tested and blood tested for both typhoid and malaria.

Before the lab results are even in, the doctor knows it's malaria. "How do you know?" I ask. He smiles knowingly. "I've been here 20 years," he says.

He was right. I do have malaria.

The good:
1- The doctor at the clinic was excellent. A great guy with lots of experience - 15 yrs in Germany and 20 in Ghana, including teaching at the med school.
2- There are meds! Hooray for medicine! I am told that in five days I should already be much better.
3- Since we went to the local clinic, they were local prices. 40,000 cedis for a consult ($4.80), 100,000 cedis for the lab work ($10.20) and 75,000 cedis for the meds ($9) that included pain killers, vitamins and the malaria treatment.

The luminous:
Last week, Chris and I met the friend of a friend of a friend. She's a Canadian working at the UNDP in human rights and governance. After our first talk, we agreed that I'd swing by her office and see if I can't lay my hand to some of the work she's doing. It seems that they are just starting a 4-yr project on human rights education for prison staff and potentially piloting literacy and basic education for prisoners. With my experience in El Salvador and some studies on prison issues, I will be volunteering in the first stages. There may even be some possibilities of funding for my work. So, I am absolutely beside myself with the opportunity to learn, to participate in a policy initiative with real positive long-term benefits for a marginalized population.

The rest:
Aside from the illness, we are doing quite well. Our new digs are suiting us quite well, we are both liking our work, last week I got to travel to another region of Ghana with the NGO I've been doing the program audit for, and just in general things that are interesting, fun and good.

On the weekend, we went to a party at the home of one of Chris' coworkers and on Sunday we had dinner with our new Ghanaian friend Edward who is married to a Russian woman Elena and they have two excellent kids. Their 10-yr-old son Elvis even did a hiphop dance for us and Ilona, 4, shared her extensive plastic horse collection. They all speak Russian at home and we even had a Russian dinner with beet and pickle salad. Elena makes the pickles herself.


Amanda said...

So glad you got a good doctor, and I hope you're feeling better soon. Am thinking of you and sending healing thoughts your way.

The news about the UNDP gig is so fantastic; I can't wait to hear more about it! Keep on keeping us posted; I check up on you guys every day!

Love, Amanda.

EB said...

Ditto what Amanda said - hope you recover quickly. I'll keep my other comments to myself (but wish you were in Canada - opps :) Take care.

Love Liz

jeffrey said...

Hope you have a fast recovery. Taking garlic everyday could be helpful to avoid disease even though its smell is not welcomed.

mavenmiia said...

Thanks to you all for your well wishes. The malaria treatment worked very well and since I've been taking magical iron pills to boost my blood recovery, life is fine indeed. In fact, I'm feeling better than I have in weeks!

Love to you all, Miia