When You Are a Worry Wart Who Starts Acting Like a Hypochondriac

So I bruised my ribs. No big deal, Google said to take Ibuprofuen and ice them for 72 hrs. That was not a problem on Friday.

That was not a problem on Saturday morning; I woke up feeling at least 30% better, right on schedule. I made pancakes, with bananas. And then I sneezed. 

One of those super violent sneezes, one where you know it’s coming and you can’t duck and cover, you just wait helplessly for the 30 secs in slow motion to pass as your body heaves. And in that moment, all the healing was undone.

The pain was horrible. I hobbled to the couch, abondoned cleaning the dishes, was brought pills and the frozen butter (I have since switched to a frozen water bottle). I slept on that couch for 2 hrs, till I told myself off for being lazy and made it through the rest of the day. 

But, I started to wonder – had I broken anything? Google said if I could successfully take deep breaths, I was fine…Okay, no problem. 

Then came dinner: sort of pasta bake made with cheese, eggs and frozen veggies. Minutes later I had that “I might throw up” feeling, I swallowed. I went cold. I went hot. I excused myself from learning about the problems with thr South African rugby team, grabbed my frozen water bottle and a cup of hot water and retreated to my room. 

I took my temperature. 97F. Google said not to worry until 95F. Okay. I was cold, my arms were cold. Had I somehow cut off blood circulation? Would I be blue in the morning? I did have a frozen water bottle pressed against my chest, which might explain the chill. Okay, remove water bottle. 

I warmed up, the clamminess in my fingers went down, but my right arm feels puffy…Did I get bit by a spider? I don’t feel itchy and I can’t see anything, is it just extra muscle build up (yay)?..Everything feels heavy, but it feels lighter than ten minutes ago. 

The bruised ribs have sand-balled (ha) in my mind into broken ribs, torn arteries, deadly spider bites, possible amputations…

I’m typing this in bed, but I’m not going to publish it until I make it through to the morning.

I woke up! I’m alive! It’s dark outside, check watch, 1am – oof. Ribs feel good, arm still feels warm and is definitely a bit swollen, must be having an allergic reaction – take pills. 

Go back to bed.

Wake up, 6am! Light outside – I made it! Arm swelling has gone down enough to pinpoint warm point where there is probably a bite, it is towards my back and I can’t see it, but highly doubtful it is some flesh easting disease. 

On reflection – excellent that I brought a first aid kit the size of a day pack. And that you can google medical issues and not choose the WebMD suggestion. 

When You Run Like a Baby Elephant

On Saturday, a life long dream was accomplished: riding a horse (who liked to run) over sand dunes and across a beach (very Lawrence of Arabia).

This sand dune might not look high, but i promise it was super high, the horses were struggling not to sink

My horse, Storm, loved to run. Unfortunately, the other thing she liked was biting the other horses, which was good cause when we got to the beach, she took the lead the had a great time, but was also bad because anytime anyone else got close, she went for them. She was like the Mike Tyson of horses, if she wasn’t going to win fair, she was going to win by inflicting facial reconstructive surgery. 

Being in the lead

The ride was two and a half hours, and if you haven’t ridden in a long time, that is a long time. By the end my thighs were saying “I can’t go up and down anymore, please stop, oh good, we are cantoring, this is better, nope, ouch, shouldn’t have stopped doing those squats” 

As expected, when we got off, we could barely walk, and as expected the next day was worse. My lower body hurt so much, I really was walking like an elderly person who had misplaced their cane and was doing the best they could.

At one point on Sunday I had to run to a car, which caused strangers to stare and my friends to laugh, because me old-lady running also looks like floppy baby elephant running (see example video)

No, I Will Not Fall In Love With A Poacher

A co-worker had spent the last couple of weeks of December saying, “I bet you’re going to fall in love with a poacher” (you know who you are), “like you’re not going to know he is a poacher, still…” I tried to give so much side-eye that I thought my eyes would fall off my face.

Cut to Friday, we walk across the path to the bar, and outside there is a Mad Max looking vehicle (unfortunately did not have my camera, but it was a jeep with a hunting seat mounted on the back). My first thought was “who owns the Mad Max vehicle?”, Not putting together that it was for hunting, I was hoping it was more for observing…Or hoping that they had secretly started filming the next Mad Max and maybe Tom Hardy had escaped from set and ran away to our little watering hole. 

I pushed through the doors and came upon a gentleman smoking a cigar, wearing a safari shirt, shorts and one of those old leather safari vests, if he didn’t look so German/ possibly related to Trump, and poacher-ish, it might have looked like a scene from a Vogue, “Back to Africa” shoot. 

I sat at a bar, ordered a rum and coke, which comes as a shot of rum and a bottle of coke. He picked up my coke and said “Shall I poor for you?” Had I accidentally gotten in a time machine and travelled back to 1910? Was someone from NBC’s  Timeless going to show up and make me sign a release?

I asked about his vehicle, and he proceeded to tell me about shooting jackals: farmers call him with a jackal problem and he comes out, chases them down, and then shoots them. Side note – I am sure they are pests, but I feel like there needs to be a better way….

“Must remove myself from situation before I become attracted to semi-poacher and make coworker correct” I thought, politely saying that I had a pool game to go lose. (Second side note, it would have taken a lot of rum to find him attractive)

Safe for now, you know who you are….

Before You Shower, You May Want to Use Doom

It’s dark outside, it’s 9pm, a couple of us have been at the beach all day (I know, life is so hard), I get up from the porch and proclaim that I am off to take a shower.

The 24yr old (who, about an hour ago informed everyone that at my age I could be the mother of the 17yr old volunteer who just left) says, “before you shower, you may want to use Doom – there are a lot of mosquitos”

Mind you, she has been at the volunteer house all day, and for the past two weeks I have been waging a losing war to get everyone to keep the front door closed.

“That’s why we have to keep that door closed” I say, “to keep the mosquitos out”

“That’s why we have Doom” she says.


Handy tip – as long as a light is on, most the mosquitos will be attracted to that and will leave you in peace- or distract them long enough for you to take a shower.

Unfortunately, as I type this, I can already hear foreign movement in my room, so who knows what will happen when the lights go off.

FlatTires: How to Make People Who Don’t Have Cars Say “ohhh fun!”

Usually in Africa, where there is one flat tire, there is another, and another and well, you might as well replace all of them at once – including the spare, because with any luck your spare is also flat due to the fact that you forgot to switch it out the last time you had a flat tire.

When we left in the morning we knew our back tire was on the side of “almost flat”, about an hour later, our front tire was what you might call “squished”

Here is Dan, feeling incredibly manly (first tire he’s ever changed), only to realize a few seconds later that while he had done an amazing job on replacing tires, his effort was for naught: as soon as we took the jack off, it became evident that our spare was also flat.

We slowly drove back to the lodge where we replaced two more tires – we stole new tires from other vehicles and left notes on the flats that said “we are flat”

The next day we got another. And, now there is some serious doubt as to whether there are any non-flat tires anywhere on the reserve.

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but a flat certainly does.

Note – this story is actually from last week, but this morning we are replacing another flat tire, with what we haven’t figured out yet, so it’s an appropriate post.