The Honey Moon Is Over

27 Jun

And that’s been apparent the last couple of weeks. Since site visit my attitude has been in the crapper with the stress of our mock language proficiency exam last Saturday, the time crunch in trying to complete a community assessment assignment, and changing up our language groups. The most frustrating thing of all is that I’m having a tough time finding the reset button for my attitude and I detest the way I’m interacting with folks as a result.

The end of last week can only be called comical. I woke up Thursday feeling a cold coming on. I decided to take a different route to the new place where I have my language class and ended up getting lost. Minutes after I realized I was not where I intended to be I got a phone call from another one of the language teachers to see if I had made it to my destination. Apparently, a woman had seen me on my walk and thought I was probably not where I should be and called the teacher. Luckily I was near a landmark so it was easy to get me headed in the right direction and soon enough I was where I needed to be. During class I was eating a banana and ended up dropping in on the ground, thankfully I had an extra. After a morning of struggling through the fog in my brain I decided I would be better served by a nap than a meal over the lunch break so I headed to the Hub and napped in one of the beds there.

As a souvenir from my nap at the Hub I ended up with 30-40 what I suspect are flea bites all over my body. I didn’t realize something was up until Friday afternoon and had already contaminated my bed, trunk, and the clothes I hang with the clothes I napped in at the hub. Saturday I hung my bedding out in the sun and figured I’d tackle the rest Sunday since I had Umuganda and a trip to Kigali monopolizing my time Saturday. While I haven’t done an official count, I’m fairly certain that I haven’t received any additional bites since Thursday. Which means there’s no need to wash ALL my clothes and go through the process of pouring boiling water over everything. The bites still itch today, Sunday and I wonder when they’ll go away and where they came from.

Other volunteers have had quite the time with bed bugs, chicken parasites, and fleas. Hearing their trials I thought I would die if I had to deal with something of that nature but confronted with the situation I found myself with a resolve to pin point the issue and develop a solution which I find comforting. Thursday and Friday nights I kept waking up to find myself scratching the bites all over my body. Saturday I contemplated if I should take Nyquil or Benadryl so I could sleep through the night since I woke up with a definite cold and had been itching all day. I was afraid if I took Nyquil that I might wet the bed since I eat so late that I usually have to go to the bathroom something fierce in the morning, often a couple of hours before my alarm goes off. So I opted for the Benadryl and slept wonderfully until my host mom plugged in the radio and started blaring Christian Kinyarwanda music at seven am. I couldn’t sleep in here even if I wanted to.


5 Responses to “The Honey Moon Is Over”

  1. Lily warrior June 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Heidi! You are having a wonderful adventure and I am enjoying every post. Someday you will look back and be amazed at all you have done and learned. You have stepped up to the plate and I’m so proud of you! Best, Susan

  2. Jessica Bell June 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    You make me laugh, cry, and reminisce about my experiences. 1.) Hang in there 2.) Casey got bedbugs, I laughed at her and then got them. Its not fun nor funny…I shouldn’t have laughed. 3.) You are amazing and doing wonderful work.

    Love you lots!

    • Heidi July 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Turns out my bed bugs were probably just flea bites because I didn’t get anymore and all I did was sun my bedding and mattress.

  3. Martha Sharon June 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    hi Heidi,
    thank you for sharing your blog; I just got into it. I don’t have time to read it at work, but sent it to my home, and told my husband to look at it. He was in Africa in the peace corps in the 1960’s, and tells me stories about it that would curl your toes; I am sure you understand. He said he was changed in a good way by it, though. I think that you are very brave to go; I admire your joie d vivre so much. I hope to keep up with your blog. Don’t give up!
    take care, Martha

    • Heidi June 30, 2011 at 7:21 am #

      Martha! Of COURSE it takes moving to Africa to hear from you 😉 Nevertheless I am happy to. Just the other day I was talking with trainees about what an isolating experience Peace Corps must’ve been in the days before the internet and even telephones were widespread in Africa. Kudos to your husband.

      I hope that you have an enjoyable summer in the islands. Take care.

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