We woke up to a knock on our door at 10 AM. We slept through checkout. At first on this trip, I would feel guilty, like I was wasting time sleeping… But now, I’ve realized that sometimes I need the sleep, especially after a long day of travel. We moved into the dorms (one night free before leaving on safari) and camped out yet again with coffee and our computers. It turned into a day at Red Chili, with a teensy break going into “town” for anything and everything to ward of mosquitos and malaria.
Computing at Red Chili was slow. Rather, the Wi-Fi was super slow, and most of the time I was staring at Flickr willing it to upload a single picture faster. We eventually gave up and walked into town for some malaria meds, mosquito repellent, and even a mosquito net to put above our beds if a guesthouse or campsite didn’t offer one. Full disclosure: I was not planning on taking any malaria prophylactics on this trip. I haven’t taken any throughout the five years of trips around S.E. Asia… and not that I don’t take malaria seriously (because, I do) I’m just super sensitive to medications (and sometimes allergic- especially to antibiotics) that I didn’t want to be in the middle of the bush breaking out in hives or having a worse reaction.
But, Andrew had decided to do some research and made the executive decision that I had to at least try taking the malaria prophylactics. I agreed. Very begrudgingly. We walked into the pharmacy and Andrew asked for Doxycycline and Artenam.
The pharmacist looked at him funny and asked, “You want to prevent and treat malaria at the same time?” We both began to giggle at him.
Andrew said, “Well, no… but, just in case…” And she shook her head and told him we only needed the Doxycycline (the prophylactic) for now. We got two boxes for a fraction of the price we heard others had paid for other malaria prophylactics in their home countries. We tracked down the mosquito repellent and net, had our first taste of matoke- I was wrong in the video, I thought it was mashed potatoes before I had a bite (think mashed potatoes only made with plantains instead) in the market and took our first round of Doxycycline before we headed back to Red Chili.
“Is your face burning?” I asked Andrew within fifteen minutes of taking the pill. He stopped, said he was fine, and examined my face. The area around one of my eyes was burning and I became slightly terrified I was going to go blind. Andrew asked if I wanted to go to one of the health clinics around, but I didn’t see how that would help matters. I told him we would go if I broke out in hives or my throat started closing up. Neither happened, but the burning sensation continued off and on for the rest of the night.