I have been feeling somewhat lethargic with stomach cramps from the end of the safari till a few days ago. Then hell broke loose. I won’t go into the gory details, but it including farting, pain in my intestines and finally diarrhea. My wife, Meryl, is an MD and it was clear to the two of us that Kili (or Africa — we need to determine this) had given us a gift to take home.
We looked at all the exotic parasites, but it became clear it was a more run-of-the-mill variety: Giardia. This is called the “outdoorsman sickness” and is typically transmitted via tainted water that was contaminated somehow with human feces or by a transmission of human feces, like a wall being touch, to a water or food supply. Given the conditions of the camp, I am not surprised this is not rampant. Check out this site for example: http://www.giardiasis.org/Index.aspx.
I have been a pretty bad state for the last few days and it hit me that if I had something I wonder if my buddies did. I wrote an email and it appears at least 3 of the other 5 did get something similar. Ori didn’t get it since it happened, I believe, at base camp. The condistions were so beyond the pale, all we needed was a porter to touch ANY surface of those filthy bath-stalls and then touch something related with our food or water supply. Or, water that was not completely boiled. That simple.
So Meryl, my doctor wife, says she does not “do” Africa because of diseases. I see what she means as I run again to the bathroom! (Except this one is everywhere, even the U.S., and in places such as a kids daycare center). Most common form of transmitted diarrhea in kids…