Friday, February 16, 2007

Its not a boil

Well, the diagnosis is out. It was not a boil. it was not a tumor(thank god). It was no worm. drum roll was:
Pyomyositis, also known as tropical pyomyositis or myositis tropicans is a bacterial infection of the skeletal muscles which results in a pus-filled abscess. Pyomyositis is more common in tropical areas but can also occur in the temperate zones. Pyomyositis is most often caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The infection can affect any skeletal muscle, but most often infects the large muscle groups such as the quadriceps or gluteal muscles. In tropical regions, the infection often follows minor trauma, while in temperate zones the infection typically occurs in people with immune deficiencies. The abscess within the muscle must be drained surgically and antibiotics given to fully clear the infection

How I got it baffles the doctors. One doctor had seen quite a few cases while working in the bush, but it was difficult to diagnose in me because of my syptoms. I Perhaps because I had pnemeunai before my immune system was weak? I dont know. Perhaps because I just live in the bush? who really knows. but I NEVER want to ever have one again. That was the worst experience I have had medically. Horrid pain in my chest muscles. and they had to SQUEEZE the pus out-pushing on tender, swollen bruised muscles. gaah. it was wretched. On the upnote, I have a wonderful friend who has a wonderful conection on a island off the coast of Dar that I will recover on. I have no idea how I can repay him.

Last night was a bittersweet night for me. My very best friend in Tanzania, my sister and my confidant, was sent home due to logistics of paperwork in a silly beuracracy. A talented, motivated, inspirational and driven volunteer sent home for a trivial and assinine reason. We spent our last night together remembering our crazy adventures and laughing at how much we have grown up in just the last 5 months we have been here. Laura, I love you. I will continue to love you and I know you will do amazing things with your amazing amount of energy. Tanzania has lost a beautiful soul. Take care of yourself. You will always remain in our hearts.

I go with a heavy heart and a releived heart. I am going to miss a great friend, and I do not have a tumor. to every good there is a bad-thank you for your prayers for me. Please say some for my friend.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

back in Dar

Hello hello!

Back in Dar, yet again. I am a medical nightmare for the Peace Corps! I have some sort of weirdo lump on my ribcage....perhaps a boil? perhaps something else? if it doesn't "come to a boil" in the next few days, I get to have a byopsy....and if its nothing benign then who knows? maybe a trip somewhere to get it removed? I'll let you all know more when I know more. But PRAY that it isn't serious. I have just found my niche in my village, I have great project ideas and I am NOT ready to leave by any means what-so-ever.

This last weekend, I had a 'house-warming' party and invited the teachers in my school, neighbors and some of my wazungu(white people) friends in the area and we taught the Tanzanians to cook burritos. Although we had to use chapati(like pita bread sort of) instead of tortillas. They were delicious! homemade everything! we were supposed to kill a chicken-yes, the vegetarian WAS going to kill it herself!, but it didn't arrive until my guests were leaving on Sunday, and seeing as though I dont eat chicken, I gave it as a gift to my house girl. I dont think I have ever seen anyone so happy. Made me feel good.

In the village news, I now have a huge rat problem. six. let me repeat..SIX rats. HUGE. and I just moved my bedroom into the room that has no ceiling b/c I am turning the other room in my house into a classroom for the people I am teaching English. I go to my room the night before I leave for Dar and I see a rat ON MY BED! the size of a small cat and damn! it runs fast! Ran all over my room, so I decided to spend the night in my 'office'. they are probably taking over my house while I'm here...but little do they know that I am about to wage war as soon as I get back. its on!

Thats all for now! Over and out.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

whirlwind week

hello to all! What a week! hit the ground running! My week has been quite full-i started teaching computer classes to all the teachers-private half hour lessons, and encountered quite a dilemma-there is only one outlet in the 'computer lab'...which means although we have 8 computers, only 1 can turn on. So, at the moment I am trying to get that fixed as well as get more computers to my school and MAYBE a printer if i'm lucky....we'll see. all the teachers are super excited about this opportunity and are practicallly at eachothers throats trying to get to the computers-at the moment i am teaching everyone to type....and its actually quite humorous. its like watching a 3 year old learn to type...we were all there once. also i started a community english class out of my home-teaching some mamas in the village that live near me;) I LOVE it, and they are so happy! I hear them practicing with eachother all next plans are to start up a 'English club' at school, with the assistance of some of the teachers at MDabulo, we will facilitate classes for all the students so their englsih could improve a little more.....After that, I think i'll be stretched thin, with teaching 27 periods at school, community englsih classes, school english classes and trying to help plan hiv/aids seminars. Whew! BUT, I'm loving every minute of it. Its the most rewarding hting I have done in a while. AND my students are finally starting to warm up to me, coming to my office to ask questions, participating in class discussions....i can't wait for you to come visit and see(this is directed at those of you who are coming...) my school! And THANKS TO ALL who responded about my book project so well. This weekend I am hosting a 'housewarming' party for myself.....going to learn how to kill and cook a chicken so I can make my friends chicken burritos...from SCRACTH, literally, everything I make I will either grow or kill!

Last weekend, i met with a fabulous family, the3 vintons, who are doing amazing work in the villages-the run a program called Village Schools, where their students speak outstanding english-ranked one of the top schools in the region. I got tons of ideas from them on how to teach english, as well as their support on some of my HIVAIDS work. if you have time, you should read about them! thats all, love you!