In a past post I referenced how I had been lucky to not get sick yet. That time came to an end a few days ago. The fire breathing dragon made an appearance finally. I decided to jump of the ledge, take the risk, participate in cultural exchange and I made the conscious decision to eat pig intestines with my family. It ended up being a Friday-Monday show down with me and the bathroom and then a trip to Phnom Penh to visit with our Peace Corps doctors and a stay in a hotel room for a night. This mean’t I missed a bit of training and I got to see a different side of my host family.
As soon as I told them I was sick they told me to go rest, made me babasa (rice porridge) and brought me a bushel of bananas. They would come in and visit me as I snuggled in my bed with my fan. They were so generous and kept trying to put three different protein sources in front of me to eat (which at the time sounded incredibly unappetizing). It wasn’t until I told them that the doctor said I should only eat babasa and bananas that they fell into this routine for a couple days. They brought me plenty of fruit as you can see in this photo below and this level of love and care that they showed me helped me to feel safe and secure during my first illness in country.
In country illness is a beast. I still feel like a toddler here and voicing what you want or need in a foreign country to a family with a different concept of healthcare is different and having to run to a bathroom shared by 13 people every half hour throughout the night is uncomfortable to say the least. My poor grandmother probably didn’t sleep since I was in and out of her room going to the bathroom all night. She never said anything to me about it but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t awake during it. The funny thing is that that very same night we got stuck biking in a massive thunderstorm on the way to our next study session and my mom was convinced I had a cold from that. I told my mom I had diarrhea and a fever and she still called it a cold. I pushed back once and said I don’t have a cold I have diarrhea and she was admit I had a cold so I let that one go real quick. My mom also asked if I wanted to be coined on multiple occasions and if you don’t know what that is google it. Let’s just say I politely said no many times because I didn’t want to endure the pain. Yet another instance of me being a wuss.
Now we can fast forward to now. I’m all better and will never eat any intestines of any kind again. I’ll make sure of that. I have some exciting posts to share with you soon so stay tuned!
From the Eastern Hemisphere,