August 10, 2008  (Sunday) ........back from the edge

As I mentioned yesterday, the highs don't last very long until more challenges or blunders poke you in the nose. Got sick for the first time, at least where I really felt sick.

Saturday A.M. I went for an easy run with Andrew Peterson who lives and works here in Bujumbura. I had met Andrew in Kigali when I first landed in Africa last month. It was only my second exercise other than walking since I got here a month ago. In the afternoon I was out on the streets in the heat quite a bit. I think I initially failed to rehydrate properly, then continued to neglect the situation. At 5pm , Andrew and I and a friend of his, Mike Bollings, on his way to the Congo with Search for Common Ground had some drinks and walked back to Andrew's to get some food for supper. I began losing any interest in eating and decided to return to my hotel about a half mile away. I barely made it and was achy and feverish. Funny we had been talking about illness and evacuation home if needed.

Mike had worked in the Sudan and mentioned one co-worker coming down with cholera. Anyway I did have a fan in my room and tried to sleep with it going full blast. This kept my temp down and I popped a Tylenol for the joint pain. Of course my imagination was going wild most of the time I was awake. I did get a little sleep but it took me quite awhile to get organized. I wasn't sure whether I would come back to Andrew's and sleep there tonight, without a fan and a lot of mosquitoes or stay at the hotel. I decided I would stay the extra day at the hotel for reasons of comfort. Anyway I walked down to Andrew's which is attached to the Quaker church from where I'm sending this letter. I bought a baguette on the way and ate a good portion of that and drank two cups of coffee and feel almost human again.

I'm scheduled to go to visit Florence Ntakaturimana and her family this afternoon which I now think will be possible. Tomorrow, there is a car scheduled to drive several of us back up to Gitega for the regional meeting and final event on my dance card.

Best to all,
George, a mediator in recovery. .


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