A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sleep

The Energy Is Off

Today has been kind of a blur. Someone else even commented on how the energy here has just been kind of weird. I think we are all feeling off because we only have a couple of days left so it’s hard to know how to feel. I also didn’t run today, and I always feel a little weird when I don’t. It was 3AM when I decided not to run. That’s when I woke up for about the 10th time because my roommates were talking. It’s been hard to sleep because one roommate has been sick since the start of week 2, this same roommate also has African Tick Fever which has given her hives. In order to relieve some of the discomfort from the hives, she turns the fan on, which makes my other roommate sneeze; therefore, my room is NOT a conducive space for sleep. I was a zombie when I woke up, and I was a bit annoyed because I physically wanted to run but was too mentally tired.

The good thing about my roommate having tick fever is that I was able to switch from Holiday Club to the Homeopathy Clinic (her morning project). This ended up being my first really positive experience at clinic. In this area, the homeopathy clinic is only open the last week of each month, so there was a huge line of people outside waiting for an appointment – there was even a woman taking advantage of the line and selling snacks/fruit. I took vitals on the people in line for about 3 hours. It was nice to be outside and the nurses were nice and accommodating. For example, I didn’t feel comfortable measuring respiration (manually) and the nurse nicely said just to do what I was comfortable with. It was nice to be in an environment where the nurses were patient and knew how to smile. I just asked our volunteer coordinator and apparently this clinic is run by private doctors who have clinics in their hometowns and come to Khula Village as volunteers. Patients pay a really small fee (like R5 – which $1 is ~R14.5) and are seen by Afrikaans doctors. Very interesting to me.

When I got home, I slept straight through lunch. I was so tired. Afternoon session was a clinic session, so we talked to patients about heart burn and indigestion. Honestly, I didn’t/still don’t know much about the topic. Afterwards, a patient asked our names, where we were from, and what our jobs were. I said I was in school to be a doctor and then he started asking questions about constipation and how to prevent it and also about alcohol and why it’s bad and how much he should drink in one month. My mind was running around trying to figure out how to answer them because everyone was looking at me (there was only me, another volunteer who is a linguistics major, and the translator). I was like no, please stop! At the end of each sentence, I tried to throw in “…but you should probably go to the clinic to know more.” He seemed satisfied, thankfully. We finished by sorting patient files which was honestly all my mind could handle at the time; I was so out of it.

Now I’m feeling a lot better, mentally, though. I think the nap helped and I don’t feel so weird about missing my run this morning. I facetime called my mom for about 10 minutes – jealous my family is going to my grandma’s today – then watched Lilo and Stich while doing rehab and sitting on a lacrosse ball to loosen up my hips. Dinna time now. I guess I’d say overall a pretty solid – if not very bizarre feeling – day.

Posted by kfkeane 09:02 Archived in South Africa Tagged family sleep run sick information volunteer session clinic bite tick homeopathy pulse vitals afrikaan respiration Comments (0)

A Braai and a Purge

semi-overcast 65 °F

Today was a bit different than normal. In the Zulu community, there is a Chief who governs three villages, and then a King who is head of seven villages. The King recently died and his funeral was today. A lot of people in the Lodge went to the funeral. I decided not to go because 1) it was 7 hours long 2) all in Zulu. I am very happy with my decision. I slept in an until 7:30. Then the people who stayed home cleaned the Lodge. I decided I would sweep the floors and organize the living/dining space. It was so much fun! We had a great playlist and the company was just as great. After cleaning, a couple of us went for a run. I saw a small pack of Impala, which are kind of like South African deer, in the same place I'd seen the Zebra the day before. Also, the funniest thing happened when I finished my run. A couple of teenage African boys were walking past, and they tend to stare at white women, so of course they were basically gawking at me. All of a sudden I hear this big "thwack!". One of the boys had run into a stop sign while gawking at me and had fallen to the ground. It was hilarious. The rest of the afternoon was really enjoyable. I think today was my favorite day here yet.

After lunch, I FaceTimed my sister. It was so good to catch up with her and I loved seeing her and my dogs. My friend and I walked to the beach afterwards and as always, it was gorgeous. It was pretty chilly today, though, and my hands didn't warm up until about 9PM - mostly because when I got home I showered, and there is no hot water here, so I only became colder. The good thing is that after my shower I had dinner to look forward to. The lodge was hosting a Braai tonight, which is the South African version of a BBQ. We had chicken shish kabobs, cole slaw, grilled corn, potato salad, sausage, and drinks. It was soooo much fun! I think we are going to try and do it again the Friday before leaving. After the Braai, everyone decided to start making mixed drinks and then decided to go out to the bar. St. Lucia is popping this weekend because the Harley Davidson's of South Africa are staying across the street and are throwing quite the party. I stayed back from the bar with three others and we watched The Purge. The movie is freaky but pretty good. At one point, though, I went to get snacks and one of the friends who had stayed behind with us was drunk and decided it would be funny to get a mask and scare me...it worked. I seriously let out the most realistic, blood-curdling scream ever! I'm not sure that friend has drank much before because it felt like we were taking care of an elementary schooler the entire night. It made for good memories, though, and I'm glad I had some other people to help. Honestly, they were much better at dealing with the situation than me.

All in all, today was a great day. I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep and the Hippo and Croc tour tomorrow. Goodnight all. Sweet dreams of things not related to masks and purges.

Posted by kfkeane 13:10 Archived in South Africa Tagged water beach drink king friends sun party sleep bar relaxing bbq meat volunteer cold movie braai grill popcorn harley_davidson kabob Comments (2)

Wait, I'm here!

79 °F
View Ann Arbor, MI -> Toronto, Canada on kfkeane's travel map.

I'm here!!! My favorite part of the trip thus far has been the drive from the airport to St. Lucia. The driver played some really cool African music and the scenery was gorgeous. Also, I FINALLY SLEPT!!!!! After staying at the airport for 8 hours, almost falling asleep while playing cards, then falling asleep while sitting up after playing cards, I got 2 hours of straight sleep in the car.

St. Lucia, at least the downtown where our volunteer house is, is actually really small. It makes my hometown seem big and booming, which is pretty hard to do. We got here around 5 then had an hour to unpack and shower before dinner. Even though the shower had no hot water, only one, pin-sized stream of water with the power of a firehose, and kept shutting off then turning back on, it felt amazing to be clean for the first time since Sunday morning (it's Tuesday evening for reference). We then went to dinner, where I had my first home-cooked meal since being home at the beginning of May! So I'm basically in heaven. The food was even specially made to fit my dietary restrictions. It as a chicken and veggie stew and tasted sooooo good. I missed meat so much. I regret not taking a picture to post. I wanted to thank the chef it was so good.

After dinner, we walked around town, which is one road that is about a 1/2 mile long. There were a couple bars, sushi places, and shops for tourists to buy souvenirs. Another group saw a hippo, which I unfortunately missed, but I did see a monkey digging through the trash. It was so cute, but our host said they are evil :D I don't believe it hehe. We then just sat around and chatted/snacked. We also learned our host makes stuffed elephants and hippos, so we all ordered one from her! Now I'm off to bed, though. I will get up at 5:30 tomorrow to run. Unfortunately it's winter here, so my window to run is very short because I have to do it when it's light out in order to be safe from hippos and leopards. This window is getting smaller and smaller when I'm here. Currently it's from about 6:30 AM to 5PM but we work from 8-4:30...so not much time. It'll all work out though. It always does. I have a good feeling about this trip. Tomorrow we have orientation to learn about the projects we will be working on, so stay tuned.

Posted by kfkeane 11:58 Archived in South Africa Tagged food local travel monkey sleep run explore hippo south_africa exercise arrived Comments (3)

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