Saturday, September 23, 2006

What I thought would happen has happened

I am really, really sick with something gastrointestinal in nature. I feel a steel grip on my intestines and twisting and turning.

I am not surprised. After all, the person stoking the yak-dung fire is often the same person cooking the guesthouse meals. (And no, they do not wash hands after handling the yak dung and before resuming preparation of food.)

(Our pet sheep at the Darchen guesthouse being fed by the guesthouse owners' son. Notice the hands on the right.)

(This recalls a hilarious desert outing near Jaisalmer last December when mid-breakfast preparation, the camels started mating and one of the "cooks" ran out to help the process along, make the sure the correct contact was made...then resumed cooking breakfast sans hand-washing...needless to say, I skipped breakfast that morning.)

(By the way, I know all this stuff -- yak dung fires and lack of sanitary food preparation -- sounds disgusting, indeed incomprehensible, and that some of you (ahem, Mark!) can hardly believe anyone would undergo this voluntarily -- but some people know only this for their entire lives and when traveling I try to make due sans the comforts of THAT OTHER life!)

(Yak dung fires are usually well-ventilated and do not smell like yak dung, at least not to my nose. But maybe my olfactory sense has changed?)

None of the guys (my jeep-mates) are sick, just me (no surprise, I'm extra sensitive).

Anyway, we are all rougher for the wear, considering the long jeep rides over exceedingly rough and dusty terrain and really cold nights. One person in our group was so sick he dropped out for 5 days (from Saga but happily rejoined us after the kora). We are all sniffling and sneezing and sick (with the stuff that passes after a good night's rest.)

The good news is these things usually pass in 24-48 hours. I will begin dosing myself with cipro and this should be over in a day or two. I hope.


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