Every day in Cameroon I try to remember to take my drug cocktail. Multi-vitamin pill to make up for a diet that’s not very well-rounded, calcium pills because I can’t drink my daily litre of milk here, glucosamine sulphate pills to help rebuild the cartilage in my left knee, and a doxycycline every day to prevent malaria (as a general antibiotic, it also lessens my chances of getting stomach bugs and stuff).
As always, while in Cameroon I told myself and have told my friends here that I will not get sick. There is only one thing I considered to be a potential problem: malaria. The reason for this is that I tend to get more mosquito bites than the average person whenever there are bugs looking to bite. Let’s look at the photographic evidence on my two legs below the knee, from 2-3 days of working on the construction site:
It may not be possible to see every single bite in these photos but, as you can see, I counted them with my pen. I’ve seen people with more (a Canadian acquaintance who I randomly bumped into on the street in Auckland looked like he had measles but had just arrived from Fiji where the mozzies got him a few hundred times, and a Canadian volunteering here with the hospital got a couple hundred bites from a few nights in a village nearby), but it still wasn’t pleasant having 24 bites on one leg and 17 on the other. I had about 20 more on my arms, one on my ear, and one on my eyelid, which was really weird.
Working on the construction site meant sweating a lot, so Bran, a Welsh volunteer, convinced me to shave my head to save the hassle of getting cement dust out of my hair (I did a lot of chiseling) and always having sweaty hair stuck to my forehead. Victor, a volunteer from Nigeria who lives in my house, has an electric razor so he volunteered to help us out for free rather than going to a barber.
A few days later we took another trip to the beach to relax.
We played around with the volleyball a bit, and I was careful not to bust my knee again. Someone even managed to catch me on my own camera as the playground bully, spiking the volleyball right at Evelyn’s head! Although it wasn’t on purpose, it sure looks like it! She was fine, though, really :-)