|African Journal (Part 2 of 5)|
|11/27/1998 - It started that night with a fever. Though rushed, I had managed to bring a few essentials, but unfortunately Tylenol, which is normally a staple of my traveler’s bag, wasn’t one of them, and I suffered for it that night with a series of strange hallucinations probably induced by my temperature. What followed, more or less, was 4 straight days in bed, on my back, at times literally completely unable to move. I finally "gave in" at one point and called my dad in Canada; he reassuringly defined what I had for the first time as "Traveler’s Diarrhea", which, he read from a book he dashed out to get, was almost always non-fatal; he recommended an international-styled doctor from the same book (man, I love that book :-)), etc., and this provided me with such a psychological lift that I suddenly felt quite ready to attend one of the rehearsals for Mor’s recording session that I had previously been forced to miss due to my illness. I arrived in good spirits, shook everyone’s hand and told them how good I felt, etc., etc., played a few notes… and was overcome by a profound stomach cramp that almost sent me reeling. I made one feeble attempt to use the outhouse they provided – the dreaded hole-in-the-ground version – but gave up and instead became morbidly fascinated and vaguely repulsed by the large cockroach I saw swimming for its life on its back in the waters leading towards the hole into which I was supposed to relieve myself. Instead, I lay down for a while in a stuffy room, and was later taken home, though I could hardly walk to get to the cab which was to take me there, and when I arrived, I literally passed out on a mattress on Mor’ floor, the reality of three days of an exclusive yogurt and ginger ale diet finally catching up to me.|
Another interesting feature of Mor’s home is the central area, which features what resembles a "sky window", but which in fact, is no window at all, but an actual opening to the night sky, and also to the bright sunlight during the day. This means that when it rains (though this seems a rarity and has yet to occur), the water will presumably pour into Mor’s home (though there are drains installed to wash it all away). This also means exposure to all that the outdoors have to offer, particularly all manners of insects, and especially mosquitoes. As with the water, I had heard the warnings, and had been careful to pack plenty of insect repellent, but that night when I collapsed under the stars in Mor’s center room and didn’t have any more energy to move, the mosquitoes must have had a field day, because the next day I counted something like 75 bites on my two forearms alone (!) So I suppose it was adding insult to injury :-).
Yesterday I saw the doctor my father recommended, and miraculously, after taking the medications he prescribed, I almost immediately began to feel better, to the point where I feel like I’m finally (knock on wood) adapting. Today, in fact, I woke up and almost feel like I have my strength back, and for the first time I can actually visualize the thought of perhaps staying the full 2 weeks without feeling a sense of panic :-)...
"Success" at last. Woke up both yesterday and today feeling almost entirely like myself again; like I had paid my dues and was now seeing this new and foreign environment with the benefit of some new "protective shield" (I guess I’d already developed one for New York, over the years :-)). Went to the recording studio with great energy, but ended up spending most of yesterday and today mostly sitting around, as Check went about the business of laying down the basic rhythm tracks. At the end of the session yesterday, the famous percussionist Dou Dou D’Ayerose appeared, looking regal in an elegant, light-blue dashiki, and accompanied by another drummer whom I would suspect was probably one of his numerous children, who are all, it seems, part of his drumming groups. He proceeded to record a couple of purely percussion piece