Sunday, February 8, 2009

South Africa Journal pt 6

let me start by saying
first that i am feeling much better, thank you. I'm quite happy to be eating solid foods and enjoying the aromas of a cooked meal, instead of fleeing the room with a hand clamped desperately over nose and mouth, praying against fluid loss. lol

it has been too long since i've written anything properly. Everything seems too far gone to be described adequately...locked up in visual snippets in my brain.

I still have not told you about the trek through the draakensberg, up the white-knuckle Sani pass in a torrential downpour, waterfalls washing over the road...driver wiping sweat from his brow as he maneuvers hairpin turns at 45 degree inclines... Then arriving at the top to face the glares of the surly Basotho herdsmen...alarming in their intensity... finding the road conditions on the way down in even worse shape than on the way up.

about arriving for a three day mountain hiking and horseback riding adventure, only to discover that the only footwear i have at my disposal is the ninety nine cent pair of flip flops on my feet.

about riding up the foothills of the underberg, a potato sack of a horseman after so many years out of the saddle...and having your breath stolen my the scenery...and thinking "this is middle earth's Rohan ...this is Narnia...this is the underberg of Oz..." and waiting for snarling wargs and Rohirrim to explode from the rocky outcroppings....and lauging at your own extreme nerdiness...

about being bored to tears by the friendly, if dull, chatterings of a travel guide who happens to be your only company in the stillness of a night spent in the absolute middle of nowhere...

or about rock climbing 35 meters of monteseel crag, standing on a ledge the size of a bottle cap over a yawning zulu valley, looking down at eagles floating on the updrafts....wondering what hidden nook to wedge a toe into, and hoping to find it before my legs and arms give out competely....

or about the 5am excitement and hustle of a troop of baboons being captured from their pen, television crew on hand, to be released into the wild and learn how to be baboons...

or about Durban's Sexpo, which sadly, turned out to be epic only in its banality. For all the hype, it barely managed to provide all the excitement of a weekend macrame fair at the Carleton Place Arena. (lets skip the story about that one then, shall we?...Ah...except perhaps for Mr. Pricasso...who would paint your portrait with the tip of his penis...he deserves a mention, at least...)

or even the every day happenings at a wildlife rehab center....rescues...endless preparations of fruit and chicks...force feeding delicate baby birds and (hoping they won't have died under your tender administrations by the next time you see them - so stressful!)...picking ticks from the leathery hides of tortoises...wild vervets ransacking the volunteer house like a pack of thieves...bottle feeding a wildebeest...

and now its all winding down....
suddenly (SUDDENLY! ) i have only a week left to go and its just not enough. no where NEAR enough time... I still have not been surfing, or made it to the north beach and Indian Spice markets...i have not been sea kayaking...i have not taken enough pictures or written enough words. I haven't haggled with merchants over trinkets for my little sisters...i haven't seen enough of the tiny villages...haven't heard enough zulu folklore...
I haven't had nearly enough time to take it all in...

and i haven't had any sort of epiphany about what to do with myself once i get home...that was also high on the list of things to do...
this trip was supposed to provoke some life changing revelation...or at least point the direction to the next stepping stone...
it seems strange to think about heading home and just carrying on, as though nothing more exciting than a sneeze had happened over the last two months...only i don't think thats it either...
things will be different...(will they?) (yes? yes. i will make it so)
i guess what i'm saying is that i can't precisely say just exactly how...i guess what i'm saying is that i still just don't know...but i get a sneaky feeling that something is about to percolate...

and there are a few things i'm looking forward to at the end of the journey...
Snuggling up with Steve French under a down duvet on my own bed, cheese and cracker suppers with hot butternut soup and cold beer, wearing sweaters against the canadian cold....,snow. Gypsy Jazz at the Avant Garde bar, projects, a good latte. little things.

Planning the next big trip.


and i guess what i'm saying now is




Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Amy said i look like a ghost today, after having been so sick.

tonight i feel like one.

a little bit lost
a little bit lonely

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

South Africa Journal pt 5

I think i have heat stroke.


For the past 4 days I'd been gently queasy, but on and off, and only enough to cause mild discomfort. I ignored it, feeling more inconvenienced than incapacitated, but then yesterday the smell of foods started making me gag, and i started having hot and cold flashes and stomach pains.

(yesterday i was showing the new girl, Lucy where the meal worms are kept for the birds to eat, and asked her if she was squeamish about them. Of course, as i shook up the box i caught a big whiff of the smell of them, and had to run from the room, gagging and retching. perfect! When i ran into the kitchen to get some cold water to recover, someone had just microwaved some meaty confection, and i had to drop my glass and run outside instead)

chopping chicks for the raptor feeds is completely out of the question.

last night i had an olfactory nightmare featuring just the smells of goose shit and rotting chicken. I had to get up and check my bedding several times, it was that convincing.
worst dream. EVER.

I took the day off today to lie in bed and try to recover. Slept like crazy, which i think i really needed and I was starting to feel much better in the afternoon, just a bit weak and occasionally dizzy. Ate some salad for supper but then the smell of baked potato made me start retching and i had to leave the table.

so as of right now, i'm a hardcore raw foods vegan.
no one could be more surprised than me.

I think tomorrow i will stay in bed again. just getting up to feed the wildebeest in the morning, afternoon and evening. Hopefully the rest will get me over the hump and i'll be back at full speed after that.

*crosses fingers*