I am writing this blog 9 whole days after I planned to do so. Sometimes, that’s how life goes I hear, especially when said life takes place in a developing country. About a week ago, I returned from a Saturday morning hike and felt a little achy. I reasoned that it was probably soreness from the hike and went on with my day. As I walked through the market trying to buy things I need for my apartment, I began to feel feverish, and it all went down hill from there. I spent the next week in bed, too fatigued to even read or watch a movie most days. I missed an entire week of work, spent most days without leaving the house at all, and felt constantly weak and tired. As someone who rarely gets sick, this was quite the challenge for me. I don’t think I’ve had a fever since middle school, and I am not used to just completely stopping everything I’m doing. I love being busy and am an extreme extrovert, so being home alone in bed was not so fun. Perhaps the most frustrating part was that I felt fine, just too tired to do anything.
Several people I know here were sick at the same time. Beaver even had to fly home to America to get care because he was extremely weak. Laura also had to stay home from her job as a social worker at a local clinic for most of the week and is now planning on flying home tomorrow since her symptoms haven’t improved. The three of us all have had similar symptoms, which we believe possibly point to Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, but we are still not positive that’s what it is.
On Thursday, Laura and I both went to the clinic she works at to get blood tests and IVs. The blood tests came back normal and I successfully got my first IV ever. It took over 2 hours because of the method they used to give it to me.
On Friday, my fever finally broke and I started to regain my strength. I went to work for a few hours in the morning just because I needed to avoid losing my mind by staying in all day again. I had an extremely itchy red rash all over my body, so I went home and took Benadryl, and slept for the rest of the day into the night. I thought it was ironic that the first day I didn’t wake up exhausted, I had to take medicine that made me feel even more exhausted than before. On Saturday, I only took one nap all day and even went on a long walk. Today- Sunday- I have been awake and sitting up for much longer than I have all week. Things are looking up for me to return to work tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier about it! A week from today, I will be headed to meet family friends in the Dominican Republic on the other half of the island on my way home to Tennessee for Christmas.
The past few weeks, I have been trying to prepare for the holidays in Haiti, but no matter how hard I try, it feels very strange to be listening to “Let it Snow” in 90 degree weather. Laura brought me back a few things to prepare for Christmas when she came back from a trip from the states a month ago, including hot chocolate and an advent calendar. We decorated her apartment with more Christmas stuff than I knew you could possibly find in Haiti, and it was one of my favorite Christmas memories maybe ever: making it feel like Christmas together as much as possible when we all wished we could be home celebrating and decorating with family and friends.
We had a big Thanksgiving with our American community here. We did it Haitian style, poolside of course. We had bbq chicken catered instead of turkey, and everyone brought a side dish or dessert. I Facetimed in to my own family’s Thanksgiving celebration and it was the first time I’ve truly missed home since I’ve been here. However, I was so very thankful to be surrounded by new friends who have quickly become family here in Haiti. I am very excited to get to go home for Christmas and spend some much needed time in cold weather with friends and family, reflecting on what these first few months in Haiti have been for me.
Jude, my photographer friend from work, asked if I would be a part of a Christmas photo shoot after work one day. A group of us chased the sunset down to the beach and had a blast taking photos all night long. This same group has continued to go on hiking adventures on Saturdays and have movie nights and I am so thankful to already have a great group of friends here that I get to come back to after Christmas.
This next week before leaving Haiti for the first time since I’ve moved here is sure to be a full one. I will be working hard trying to catch up at work after missing a week being sick; my main focus this week will be reading Traction and planning strategic planning sessions to have with the company when we all return after Christmas. In my next post, I will talk more about what I’ve accomplished in these first few months!
Some sweet 2nd story goods ladies!