"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." E. B. White

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Inevitable and Unavoidable

The inevitable and unavoidable has happened.

I’m sick.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and I’m really not surprised considering half the people in my house are sick (both travelers and staff), half of the kids at the monastery are sick (and still insist on climbing all over us), and people on the bus cough, sneeze, and spit (so disgusting!!) without ever covering their mouths or using tissues. The spitting is the absolute worst. Men and women both do it all the time. It appears to be a cultural norm and is without question my absolute least favorite thing about this country.  I’ll spare you the details, but it is so unsanitary and foul that I never would have imagined an entire culture could find it acceptable.

A cold at home normally wouldn’t be enough to stop me from doing anything. After all, it's just a cold. But not here. First of all, Anna and I were so concerned about getting sick from the food or water that we only bothered to pack medicine to treat stomach issues and didn’t think to bring cold medicine. Yesterday we had to stop at a pharmacy, which is really just a random walk-up store on the side of the road, and figure out a way to communicate that we wanted cold and cough medicine. Success!

Second, being sick really depletes my energy, and hiking a mile up a mountain to a monastery didn’t exactly make me feel better. Plus, the food here is seriously lacking in nutrition, so I can’t count on a healthy diet for energy or to get me through. They only have seasonal fruits and vegetables (understandably), but we can’t eat anything raw if the skin is attached. So my only fruit has been a daily banana and I’ve started ordering grilled vegetables whenever we go out. My family and friends know that I’m not one to order fruits and vegetables at home - so you can see that I’m getting desperate.

Finally, I tried to sleep it off. Anna and I are both under the weather, so we told the orphanage that we wouldn’t be in yesterday. I tried to go to sleep at 4:00 p.m. It is now a little after 8:00 a.m. and I probably only got a handful of hours of sleep. We have to sleep with our windows open because the weather is so hot that our room would be like an oven without a little airflow. But sleeping with the window open means dust and noise.

Between the dirt and dust flowing in, non-stop dog barking, cars honking, and people yelling outside, it is nearly impossible to get any real rest. After all those hours trying to sleep, I still feel physically exhausted.

Fortunately, the monastery didn’t need us this morning because they are having another puja, so Anna and I are able to take it easy this morning without having to rush around. We’ll likely head out in a bit in search of fresh juice.

We’ll be back at the orphanage this afternoon, so hopefully we’re both a little better by then.

Wish us well and luck on our juice hunt!  


  1. Oh no! Feel better and I hope you found juice. And, um, I truly can't believe you are ordering veggies...really?

  2. Thanks! I thought the veggie thing might surprise you, but I've been craving fresh fruits and vegetables because our diet is so rice-heavy!

  3. Travel sick, ugh. Every time I travel internationally I get...how shall I put this...stomach issues for almost the whole trip.

    Also, I have an Asian neighbor, an older man, who spits every time he leaves his apartment. It drives me nuts. I wonder if he's Nepalese. Though I've heard it's common in many Asian countries. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.

  4. He very well may be. The distinguishing characteristic s a loud, drawn-out clearing of the nose and throat before spitting. Because clearly spitting is not gross enough without the horrid noise in advance.