Slow news week


           The Ch‚teau hosted several visitors during the last week: Nina, Jordy, and Karin stayed overnight. Lisa came over for happy hour a few times.

           I also wanted to invite some people to dinner, since I had been their dinner or party guests on several occasions. These are people who live in air-conditioned comfort, so I did not want to invite them to my place during the hot season, since it would be very unpleasant there. Two of them came to dinner on Friday night.

           Saturday night drew the predictable visits of Mamadou the Tailor and Mamouni. Karin and Jordy were there at the time. Just as Mamouni was getting ready to leave, I felt a sudden attack of nausea and excused myself to go to the bathroom.

           The queasiness continued for about half an hour, with many false alarms about having to vomit. Finally, the floodgates opened. By the time that I was through, I barely had the energy to scrape myself together and get into bed.

           Sunday it seemed like the worst was over, as I didnít continue to feel nauseous, but I still felt as if I had been struck by a hurricane. Every movement was an effort. Even when I was thirsty and had a cup of tea or water right next to me, I was too wiped out to pick up the cup. All during the day I had a fever that was just under 101 (38.2 C) at its height.

           Lisa was spending her last full day in town before her return to Nouadhibou, and I sent her a text message in the morning, telling her that I was sick and asking if she could come by to help me out a little bit. She came by twice during the day, the second time with bananas, cookies, yogurt, and juice. What a wonderful friend!

           I didnít have much of an appetite, but was able to eat and keep the food down. Everything pointed to food poisoning, which strikes between twelve and thirty-six hours after consumption of the tainted food. I had been to Snak Irak, a local favorite joint for lunch with Jordy on Friday: that must have been it. (I ruled out my own cooking, not on egotistical grounds but because so many people had been eating what I had prepared for them and none of them was sick.)

           Last night, I took my temperature just before I went to sleep, and the fever had broken. This morning, after ten hours of sleep, I woke up feeling much better, the fever gone. I am not up to 100% today, but am at least at 83.5% of normal, with an obvious trend toward recovering.


           For the third week in a row, we had a heavy rainstorm on Saturday night. This week, though, it did not rain on Sunday, as it had the last two weeks. The streets arenít too muddy now.