…It was shortly after dropping off the laundry that we discovered that there was trouble in the ear department. Specifically that what none of us thought was a possibility had come true – Tshilo had a serious ear infection and his ear drum had ruptured in the wake of a torturous fever and screaming pain. Nothing like news of a loved one in pain and way-laid in a far away city to put a damper on the possibility of dancing. Instead our plans revolved around scheduling an early departure for Xela the next morning bringing gifts of clothes and more money to pay for increasing ear doctor costs.
That next day we found both Brook and Tshilo doing better than earlier email and phone message reports had previously indicated which was a relief, though did nothing to assuage the incredibly terrible pain and suffering that Tshilo (and Brook by proxy) had been through in the last couple days. A reality that is certainly lost in the electrons of the blogosphere and even to some degree on me as my own troubles centered around the necessity and lack of patience in traveling and nothing more.
The ironic part of this story is that at the very point that Tshilo (and Mari for that matter) were experiencing some long needed relief from their ailments, my gastroninstestinal tract decided to throw up its arms in wild protest to the introduction of foreign invaders, namely amoebic dysentery. It had been coming for days and I remembered the warning signs a bit like I remembered speaking the indigenous language of Ilom, Ixil, or like recollecting the name of a former classmate – I knew I should recognize why everything felt familiar, but I wanted to second guess myself at every turn. Well, there was no second guessing that repeated free flow from my bowels that Saturday afternoon. Everything was quite clear – over and over. So the next morning when Tshilo and Brook made their way to the Orintoringo, Mari and I made our way to the lab with a special yogurt container wrapped in a plastic bag and bound for the discerning eye of a microscope. In return I would receive a very formal and obvious slip of typed paper back, informing me that I indeed was experiencing an invasion much like Baghdad, though I would never suggest that the US military are parasites…Luckily my remedy was simpler than Iraq’s (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it I suppose).
Armed with the proper (I hoped) dosage of Secnidizol (1000 milligrams four times every 12 hours in case you are wondering) and the satisfaction that I was killing just about every form of intestinal flora my body possessed, I passed much of the rest of the day watching whatever non-dubbed television I could find.
The next few days were blessed with the most relaxation and calm that we would experience in the two and a half weeks together traveling in Guatemala. We left the mountains of Xela for the bland sand beaches of Monterico. Tshilo’s ear continued to heal with only comparatively mild concern for its status, little by little my amoebas faded into the distance, and for the time being no one else took ill. Here are a few pictures…