Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Sunday was a free day, we mostly stayed at the hotel and recharged.

Monday I woke up and didn’t feel great to begin with. Our site visit was the Obuasi gold mine. For the better part of the ride, I felt like I was going to throw up. Once down 800ft underground, I somehow felt better. We saw gold in its natural, unrefined form, which connected us and supernovae, and got to experience a darkness so complete it felt more extreme than blindness.

I didn’t notice how much water I was losing through sweat, especially on the way back up. A steep climb while wearing 30lbs of gear and a helmet didn’t do good things for my health.

At lunch, I had absolutely no appetite. When my food was put in front of me, I felt again like I was going to throw up, so I retreated to the bathroom just in case. Nothing. On my way out, I felt like I was going to faint, so I sat down on the ground and Mo came over to see what was up. Him and Sonny helped me to the bar, where I laid my head down and nearly passed out once again. They poured water on me and got me some to drink, and I felt much better. I lost feeling in my hands and legs – not just pins and needles, but full feeling and control. Once that subsided, we got back on the bus and I finally threw up.

Back at our Kumasi hotel, I got right into bed and started taking medicines and electrolyte drinks. I was shivering and convulsing a bit, but everyone in the group stayed with me a while to make sure I was alright. I got some decent sleep but had very strange dreams.

It’s now Tuesday afternoon, and I’m on the bus because it isn’t good for me to be out in the heat with the group on today’s site visit. I feel sweaty, light-headed, and pale, but I’m doing much better than I was yesterday. It takes about a full day to day-and-a-half to recover from dehydration, so I should be alright once I wake up tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the promise of a hot shower once we’re back in Accra tonight.

I can now understand why the impoverished locals take obviously dirty and unhealthy water to drink – the risk of parasitic infection or other water-borne illnesses are far from mind when one is in constant danger of feeling like I have for the past day. 

I’m back in Accra now. I had solid food for dinner, and I’m doing some writing and watching a Portugal – Mozambique friendly. I feel about 80% better. That should reach 100% by tomorrow morning as long as I have another Gatorade or two – thanks Mo.

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