Giardiasis Update & Life Dreams from Bariloche

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Hola mama!
Thank you so much for all the info out of that book. It is the only source thatI really trust; everything else is written for childcare workers or nursing home attendants.
I still think I have giardia….but I am doing SO much better. I´ve been hydrating aggressively and it´s helping a lot. I haven´t had any bowel trouble at all since two days ago in Comodoro, and I am only a tiny tiny bit nauseaus. No gas or bloating to speak of. I was definitely living on a bread and banana diet when traveling…but now I´m in Bariloche and as I started to feel better pushed the limits a bit. I had fried rice with some spices last night, ate some chocolate, had cereal with a bit of milk, and still feel pretty good. Only thing that´s hurting still is my appetite, and even that is recovering fast. If this really is giardiasis, I´ll probably have another bout or two, or more….but it´s not guaranteed either way. I´m hydrated, fed, and active, without diarrhea or vomiting, so I am not going to worry about seeking medical attention for now. I´ll be here in Bariloche for at least another two or three days, possible more like five or six, so I have plenty of time to seek good modern medical attention (either here or at the next stop in Buenos Aires, an honest-to-god big city) before heading off to face the poverty in Bolivia and Peru.
I´m with five other NOLS kids here, and three of them are feeling ill, similar to I was when I started getting symptoms. There are two water sources that may be to blame…but oh well. Live and learn. We´re all taking care of ourselves really well.

In all honesty, I am doing better right now than recent memory can recall. Life is so good. I´m living for next to nothing in a land of fresh chocolate and ice cream, feeling more or less healthy, with friends to travel with. I have all the time in the world to spend here, no rushed travel itineraries, no place to be. I have a month and a half! before meeting Sean in Lima, which is two days bus ride from here if I want (though that would cut out a TON of interesting stuff) and after that two and a half more months to explore. I´m really pleased and satisfied…..every time I´ve gone abroad the end of the trip comes far too fast and I find myself lamenting my decision to travel for a month only, or a semester only. I feel like this is the first time I have actually been true to my desires and have the time to live well down here. I´ve never been more relaxed in my entire life.

I got an email from Lou….sounds like things are going really well in Pittsburgh. I think I´m going to end up living with him (which is great!) for the next year or two, probably in Clare´s apartment….which isn´t bad either. Maybe a little bit expensive, he said $350 each a month not including utilities, but that´s still well within what I can afford. And it is a beautiful apartment, right on the corner of Murray and Hobart. I´m going to be working as many hours as I can stand when I get home, between the store and as an EMT, and if there are any hours leftover I might try to pick up something else. I´ve got this idea that it would be pretty nice to save ten or fifteen thousand dollars over the course of the year and use it either to pay tuition for getting my masters or buying a boat.

Yeah, that´s right….I said buying a boat. I was sitting on a beach two days ago in Comodoro watching a sailboat get tossed around on the Atlantic and briefly thought about my on and off passion for sailing around the world. It occurred to me that if ever there is a time in my life when I can do something like that, it is now and not later. So I looked into things a bit, and thought about it. If I save money for two years, I could afford to both buy a boat and travel for a year on it, I think, given financial help from the other two or three people I would need to crew with me. I also started looking around for people to go with. I know Lou has a lifelong dream to do the same…and is probably impressionable enough to drag along. And I emailed Roger…..because of all the people I know he is the most likely to jump onto this ship. So maybe that´s the next big thing. Right now it even feels like something I would give up climbing for a while and focus on. Which is pretty big. :)

Anyhow, I´m burning pesos here….and I still have on my to-do list a bunch of query letters to write. I´m going to investigate writing articles for a bunch of places… is the time. I´ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Oh, and one last thing! There is a camera on this computer… I´ve attached a couple of pictures of myself for your amusement!
Enjoy…talk to you later!


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