Ants in My Pants

This is Carlynne contributing to Marc and Kylie’s blog again because I will be leaving Kapsowar in a few days. I have enjoyed five educational, adventuresome, and often ridiculous weeks so far. I am Marc and Kylie’s guest of longest duration. And their favourite.

I will share a few things that I have appreciated while being here.

First on the list, my new cardiovascular activity of choice. Dancersizing.

Since running is a spectator sport in these parts, I have had to come up with creative ways of getting exercise in the morning. At first I would jump rope in the back yard. Then I started listening to my ipod and kind of running on the spot and around in circles. As you can imagine, that sort of thing gets quite silly, quite quickly. It didn’t take me long to realize that my shadow is a top notch funk dancer.

I have also learned to love the gorgeous walk to the hospital. These are eucalyptus trees.
However, it is not nearly so pleasant when called in the middle of the night. Thank you for letting me bring your headlamp Daniel. But I have stopped actually wearing it and I just hold it in my hand instead. It was much too amusing for the Kenyans. “You are wearing your torch on your head!”

I have also enjoyed all the children that play around the hospital. Some of the young ones run away from me and cry. Its my freaky white skin and blonde hair I suppose. I never get that kind of reaction in Canada, I swear. But in general, it is very satisfying to greet a group of kids in Swahili and get a chorus of Swahili responses. Often with a few “Assist me cakes” thrown in. Sorry children. No cake in my pocket today.

My last three weeks here I have been working on the men and women’s medical wards. I especially enjoyed the women’s ward (see picture bellow). The nurses are very cheerful and do a great job translating for me most of the time. All of the staff enjoy chai (very sweet tea) and two pieces of white bread (very gross bread) in the chapel at ten O’clock each morning. I’ll miss them forcing me to go, even when rounds aren’t close to done and there is so much work to do I would rather not take a break. If they catch me yawning, it’s game over. Sometimes they’ll even bring a mug to me on the ward.

I will also miss all the amazing preceptors! Its not every hospital where all of the doctors are super nice missionaries…or related to you…or both.

It has also been really wonderful staying with Marc and Kylie. I haven’t lived in the same city as them for seven years and living in the same house is a special treat. It has been a lot of fun. Here we are having an icecream party with homemade icecream.

And yesterday we went for another beautiful hike.
At one point we took the wrong trail and ended up in someone’s backyard. Whoops! But the residents of this little mud hut spoke surprisingly good English and were very neighbourly. They helped us back on track.

Another wonderful thing about being here is that, despite being on call every four days, there has been quite a bit of free time for reading (four novels so far) and watching Veronica Mars. I have even had time to get out my watercolours. Here is a picture I painted of a boy at the gate to the hospital.

I think it is quite obvious that I have had a wonderful time here in Kapsowar.

And now I have ants in my pants. Literally. I actually have that a lot here. Perhaps this is part of the reason Kenyan women don’t wear pants? There are these nasty Safari ants that invade your home by the hundreds. They crawl up your leg and bite you all over. In Canada, ants seem so small and harmless. In Kenya they are neither.

But I also have ants in my pants for two other reasons. I am speaking figuratively now. In just a few short days Marc and Kylie and I are leaving for two weeks of snorkeling and beach adventuring along the Indian Ocean. Lamu Island here we come! And after that, it’s home sweet home. I can’t wait to see my friends and family again. Especially Daniel☺.


shareen said...

oh carlynnie, you are too cute. I miss you. you and dan should come visit us and we can eat at cool restaurants and ride scooters around town and walk by the ocean and sit in cafes and drink coffee (coke for craig) and do dancercize in the park...marc and kylie, this is all in store for you too when you get home!

Lowell & Julie said...

Nice painting! How long did it take you...20 minutes? :) I'm glad you posted that. When I say "my sister is an artist", I don't think people REALLY know what I mean. Like...you can actually draw. And paint. And everything else!!

I like your dance moves. Fun-kay.

Have fun traveling and don't get burned! I do look forward to seeing your multiplying freckles though.

Janice said...

WOW that painting was AMAZING!!

shareen said...

I totally forgot...that girl in her wire glasses is the cutest! Is she pretending to be you?

Anonymous said...

Carlynne - has anyone beside your family and Dan told you that you are amazing? Well - you are! Anyway - a sidenote to Marc and Kylie - I have that exact same ice cream maker - well - rephrase that - My mum and dad have that exact same ice cream maker. It's marvellous!

Anonymous said...

Love the dancercize moves! It's so you Carlynne. I would be frustrated about not being able to run without everyone looking at me funny! That walk to work looks gorgeous!

I'm looking forward to hearing all your stories when you get back!