jim’s pharmacy has come in handy

I’m sick. I have enough cipro on-board to clear external bacteria from my skin. My head is fried. This is how I imagine myself on chemo. Except the rapid weight loss is probably from the bug I injested yesterday, or the day before…hard to know.

Somehow today zipped by without me knowing what I did. I think I laid in bed most of the day, and hoped the student nurses next door would entertain Rachel and Zach–they did, even gave them a mango and let them watch videos on their phone. I’m not sure what Hannah and Madelyn did: sew, read, and make food. Come to think of it, this is what they often do in their spare time now. Madelyn gets sulky when Edna, the cook, comes to visit.¬†Madelyn wants to cook. She’s only watched her MP3 cooking shows seventy three times, quote unquote. She can describe creme fraiche, chocolate ganache and pate de choux. These were not in my vocabulary at nine. And I’ve still only eaten two out of three of them. Since Madelyn’s ingredient list is limited, her cooking repetoire is limited, but an awful more sophisticated than mine was at her age. She’s made coconut pie a half dozen times, brownie pudding a few times, bread and cinammon buns, and anything else with flour and yeast.

Hannah brought me breakfast: eggs and toast with coffee. She made lunch: ground beef and corn soup, nothing fancy, but it is protein. And supper was leftover fried spaghetti, toast and eggsagain. Slim pickins, as we’re on a countdown to home now. We have a five hundred shilling deposit on the next eggs the hens lay down the street. The egg vendor makes direct trips to our home, cause he knows I’ll buy him out.

Might it come as no surprise that we’re all losing a few pounds? Edna says that most people leave smaller than they came. And since I’ve been fantasizing about chocolate milk, potatoe chips, and ice cream (foods I don’t allow myself to fantasize about anymore), it’s a sure sign my body is looking for some grub. Since I had an extra five on board before we came, I am in no fear of malnutrition. Madelyn’s skirts are sagging, Hannah’s belt needs to be tightened to the bitter end, so I’m thinking we’ll be doing some hand me ups when we get home. Hannah can use Madelyn’s clothes, Madelyn uses Rachel’s, Rachel uses Zach’s….

I was asked if I liked Africa today. Bad day. Yes, I like it. No, it’s not quite what I thought. I like how Janie Schumacher described it, when I said that it seems so surreal that we’re almost there…when you touch down, it’ll be very real! Yup. If we come back, likely when we come back, I’ll just approach it differently. I’ll tell myself that we’re going camping. Might not have electricity or water. Definitely can search for firewood. Bring lots of bug spray. Won’t have typical pantry accoutrements. Will bring smores fixings…graham crackers, marshmallows and dark chocolate. And potatoe chips, chocolate pudding and cheese…can I bring cheese over the border? Thankfully our flight back home includes a visit to Paris on Rachel’s birthday, so will have her cake and eat brie too!

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