Archive for the ‘health’ Category

I cursed myself. I had been blissfully eating what I wanted, when I wanted without pain or suffering following closely behind. I kept this little secret all to myself and life was good. Then, I got cocky and casually mentioned it in my last post and WHAM – I was forced to endure the worst bus ride of my entire life. I barely survived, seriously, just b-a-r-e-l-y.

Who’s to say what brought me down to my knees. It could have been the outstanding meal I had at Or2K Friday night (but really, could hummus of that deliciously grandeur nature make me sick? I somehow think not.) Perhaps my morning grapes are to blame? The boiled egg I nibbled on as an afternoon snack? Or was it pineapple-vodka-sodas in the living room with Ms. Scarlett?

K, that was terribly bad, but so was my illness so leave me and my bad jokes alone!

All joking aside, I woke up feeling a little under the weather early Saturday morn. I assumed it was from a few too many drinks the previous nite at the reggae bar (which was awesome by the way!) But when I arrived at the bus stop and had to make an impromptu dash into the bushes to relive my stomach of a meager Kashi trail-mix granola bar, I knew something was horribly wrong.

Imagine if you will, a lovely five-hour bus ride through the winding, scenic roads of rural Nepal. Beautiful rice fields, green rolling hills  – all this natural beauty captured from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus with reclining seats (I splurged). Then there is me. I am puking every oh, twenty minutes or so. At first, the bus driver stopped (three times to be specific). Then people started handing over plastic bags.

I can confirm that vomiting non-stop in a bus full of strangers is a horrendous feeling. It’s mortifying and sad all wrapped into one. And why do we always cry when we are sick? It’s not sobbing or anything, but tears are shed, emotions are high. I missed Jare big time.

Thankfully people were really sympathetic and the guy beside me had a strong stomach and gave a few kind pats to my back. I bet he was wondering what he had done to deserve the lucky number 18 seat. 

That’s the thing about travelling in this part of the world though – everyone seems to be or has been sick. So you get that ‘I know exactly how it feels’ look from all angles. It’s just a part of experiencing South Asia. And no matter how much Immodium or Gravol we pack up neatly in zip-lock bags (Darryn’s post had perfect timing!) we can’t avoid it. We can’t run from it. And we often can never pin-point what got us.

So, yes. Worst bus ride ever. Beats out the Costa Rican seven hour stint going straight up a mountain, standing the entire time (or leaning back-to-back with amazing friends). Oh, and that was fresh from our flights from Canada! Just to give you some more feel-bad-for-me context.

This ride really was just plain ugly and cruel. But I made it to Chitwan alive!!

And I actually ended up having an incredible weekend full of wildlife and laughter. After of course, I curled up like a small infant in my room for a couple of hours and nursed myself back to human form.

Fun adventures from the jungle weekend to come tomorrow (I need rest as I’m still struggling a bit with an interesting burning belly sensation)..

But for now here’s a teaser:

one-horned Rhino butt!


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I’m having trouble concentrating right this moment. I’m supposed to be writing a section on how Prerana’s supporting women with disabilities. They run an amazing rehabilitation centre in a rural district, so it’s pretty straight forward and they do outstanding work. BUT, I can’t get the damn thing outta my head and onto the page. Instead I’m writing here.

It might have something to do with the fact that I’m wrapped up all comfy in a new purple n gold pashmina – soo pretty and cozy. And I’m staring out at sun-lit rooftop gardens, adorned with prayer flags, resident birds, and new poinsettias and orchids.

Rooftop life.

AND, I’m listening to the Thicker than water soundtrack for the umpteenth time in my life…equation for daydreamin’ right there.   

Yes – umpteenth is a word. Google even told me how to spell it properly. So there!

I’m also pretty stoked for my upcoming weekend – a solo adventure to Chitwan Jungle. I’m doing a tour-package with a hotel, so I’m sure I’ll meet fellow travellers along the way and during our elephant safari, ‘nature’ walk, and canoe ride.

Yep, it’s going to be a good Easter weekend for moi.

Speaking of elephants, I bought Peyton (my niece) the cutest handmade elephant from my all-time favorite Kathmandu store – Mahaguthi.

So cute huh? And it's a fair trade product.

I’m hoping it becomes her new top toy, since my fav snuggly was also an elephant, aptly named Squishy (he was well, squishy! I wasn’t the most creative three-year old). I still have him tucked away, ready to see the light again when I have a lil one of my own.

Since I’m clearly not being productive, I think I’ll head for lunch. Oh! Speaking of food, I haven’t really written too much about the cuisine here.

So this peanut butter really is tasty, all natural, and made through a great program in Nepal. But wow! the wording on the side wouldn't fly in Canada. Chalk it up to 'cultural differences', I suppose...

So this peanut butter is super tasty, all-natural, and made through a cool program in Nepal. But wow! the wording on the side wouldn't fly back home. Chalk it up to 'cultural difference' I suppose...

I will say that I’m loving these little treats called Momo’s. Mmmm, Momo’s. They are a Nepali take on gyzo’s and you can have veg, chicken, or well, I’m not sure what it is – goat maybe? I clearly stick to the veg or chicken. The spicy tomato-curry sauce they come with is to die for – they make the perfect 2 pm snack, since Nepali’s don’t generally have a big lunch. Actually, my co-workers giggle away when they can hear my stomach rumbling around noon!

But other than Momo’s, I’ve been having a lot of fresh curries, chow-mein, steamed veggies/rice and westernish food (pastas, wraps, pizzas, etc.). Last night I was craving junk so I ordered ‘Kathmandu fries’. It was my worst meal nightmare come true. K, not as bad as the ‘chicken soup’ in Nicaragua that actually came out as a massive fish (head n all) in a bowl of salty water, but it wasn’t good. These fries had been doused in cilantro. I’m talkin, I pretty much ordered a side of fries with heaps of the green junk. GROSS! Needless to say I didn’t eat dinner last night.

Anyways, food is cheap here. Like, real cheap. An average meal costs me a whopping $2-3 CAD dollars. That’s including a drink! I think it’s a little more pricy in Thamel – where I’m heading tonight for an Israeli-style meal, but restaurant bills hardly ever top five bucks.  

I’m missing fresh veg though. I’ve only braved one encounter with raw vegetables in the form of a fresh salad. And I’m proud to say I made it through the next day without visiting the toilet a million times.

Actually, I know you’re all wondering – I haven’t had any stomach issues since I got here! Apparently I’m the first Nepal volunteer in a looong time to say that. Knock on wood that Delhi Belly doesn’t get me!

Happy Easter all!

fyi – contrary to what my header text said, I’m in South Asia, not Central. I knew this, but I clearly wrote my profile text in a  pre-trip excitement daze and didn’t catch my mistake till now. Oops.

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