Ecuador part one

I was seated on the top of the Andes Mountains, I was nauseous and felt faint, my heart was beating so fast the pulse was evident on my temple.  I breathing was labored and I was hot, so incredibly hot.

The air was cold, an overnight snowfall was evident in small patches on the mountain and the smell of goat, wet goat lingered in the air, the stench was so heavy I felt dizzy with it.  I moaned as the herd wandered by looking for grass to chew on in the early morning fog.  The smell assaulted me and I turned my head to vomit, it was a green slimy bile that tasted acidy.  I moaned again as my head swarmed and the little boy who was herding them ignored me and shouted at the goats.

We had arrived not an hour before, I had already been feeling ill but felt it was due to the eight hour bus ride that felt more like I was teetering on death every time the rear wheels would hug the cliff of the road, the forest floor hundred of feet below us.  

The road was about the size of a highway lane, one highway lane, it was dirt and hugged the edge of a cliff without much of a guardrail except for a foot tall stone ledge.  That wasn’t comforting.

I had already been in the country for two weeks, for a white Irish girl with blonde hair and blue eyes I was something of an astonishment to all the natives.  I was constantly followed around by children and whistled at by men but I felt nothing but hideous, I had giant mosquito bites covering every square inch of exposed skin.  Riddled with the mosquito bites were red ant bites which were the most painful, I would cry every morning when I would wake to see them bleeding from sleep scratching.

It was miserable, but I was getting happier.  My parents had sent me to do some missionary work for the religion I was in.  I had reached the point in my teenager-hood where I was on a dead end road to absolute nothingness.  My brothers and sister were heavy into drugs and I was just naive enough to follow them, hell I looked up to them.  

This trip was reminding of all the reasons why I shouldn’t go down that path, the mosquito bites were nothing in comparison to what most of the native people faced everyday.

In 2002 the rains were horrid, the flooding was worse and the spread of Malaria and Dengue Fever were at their highest.  I trudged through many of flood waters to reach higher ground.  I slept outside without a net and hardly ever sprayed the insect repellant with DEET.  

Up on that mountain, I vomited eleven times before the dehydration was so bad I barely could sit.  Sweat was pouring off my body, the headache was so bad I felt my eyes were going to explode from the pressure, I had tearless cries because there was nothing left in my body.  On my back my head still swam in horrible vertigo. Then the rash crept up.

To call it a rash is like calling a whale a goldfish.  It was basically blood vessels that popped and pooled under my skin.  I had nose bleeds almost constantly and my gums would bleed when I pulled my tongue across them, looking for any moisture.  That rash crept up my abdomen, chest and finally caused my eye vessels to pop, I looked seriously messed up.

The rest of that day I don’t remember.  I was told they found the only doctor in the town and he made up a batch of homemade saline and spoon fed it to me.  I couldn’t even keep that down.  I would shake with chills so violently, I soaked through bed sheets and clothes fast.  I was basically dying.

That was when they loaded me back in a bus for an eight hour trip down the Andes Mountains to a hospital that could deal with an infectious disease.

I slipped into unconsciousness by the time the bus engine roared to life and sped down the small rural road.

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~ by Kim on August 2, 2008.

2 Responses to “Ecuador part one”

  1. Wow! more…….?

  2. […] Ecuador part two Part One is Here. […]

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