Rabies, Hepatitis B and Unrest!

Way back last Spring, I shared with you our excitement at Daughter being selected for a life enhancing/changing trip to Madagascar.  Arrangements have been moving ahead since then with training camps, more instructional emails than I care to count (and those are only the ones The Traveller deems I must view, usually involving the exchange of currency for some 'essential' item).

Syringe2 We're down to just two visits to the Practice Nurse this week, Tuesday and Friday for number two in a series of three injections each for Rabies and Hepatitis B.  I'll leave you to imagine the degree of heavenward eye rolling when said Nurse embarks upon her speech about unprotected sex and how to avoid contact with the bodily fluids of another!  All toe curling stuff to a 17-year old . . . have to say it didn't do too much for the mother, either!

Bit of an emergency last week when Traveller's neck ballooned on one side and was so painful even clothing was uncomfortable.  Must admit to the occasional (OK, frequent) sideways glance to see whether she had begun foaming at the mouth and was forming an emergency evacuation policy to ensure quarantine at the hospital.  Now then, this child (oops, sorry, young person) never complains about aches and pains (is that because I've been ill so much in the last 18 months??) but she was in agony.  Doc said just 'a virus'.  Happy to report much better now. 

I do have a little moan about the state of the bedroom (knee-deep in 'stuff' sometimes) but I was seriously impressed last Wednesday when Traveller had to attend another training session for the Black Belt TaeKwon Do grading coming up on 5 April.  All sessions between now and then are compulsory.  This time the black belt students were to chop a piece of inch thick wood with their hand, never attempted by them before.  Thought Daughter would have to sit out and watch. 

I went to collect her 90 minutes later. The training hall isn't far but my chick was injured so ignored carbon footprint problem on this occasion.  She moved towards the car with her head at an alarming angle but elated.  Since turning 17 and with an added swollen, painful neck, she doesn't do 'elated' very often.  Smiling but inwardly alarmed I asked how Woodshe'd managed.  "It was great, I managed to break the plank", she replied.  "Couldn't use my arm, so I used my foot.  Really hurt my arm and neck but I did it!"  What can one say?  I was seriously impressed by her commitment and very concerned that she may now spend the rest of her life in this unnatural, head-lolling position.  Didn't voice my concerns but wondered whether I should detour via Casualty.

Sorry, was rambling a little.  Back to Madagascar.  The meeting for parents was last Sunday evening.  Great to meet the expedition leaders but felt the chill of disappointment as we were informed that the Foreign Office is currently advising no non-essential travel to the area because of the recent rioting.  Apparently, there's an international summit in Madagascar at the time of the trip (July/August) so the hope is that all will be calm.

Imagine my chagrin upon hearing that to rabies, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, typhoid and the other usual vaccinations, we are told we must now include Yellow Fever.  (Mental calculator kicked in – £120 for rabies, £76 for Hep B and now £50 for yellow fever!)  Landing in Nairobi and not leaving the airport, one doesn't need the jab.  However, if the flight is delayed and hotel accommodation is necessary or there's a 'Jobsworth' on the desk in Madagascar, entry could be denied! 

Tent cartoon They're still debating 'mixed tents'.  My view is that walking a hundred miles carrying a tent between three and undertaking projects in each village passed through will leave little energy for anything else of a physical nature!  I'll let you know what happens . . .

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