Date: 17th October 2013
My words are few as I brace myself against the task of the next 24 hours – making it home: in one piece.
Last night I met up with Gary, my project manager and a seasoned missionary in Africa, and Dr James, who has spent the last 8 years in the south. I listen to them argue about test results and treatments, bewildered at how I’m ever supposed to know what to do. A negative Malaria smear does not conclusively mean a negative. A positive Typhoid smear does not conclusively mean a positive. This I already know. The problem is that there is zero option to rule either one out as many symptoms are the same in both sicknesses, and both are dangerous to leave untreated even for the next 24 hours. And so we treat for everything.
This means that alongside my standard “cleanup” kit of meds as I leave the country, I will continue on treatment for Typhoid, and start treatment for Malaria on top of that. To avoid the risk of relapsing after arriving home, it’s straight onto the hard stuff – one final course of Quinine.
My stomach turns and twists and cramps and objects to even the simplest of foods, and I pray that my meds stay down. I recall only one occasion in all my time here of feeling this bad, and that with necessary bed-rest and care. But today I travel with The Great Physician beside me and trust that He will see me through to the other side.
Friends, family, and faithful blog-followers, this will be my final post from this side of the border. So bid farewell with me to the land that has taught deeper trust, greater faith, and born many dreams and desires. To the dirty feet and the dusty roads, the tear-streaked cheeks, and the creased lines of smiling faces, the hopeful eyes and bursting hearts, the starriest sky and the quietest nights; to the simplest of lives and the weathered survivors of Africa; to the corrupt and honest alike; to the world of want and striving; farewell.