Back to ‘normal’?

I’m struggling to get Sierra Leone out of my system, quite literally.

The results of my re-entry medical check have finally come through, and it turns out I’ve been harbouring some more parasites.

This time it’s Giardia lamblia. They’re not so grizzly as the earthworm-sized roundworm that made its home in my guts recently (and which thankfully didn’t emerge from my nose, as a doctor told me can happen).

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Giardia: cheerful or menacing? [Photo: schmidty4112/Flickr]

They most commonly manifest themselves through eggy burps, which have – to The One With The Common Sense’s relief – been notable by their absence.

However, I’ve displayed plenty of the other symptoms of giardiasis listed by the NHS, including abdominal cramps, nausea, fatigue, bloating and – to The One With The Common Sense’s chagrin – “foul-smelling flatulence”.

So the diagnosis explains a lot and I’ll cling to it as an excuse for as long as possible. Continue reading

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Grim realities

It’s been a week that’s highlighted some sad realities about life in Sierra Leone.

Firstly, we heard two vehicles had been stolen during a break-in at the One With The Common Sense’s office.

Worse, however, was finding out later that one of the night watchmen had been killed in the robbery. Men armed with machetes – or cutlasses, as they call them here – had tied him up and strangled him. Continue reading