Tuesday, July 20, 2010


7/16/10: Our 2nd day in Mozambique was another transit day while on
our way to the coast. We camped outside the town of Chimoio. Compared
to other towns we've passed through in Moz' and the rural areas,
Chimoio is actually quite nice (nicer than Tete). The town had a nice,
vibrant feel. Lots of activity with a faint musical backdrop of a
calypso, reggae, tropical type of music (I like the music in Moz').
There are modern ammenities like grocery stores, ATM's, pharmacies -
and much of the population seems afluent when compared to the rural
areas. There is a large Coca Cola bottling plant just outside the
town, which I'm sure helps the local economy. Still, you see evidence
of the poor, rural community. For example, outside the parking lot to
the grocery store was a lady walking with a stack of sugar cane on her
head. We bought some from her (sugar cane is delicious and addicting
to chew on I found). That seems to be a common theme in larger towns
throughout Africa; there is a mixture of modern and traditional
lifestyles & a sharp disparity between rich and poor. I stretch to
call it "rich and poor" even. It's more, as mentioned before, simply
people who "have" and people who "have not".

Our real purpose in Chimoio this afternoon though was to visit a
medical clinic. Our friend John has fallen ill with flu like symptoms
and it was getting worse. We thought maybe he had a bad cold or ate
something bad, but a blood test at the clinic confirmed he has
contracted Malaria! It's odd because he was taking Malaria medication,
so we are all very surprised & a little un-nerved as we are all taking
Malaria precautions (in addition to strict hygene & water consumption
precautions). Julia has been off her Malaria meds because it was
giving her migrane headaches, so she is being extra cautious about not
being bit. I am still on the meds though. There are side effects, but
my body acclimated to it in a few days time whereas Julia's did not.
Treatment for John will take 5 days and he will need to be flown to
Johannesburg, SA. It is possible that he & Edwina will rejoin the tour
when we arrive in South Africa at Kruger Park, if he is well enough.
Other than his home in Australia, South Africa is the best place for
John to be sent for treatment.

This experience has made me realize how fortunate we are. We travel to
these 3rd world countries with the full support and infrastructure of
the western countries we come from. John is seen by a private doctor,
in a private clinic, flown to Jo'burg, & given treatment in a first
world hospital. I'm not sure any of the locals nearby would be given
or can afford such care themselves.

UPDATE 7/18/10: John has not only contracted Malaria, but MEASLES as
well!!! Again; un-nerving as John was taking Malaria meds and has an
MMR vaccination! Apparently there is a new outbreak of Measles in
Africa at the moment which is all over the news? Can someone reading
this confirm and comment? We have been disconnected from the media.

7/20/10: John is being released from the hospital soon (hurray!) but
cannot return to the tour. He will stay in Jo'burg. He is better and
that is most important.

1 comment:

  1. (Reuters-May 2010) - Large and deadly outbreaks of measles in 30 African countries threaten to reverse gains made against the viral disease in the past two decades, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. MJ