A Travellerspoint blog

Getting sick

Just so mum and dad don't freak out when they read this I'm going to start by saying I am fine and am feeling much better.

I woke yesterday morning feeling groggy with a bit of a headache which is not unusual as we all find it a bit hard to sleep in the heat and we were all pretty exhausted from the previous day. We had breakfast and then we all just lazed around the house to rest up before we started working the next day. I can't remember exactly when but I started shivering. Lucy being super paranoid read through pretty much every disease in the little book that came in her first aid kit and had fun diagnosing me with multiple diseases. We finally decided I had heat exhaustion or sun stroke and was shivering because my skin was hot from sunburn. My back was a bit sore and every time I shivered pains shot down my spine. That was the worst part.

I drank about 3L of water in the morning and took some panadol around lunch time. The shivering stopped. Mads, Candice and I went for a walk around the island. About 20 minutes into the walk I told the others I was going to head back because I felt a bit tired and wasn't wearing sunscreen. About 5 minutes into my walk back I bumped into Asad who asked me how I was feeling and offered me a lift back on his motorbike. I told him I was feeling better and a lift would be great. He dropped me back at the house and said if I felt worse or needed anything I should call him straight away. He also asked me why I was so quite and didn't ask many questions which I found a bit suprising. I told him it was probably just my personality and he said "okay, I know some people like that".

Back at the house I lay down in my room for a bit until Pete came in to tell me they'd just started a movie in the common room. So I joined around 8 others to watch 'despicable me'. I watched the whole film feeling fine. After that they put on an episode of 'how I met your mother'. I started shivering again and Brooke who was sitting next to me asked if I was laughing. I decided it was time to go back to the room. I felt freezing which is no where near normal when everyone around me is sweating. I lay in bed with 2 sheets over me with the fan turned off but was still cold so tipped all the clothes from by bag on top of me for extra warmth. A few of the others came in and made me drinks with vitamins and stuff in them and Pete made me eat some cookies. I swear I'd drunk around 5L at this stage. Asad came in and asked if i wanted to go to hospital. I declined thinking it was just being cold from sunburn and I took 2 more panadol. People kept pushing for me to go to hospital so I finally conceded saying if I had a temperature I'd go to hospital because I didn't think I had one. Mel went back to her room to get a thermometer. When I did it for the first time it came up as 39.5, I was by myself in the room at this stage and did it twice more just to make sure and my readings were 39.7 and 39.6.

Off to hospital I went. It's so close that Maddie, Candice, Asad and I walked there. I sat in the waiting room for about 30 minutes and felt cold but no shivering. The doctor spoke pretty good English, I think he was from India. Maddie came into the consultation room with me. He asked me all the usual questions, checked my breathing, my temperature and blood pressure. It was pretty funny, when he took the thermometer out of his desk he swabbed it down with a cotton ball and I was thinking that it's either dry in which case it's not really going to clean it or it has some gross chemical on it and will taste foul. I was just reaching to put it in my mouth when the doctor said " no, no, no" and gestured that it went under the arm pit. I am very glad he told me in time. My temp was 38.8 so it had lowered, maybe because of the panadol I'd taken.

He started my diagnosis by saying "there are two fevers; viral fever and very dangerous fever, dengue fever. You probably don't have dengue fever, I think you have viral fever". He wrote out a prescription for me and told me to rest and if I wasn't better on the third day of being sick I'd have to be admitted to hospital and put on a drip. He also said if I got much worse I should come back and that I would shiver if my temperature was above 39. It took me forever to get to sleep. I had the thermometer next to me on the bed so i could monitor myself. Asad came and checked on me every hour for the first few hours until I told him that my temperature had been 39.2 for the last two hours so It was stable and I could sleep. I did sleep for a bit but woke around one am feeling pretty dizzy. I checked my temperature 40.1. I had a mini freak out and took two panadol and one of the random drugs I'd been given to take every six hours because I couldn't remember when I was supposesd to take the others. I then doused myself with water and stood under the fan, telling myself that if my temp didn't drop soon I'd call Asad and get him to take me to hospital. I checked it ten minutes later 39.8. I went back to sleep and woke up around 7 feeling much better. Lucy came in (she slept in a different room) and had a chat to me and I checked my temp which was 37.8. I took my drugs this morning and checked my temp about an hour ago and it was 38 but I feel fine and my eyes and back aren't really sore anymore. Asad made Gardia sleep on the couch in the common room incase I felt worse. Poor guy. This morning Asad came in and bought me juice which is supposed to be the best thing to be drinking. Just checked my temp 38.6. Bit annoying. I've already drunk 1.5L this morning and I'm about to eat breakfast even though I'm not hungary. Gardia is my company in the house today. His english isn't very good so there's a lot of grinning and shrugging of shoulders involved in conversation. Chappey has attached his hard drive to the tv so I might work my way through a series. Asad and Chappey really are our Maldivian daddies.

I doubt I have dengue fever, if i do and I only feel this sick then bring it on. I also don't have heaps of the symptoms so I like my chances. Well writing this has burned a bit of time for me. I'll update if there's any note worthy changes.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 20:23 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

More Lazy Days

Below is a photograph of a few boys Tom, Cob, Maddie and I played soccer with. To start they were quite shy but once we got on the field and started playing stacks of other kids flocked to the field. We lasted under and hour cause it was so hot and enjoyed our cold showers (sulfur smell and all).

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Shortly after my shower I was sitting in the common room with the other volunteers when Lucy came in and asked if I had the key to our room. I replied that I'd left it in the usual spot. She then asked if I'd left the outside connecting door open to which I said no because I'd left the inside door open. "oh..well why is it locked then?". At this stage Mads admitted that she'd used our bathroom and closed the door which had locked automatically. We gave Asad a call who got Gardia (who busts the best moves on the island) to try every single key they had in both doors but none of them worked. At this stage Chappey was involved and assured Lucy and I that by the time we needed to go to bed the room would be open. A few minutes later Gardia walks in with a hammer and starts smashing the handle. Frustrated with Gardias poor attempts Chappey takes over and finally busts the door open. We're pretty happy we can get into our room and the small loss of privacy is not too high a price. I took a pretty funny video but it's too big to upload so a photo of where our door handle should be will have to suffice.

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The same night at 9pm we met with Ahjib, the principle of the school we will be working at. He showed us around the school which is one of the nicest buildings on the island but terribly under resourced. It was set to open in 2014 but because of the demand for schooling they were forced to open it a few years early! We talked about what subjects and years we would prefer to teach and I've opted for any grade teaching either art, english or social sciences. School Starts on Sunday.

The last two days have been amazing.

We stayed the night at an (nearly: population 3) uninhabited island which is about a 30-40min boat trip from Thinadoo.

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I can't remember the last time I've felt this carefree.

It had the best snorkeling I've seen yet with a sweet reef shelf. I spotted a few turtles and on the last morning I saw a shark.

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Watching the sun set before eating dinner (freshly caught) was really nice.

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But so was watching it rise the next morning.

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At night the phosphorus (not sure how to spell that) would light up in flashes along the sand so it looked like hundreds of lights were burried beneath the sand. There were also thousands and thousands of medium sized crabs every where and the boys enjoyed throwing them at the feet of the girls to make them scream. Asad, Chappey, Ali & Co organised some games for us to play, including beach football, tubing, dancing and crab racing. They had also bought prizes for us and Lucy and I ended up with the same hat which has become a bit of a running joke between us.

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I've finished my first book and now onto the next one. At this rate I might actually finish the small library I've taken with me. Thankfully tomorrow is another free day so we can all sleep in as most of us are sleep deprived and a little sun struck.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 07:57 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Another Relaxing Day

Lat night a few of the locals came into our common room and taught some of us how to dance Maldivian style and how to play the drums. I was so tired I managed to fall asleep even though the drums were being played in the room next to me. Last night was the hottest it's been so far but thankfully no bugs made it into our room. We do however have a variety of lizards joining us in the shower.

This morning we woke around 8 and left around 8:30 on a boat to a close by island (below) with Asad, Ali and two of their friends.

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We each paid 15 Rufia for the trip which I think is around $1US. Unfortunately there were no turtles or sharks around but we did see lots of crabs and a few eels (I got a massive fright when a big one swam by my face). The highlight of snorkeling this morning was coming into close contact with some Clown Fish and the bright stripy fish.

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Lunch today including a bbqed snapper which was delicious. Right now most of us are in the common room watching a movie and digesting to escape the heat of the day. Soon we will head out again to brave the heat. Might walk around and chat to some locals, buy a 6 Rufia ice-cream (so cheap) and go for an other snorkel or swim.

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Posted by SusannahBinsted 02:58 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Orientation

The first few days

It took us over 24 hours to reach Thinadoo. We were held up at Male airport for a couple of extra hours and thought we'd missed our connecting flight but fortunately they held the flight for us. We arrived around 5am in the morning and slept until about 11 when we had breakfast and a quick orientation around the island. Thinadoo is very small but larger than I had expected it to be. Life is very slow here and it takes quite a while for anything to happen.

Today we were told that there has been an outbreak of fever among the kids so the schools are closed for the remainder for the week. That means we have a very relaxed week ahead of us. Yesterday Maddie and Candice were lucky enough to be taken on a fishing trip with a few of the locals who used a metal spear to catch and kill an octopus, an eel, and a couple of clams. Lots of the locals have never seen foreigners before (as you have to be invited to inhabited islands in order to visit them) so they often stare at us as we walk down the street.

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This little boy was incredibly excited to have his picture taken. Most of the kids a very shy and hide behind walls to peek at us and some even run away giggling when we try to talk to them.

We've been fed noodle or pasta dishes with tuna for most of our meals. The cooks have been leaving the hot spices out of the meals for us because they don't think we could handle it. Below is a picture of Chappey who has been looking after us really well. He knows pretty much everyone on the island so if we need anything we go to him.

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This morning a Maldivian guide took us out on a boat to a snorkel spot a few hundred meters from the island. We paddled around for a few hours and checked out the cool sea life. Tomorrow morning Asad is going to take us to a nearby uninhabited island that is supposed to have more sea life including turtles and sharks.

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Chappey built this swing on a sand bar where we were this morning. Mads and I were very relaxed from this vantage point as we looked back onto the island or out into the sea. I think I might go join Candice who is outside sketching or see if I can join the local boys in a game of soccer before dinner time.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 06:13 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Pre-depature

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We have already attended the Antipodeans pre-depature session and have read up on the Maldivian culture. Literature on the Maldives is scarce so I've relied heavily on the information found in the Lonely Planet Maldives book. I am looking forward to the cultural immersion experience and it's great that I get to share it with three of my favourite people - Maddie, Lucy and Candice.

We're flying out of the Sydney Kingsford Smith airport at 11:20 to arrive at Changi airport at 5:40 before continuing on to Male where an in-country representative will meet us and help us check in for our domestic fight to Kaadadedhoo. At Kaadadedhoo our in country agent Asad will meet us and we will be taken to the island of Thinadoo.

On Thinadoo 16 volunteers will be staying in a guesthouse with twin share rooms and a common room. Throughout the placement Asad will be our main support along with the school teachers we will be assisting. I havn't planned any lessons yet as the subjects we are teaching have not been confirmed (I have elected to teach art and/or english).

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The Maldivian people are intensely curious because they are so isolated so I thought I should bring a few 'Australian' gifts.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 21:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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