Sunday October 24, 2010 | Transfrontier Africa | Michael Scholl

Sunday October 24, 2010

Dear Diary,

Sorry I didn’t write yesterday, but I just couldn’t muster the force. You see, since my last entry things haven’t been going well at all. I will try to explain it to you, from the beginning. You see Diary, we were at the pool with Amy and the rest and then we went to see some elephants. I can barely remember what happened during that time, but all I know is that I was feeling worse and worse by the minute. The sun was setting, but I felt like I was burning up and I had the feeling that I was about to be ill, but since I didn’t want to alarm anyone I didn’t say anything. Craig had then gotten a tip saying that there were 2 lions sleeping and since we hadn’t seen lions yet we went immediatly. I was still feeling worse and worse, but I kept quiet although I felt like dying. We arrived at the lions and I have to say that the sight of them cheered me up, though not for long. I had also started to cough and everytime I would breath, I felt pain. It was around this time that Solange and Elena noticed that something was seriously wrong and when they asked me what was wrong, I bursted into tears. That always happens to me, I never cry until someone asks me why I’m sad. I don’t know why, I just do. Not long after that Michael and Emilio also noticed that I wasn’t doing well and although everyone tried to help, there wasn’t a lot they could do. They asked me if I wanted to go back, but I didn’t want to ruin this for them, so I said I wanted to stay to see the lions. What i didn’t know was that we were going to stay for more then an hour; Okay, I may be exagerating, since it probably wasn’t an hour, but it felt like that, especially since the lions barely moved! The biggest they did was stand up, walk for about 10 metres and go to sleep again. At the end, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I asked if we could go back to the camping place. They immediately asked Craig if he minded that we went back and he replied that he didn’t so we went back. The moment I arrived I went to my room and I stayed in there and didn’t come out. I fell asleep around 8.00 p.m and only woke up a few times, like when people came to check on me, which I was gratefull for.

The next morning I was still feeling as bad. Whenever I talked my voice sounded raspy and  couldn’t drink anything except coke or else I felt like vomiting. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, because I couldn’t get a single thing down my throat without feeling nausious, but I knew I had to come out of my bunk one day. I sat down and said good morning to everyone and the next thing I knew Goosy jumped on me and started trying to bite me. I was already not feeling well, but that just made me freak out even more. Everyone tried to help me, but she would always come back. I gave up with trying to fight her and just got up and went back to the bunk. That reminded me of how Elena had said that she kept trying to attack her and I had smiled at the thought. Well know I regret it. Later, they came to ask me if I was feeling well enough to go with them that day, and since I knew I couldn’t survive the day in the range rover, I told them I would prefer to stay in the room. They then insisted that somebody stays with me and that just made me feel so incredibly guilty! Although I told them that I would be fine by myself, John stayed while the others went to the village to buy some supplies and necceseties. I asked then to bring me back some water, tissues, cream against sun allergy, and glasses, since I had forgotten mine in Switzerland. I thanked them and said goodbye, while they left, while still feeling guilty for all the trouble I was causing. I just felt so bad!

Why does my body always have to act up at the worst moments? I always got sick at the wrong time! My sisters birthday, my best friends birthday party, MY birthday, during summer vacation twice, during New years Eve and now I was sick during South Africa. Why? I know I’m ranting diary and I know that I shouldn’t complain since I still am in South Africa, a beautiful country, but I just have to let it loose and that stupid mangoose isn’t helping. During the day, I went out once, because I had to go to the bathroom and it attacked me the minute it saw me. John had to distract her the whole time and then I went back to my bunk immediately although it was boiling in there. That day I read 3 books, including one that Michael had given me. I didn’t come out of the bunk to eat, since my stomach was still feeling bad and I didn’t do any homework, since already reading was hard enough. I also slept a lot. Atleast one hour between every book. The day was long and I was happy to hear the sound of the range rover, meaning that they were back. My joy was short-lived. Elena and Solange came to check how I was doing and told me how the village was, and I have to say that it didn’t sound like I missed much, and then they told me that they were going to go out again and asked me if I was feeling well enough to joing them. I was truthful and told them that I still wasn’t feelng better, see worse, and this time it was Michael that stayed with me and again I felt like I was spoiling his day. Michael came into the room short after the others left and told me that he was going to get some fire wood, if I minded being alone for a few minutes and asked if I needed something. I said everything was fine and so he left. I was starting to feel really lonely so I started texting my friends to see if their vacation was any better then mine. It was. Talking to my friends did make me feel better and meanwhile Michael had come back. It was around that time that my mom called me. Michael had texted my parents saying what was happening and so she called worriedly, asking if I needed a doctor. I reassured my mom and promised her that if today I wasn’t feeling better I would call a doctor. We finished talking at around 8.00 p.m and I was surprised that my friends weren’t back yet, since the latest we had ever been back was 7.30 p.m, but to my relief I hear the car come in and after a few minutes Emilio came to see how I was doing. I have to say that I was feeling better by then, so I came out with Emilio, especially since I knew that Goosy was sleeping, but it was only then that I noticed that Solange, Elena, Hugo, John and Craig weren’t back so I asked where they were. He told me that Amy was having car trouble and that they went to rescue her. We talked a bit about what the cause may be to my ilness, and we guessed I probably had too much sun, which annoyed me, because if there was one person that took special care in protecting hereslf from the sun it was me. I put on suncream every few hours and I wore my hat 99% of the time. I guess that that 1% is what caused all this and I just felt so angry at myself. Anyways, the others arrived and they told me about the elephants they had seen and about how beautiful the sunset was. I was a bit jealous to have missed it, but I soon got over it when I heard they saw a black mamba, and all of a sudden I felt reliefed I hadn’t been there. If I had seen that ‘it’, I probably would have had nightmares and not dare taake a step out of the bunk. I went back to my bunk, because I was feeling a bit chilly and then Elena came to ask me if I wanted something to eat. Even though I said no, she insisted and I just couldn’t refuse, so I went down and had a tiny bit of spaghetti with no sauce. After eating, I felt sick again and so went up back to my room. Elena came up again to get my guitar, but instead she sat down on Solange’s bed and we talked a bit about random subjects. The next thing I know is I wake up and see that Elena is sleeping on Solange’s bed. I check my phone and I see that we have slept around 3 hours! The light was still on, and since I didn’t want to wake Elena up I turned off the light. My plan failed, because the sound of the light turning off woke her and so she got up, wished me goodnight and went to her bed. This all happened yesterday, dear Diary, and you think that sounds bad, listen to what happened today.

This morning I woke up quite early, feeling so much better then the day before and I was even thirsty, which was the first time since I fell ill. I didn’t even feel like throwing up when I drank water! I was still coughing though, and so I woke up Solange by accident. I started reading my book, while Solange got up and opened the door slightly so that some fresh air could get in, because I was sweating like crazy. She then called her dad and the next thing I know, she yells. Goosy was in the doorway and she jumps on my bed, and starts trying to bite me as if she was possesed. Her teeth would close around my fingers and stay there until I shook her of. I was so terrified! I kept pushing her of my bed,  but she kept coming back!!! I was starting to hyperventilate, which I always do when I am under stress. Meanwhile Solange had told her dad she had to hang up and that she would call him back later and she started trying to help me. There was a moment I caught her between my bed sheets and we almost got her out but she was to fast for us. I was getting more and more terrified by the second. I kept on yelling: “why does she hate me so much?” but even Solange didn’t have an answer for that. She kept on coming for me and not Solange, and she just wouldn’t stop! I finaly got her between my bedsheets again and threw them out with her in and quickly closed the door. I was sobbing and hyper ventilating at the same time and Solange had no idea what do with me. She hugged me and told me it was over, and I started to calm down slowly. When I was calm enough Solange called back her dad, because he was stressing out since he had no idea what had happened. During the call, I was evaluating the damage done by Goosy. I had been bitten 5 times, and although they weren’t too deep, one of the bites was right next to my nail and I could see that something was stuck in there. Solange calmed down her dad and then checked the damage that was done to her. She got away with only one bite luckily and I was so grateful that she had been there to help me. I then tried to contact Michael and Emilio through the talkie walkie’s they had given us, but no answer. I was not going out there to get them that was for sure! I even considered not coming out at all, until we left to go back to switzerland. The mangoose stayed outside our cabin for a good 10 minutes until she finaly realised that we weren’t coming out and then she left. I took back my bedsheet and Solange got dressed to tell the others what happened. I continued to read to keep my mind off of what happened but it didn’t really work. Solange cam back a bit later and told me that Emilio and Michael actually found it funny!!! It was NOT funny! That thing is a monster! They did come to check on us later though and asked how I was doing. I said that I felt better although the episode with goosy had made me very dizzy. I stayed in the bunk for a nice long time, but I couldn’t wait any more, because I really had to go to the bathroom after all the water I drank. I went out with Solange, after getting dressed in long pants, a long sleeved shirt and closed shoes, since I was scared that Goosy would bite me, went to the bathroom, and of course there were bees were all over the place. I am allergic to bees so I couldn’t get close to the toilet, so I had to relief my self the natural way. I then sat down, when I noticed that Goosy didn’t want to keep on killing me and relaxed. The relaxation didn’t last long, because the mangoose all of a sudden realised I was still alive and continued trying to bite me. By now I was terrified of Goosy, so I stood up and ran back to my bunk while tears started welling up in my eyes again. I then started writing in you Diary, to tell you how much I have got enough of all of it. I am now sitting again next to the others, after Elena convinced me to come backdown. I had some cookies as breakfast and because it is sunday we are still in the camp place at 1 p.m. This is what happened Diary, and know that I look back, also positive things happened, like I noticed how nice and adorable all my friends are here and that if they hadn’t been there my day would have been a lot worse. Well dear Diary, I hope that things will get better though. I really hope so!

written by Diane Danneels (International Baccalaureate IB Class of 2012 student)

© / Michael Scholl Copyright 2012 for TransFrontier Africa and Craig Spencer