This week has been pretty rough. I have a gnarly stomach virus and it has not been fun.
During the next two years I know when things get ugly, it’s going to be all about perseverance. Feeling down, sick, hurt, lonely – it’s all going to happen. I’m just going to have to let the pain seep in, accept it, fight it, and move on. Butttt it sounds easier than done, especially when you are unable to leave the bathroom that your host family of 6 shares and is located in the very middle of the house with walls thinner than paper machet.
Thankfully Costa Rica is pretty advanced in their medical care and the peace corps sets volunteers up with an amazing emergency plan. I tried waiting as long as I could before going to the hospital. One, because I didn’t want to be a baby, and two, because I was scared to leave the toilet.
Turns out, there’s a really bad virus going around. I was 1 of about 15 just that evening in that specific ER. Everyone was extremely sick; it was a disturbing scene. It made me feel a little at ease that I wasn’t just the weakling girl from Cali who couldn’t handle some flies in her food. (I wish I wasn’t joking). But nope, people born and raised here were more miserable than me.
After sitting with an IV in my hand and 3 liters of “suro” later, the doc said I was ready to go. My stomach still felt the same but I was completely out of it but thankfully no longer dehydrated. But my stomach!!!!! I got tons of medicine I couldn’t understand and that was that. After the first round of medicine I still don’t feel amazing but the peace corps nurse assures me I’ll be better by tomorrow. We leave on Monday for a week long intense technical training so I’m really hoping I can at least stomach a 4 hour, windy bus ride.
I keep telling myself this is my test. I’ve waited so long to be here in Costa Rica with the Peace Corps, and am going through this grueling training process, and then I get thrown this curveball of a gnarly stomach virus that just makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. But I’m not going to. This morning I thought to myself, “of course this would happen to me.” I felt a little discouraged. Of course I would do anything to be sick in a familiar place with familiar faces and a familiar language but this is what I’ve chosen and as bad as my stomach hurts, I wouldn’t change it. Believe me at the worst moments of this past week I didn’t know what to do. But I’m here. And I’ll keep pushing.
I’m sure this is only a mere glimpse into what is really to come in the next 2 years. I’m sure there will be plenty more nights spent on the bathroom floor and more trips to get medicine that will ease the shooting stomach pains. But all I can do is brush it off. They weren’t lying when they said this is the toughest job you’ll ever love.
Ps sorry if you’re offended by any of the toilet talk. But I’m sure any PCV or PCT can appreciate it. During staging a returned peace core volunteer told us “every fart is a gamble.” We all blushed and laughed. But now we know the truth. Can initiation be over yet?!
I’ll post when I’m back from my trip next week. Miss and love you all. Send some positive vibes my way!