It had to happen eventually...
Trip Start Apr 01, 2007
21Trip End May 10, 2007
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I've loved the food here! I'm trying to follow the "traveling in a developing country eating rules" - only fruits with a peel, no fresh salads, no ice, bottled or filtered water only. The only one I've been really lax on is no street food. Lisa has been a bad example... she's traveled in Africa and South America before and loves trying street food and my first night here she inaugurated me! We usually stick to stuff that's cooked and hot when we get it. I've already mentioned the fried egg sandwiches (omelet with peppers and onions on a big piece of bread) multiple times. We also are addicted to fresh pineapple or mangos, have tried some of the pastries (muffins, meat pies), fried plantains, fried yams, and spicy chicken kabobs. So far I've been doing great! Bottled or 'pure' water is easy to get, so that's not been a problem.
Also the traditional Ghanaian food at restaurants is great. Red red is a spicy black eyed peas usually served with fried plantains, palava sauce is spicy red sauce with some vegetable like collard greens cooked in it, rice jollof is like fried rice, and lots of grilled fish (mostly on the bone, with the head and tail unfortunately). Some things I haven't liked - fufu is some type of tuber ground up and cooked with liquid into a think doughy ball, usually without flavor, it's served in a spicy soup or with something else, and eaten with your fingers. Groundnut soup is essentially peanut soup and while I'm a huge peanut fan, a whole soup is a bit to rich for me. Gari is a powder substance that can be totally plain or cooked in spices, either way, it's a powder that you mix into your food - I think it's basically just a way to fill your stomach. Some of the others I've had yet to try are banku (some yam filler) and kenke (fermented cornmeal in a block), neither of which sound very good.
Last night at Mabel's, Lisa and I split red red and palava sauce with yams. It was really spicy, but good. We were practically inhaling it and it was one of our best meals. Just after we got home I felt a little nauseous. I knew it couldn't really be dinner because we had just eaten 30 minutes before. I lied down and went to sleep early, waking up sometime after mid-night with vomiting and diarrhea (funny how bodily functions are always a fair-game topic while travelingJ). It lasted till about 6AM and then I was feeling better, just dehydrated. Luckily we had little going on today, just waiting for more people to come in so I've been lying low. Sleeping on and off and reading a bit. Really the perfect time to get sick, because we're staying in a place with A/C, running toilet, and even hot water in the shower (a true luxury!).
I had some toast and hard boiled eggs for breakfast, bread and peanut butter for lunch, and drinking lots of fluids, but still have been slightly nauseous most of the day. But definitely better than last night!!! I'm hoping I'll be fine by tomorrow and anyway I'm traveling with a group of doctors, so that's always reassuring.
I actually don't think it was the food. More likely something in the ocean water at Kokrobite over the weekend, or the water out of the buckets we were cleaning up with since there was no running water while we were there. Luckily, Lisa feels fine so far - I think her immune system is a bit tougher than mine.
Actually if I'm better by tomorrow I think I'm doing pretty well overall. I've talked to a lot of people who have traveled and gotten malaria (yes, I'm taking my prophylaxis), much worse food poisoning, or even cholera. Just part of the risk that goes along with the adventure of learning and visiting a different culture :)