My stomach: The Pain Gizzard Filled with Glass Sha

Trip Start May 29, 2007
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Trip End Jul 18, 2007


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Sunday, July 15, 2007

Friday morning I woke well rested. The ten hours of sleep was definitely needed after traveling the day before. I dressed and went to congregate with the other day walkers.
 
Today we would be traveling to a farm museum in Pretoria. I didn't eat breakfast because of a lack of apetite. The excess sleep provided me with a good deal of energy, however it did not improve the condition of my stomach.
 
The farm museum was a half hour commute from the house. The entire ride over my stomach was grumbeling. We arrived to find the museum desolate and unoccupied. It was like attending a theme park in the winter when nothing was open and running. Apparently, during their 'on' season, people make bread from scratch, craftsman stretch and shape leather, tractors are always buzzing about, and everyone is 'in costume.'
 
Preoccupied by the earthquake going on in my stomach, I didn't really care about the poor status of the museum. I did walk around and see rare vintage tractors, carriages, wagons, maize mills, farm equipment, sheep, donkeys, horses, chickens, peacocks, and cattle. Seeing all that stuff was indeed interesting, nevertheless I couldn't kick the funk in my abdomen..
 
Our stay at the museum was brief and we returned back to the Wallis home. Upon our return, I asked Aaron if his stomach had been bothering him at all. He said it had been and described the same symptoms I had been experiencing. We concluded that the CHIPS we ate during our LAST FEW HOURS in Malawi were the source of our bug. I am an IDIOT. For five weeks I was careful about what I ate only to blow it on the LAST DAY IN THE LAST HOURS!  
 
The rest of the day in Pretoria can be described as Aaron and I sitting around the house feeling sorry for ourselves. It was a 'the internal organs in my abdomen are rotting' kind of pain.
 
Saturday was very similar to Friday. I woke up mid morning, had a shower, and ate a little something for breakfast. We left for church and my stomach pain came along for the ride.
 
We attended church in Johannesburg. There were about 90 people in congregation. I pleasantly met people, but I think they picked up on my illness. Mr. and Mrs. Wallis explained the situation to them. They were understanding and sympathetic.
 
After church Mr. Wallis drove us around downtown Johannesburg. What a depressing place. The streets are crowded with unemployed people, crime rates are through the roof, and the pollution is barely tolerable. Let's just say the grass isn't always greener if you know what I mean. Outside the city, there are some very nice areas. Downtown though, wow, it's scary.
 
Saturday night was déjà vu of Friday night. The sun rose on Sunday and so did my spirits. I was feeling better. I suppose the tiny punching boxers in my digestive tract decided to tone it down.
 
Sunday, we went to the Pretoria Lion park. It was unbelievable. I'll give you the accelerated description.
We saw lions, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and African deer We pet and played with several lion cubs We saw a cheetah training demonstration We watched the lions feed  
I'll just touch on the feeding. This was unreal to watch. A park worker drove into the park in a caged 4x4 and threw quartered goat segments out of the truck. The lions immediately snatched the large sections of meat and began eating.
 
Lions have extraordinarily sharp teeth. They cleaned the goat bones like they were licking butter off a knife. WOW! Sometimes two lions would even fight over a piece of goat. Fantastic!
 
Seeing a lion tear the raw muscle off of goat bones made me FEEL manly. I wish my stomach would allow me to feel 100% manly. I was pretty close to being all better though.
 
We returned home, ate supper, and headed off to bed. The real excursion begins now.
 
Another philosophy from Tom Robbins' book that I hold dear:
 
"To physically overcome death - is that not the goal? - we must think the unthinkable thoughts and ask unanswerable questions. Yet we must not lose ourselves in abstract vapors of philosophy. Death has his concrete allies, we must enlist ours. Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer."
 
The journey is still unfolding. More to come.
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