Global Midwifery

Ahhhh…American Food

We were very excited in Kigali to find a restaurant that served American food. We made Flory try some breakfast pastries, but when we came back for lunch he just couldn’t bring himself to order a burger. Instead he had the waiter bring him his food Congolese style.

Tammy and I jumped right in, ordering sandwiches. Tammy even got an Iced Mocha Late. After a few weeks of mostly bread and potatoes, a panini tasted really good…until about an hour later when Tammy started feeling sick in the belly. As we walked around Kigali following Flory on his quest for information about a Safari, Tammy started asking for a bathroom. By the time we made it up the stairs to the travel office her face was pale and she couldn’t get out more than “bathroom.” But the lady in the shop recognized her extreme distress, grabbed a key and was out the door dragging Tammy by her arm in record time.

I didn’t even see which way they went. When the Woman returned, Tammy was not with her. Flory started talking to her, oblivious to the fact that Tammy was gone. Then I heard a woman scream. I had a picture in my mind of some lady in the restroom trying to take Tammy”s bag and she couldn’t do anything about it because of her intestinal distress. Then came the faint moans and I knew Tammy must be really sick and needed help, but I had no idea which direction she had gone. Flory just kept talking to the travel agent on the phone. Finally the woman noticed my panic and went to rescue Tammy.

Tammy was fine physically; the screams had not been her. But the bathroom she had been taken too had no water in the tank or the bowl. She quickly decided this was an emergency and she needed to go anyway. But then the cold sweat and awful feeling of oncoming puke petrified her. What was she supposed to do now! Fortunately, the nausea subsided and she got some relief.

We still cannot talk about it without laughing hysterically that Tammy did fine all week with the unrefrigerated Congo food, but one iced late made her sick.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)