We started with movie night on Friday.
I’ll just say that it was depressing. They chose a documentary on Burma that brought many to tears and put some awful pictures to many of the things we have been discussing in class. In some ways it was redeemed with a short discussion at the end vocalizing hope for the future and praying for change.
But it was still depressing.
Saturday began much better. I was hanging out my laundry at 7am when I heard a twangy, country version of Achy Breaky Heart blaring from a blown cell phone speaker. You just have to smile at that!
We also went for a hike most of the morning. We were after a little shop in a nearby village, hoping to buy some treats for the students. It is supposedly a 20 minute hike for them; it took us all forty minutes or so to get there.
But it was an absolutely gorgeous hike, through rivers and under thick jungle trees and vines. Then up over mountains overlooking beautiful valleys. There are more varieties of trees here than I even have vocabulary for. It’s stunning.
And we found some treasures at the end, including a sweet Karen woman excited to see foreigners and share orange soda.
On the way back, my foot slipped at one point. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I caught myself and just noticed my toe hurt a bit. I didn’t think much of it, but in the end it would define more of my weekend than expected.
I tried to clean my toe up when I showered, but it hurt more than I thought it would. I gave up, thinking I’d get to it later, and went to teach for a few hours in the afternoon to review with the students. We had another movie night, this time watching Beauty & the Beast with snacks. This was a huge hit, until one hour in, when the movie froze and refused to deliver an ending.
That night, I tried to clean out my toe again with no luck. It was strangely sore.
I went to bed, only to wake up about an hour later with my toe throbbing. I was up most of the night, unable to sleep. And when I did, I woke up with dreams that someone was attacking my toe.
In the morning, it was obviously infected: bright red, throbbing, and oozing.
I mentioned this to Yim at breakfast and asked her if the “nurse”–one of the students who took a short medical training on midwifery–could look at it. The student said it needed to be cleaned out and disinfected, which they promptly did in the kitchen after breakfast. I sent Stephen back to our room to prevent him passing out, and I was soon sitting on a table with my foot on the bench.
To be fair, the student did a great job. She was very sanitary and careful, cleaning out the dirt deep under my nail and disinfecting the cut. But it hurt much more than I anticipated.
About half way in, I was afraid my breakfast was coming back up. Yim was sitting near me, and I calmly told her I didn’t feel so good. She assured me I was fine, just to look away.
I told her two more times before I decided to push her out of the way and stand up to leave. The kitchen didn’t seem a good place to vomit. She walked outside with me and we stood in the dirt. Within a few minutes I wasn’t sure if I was more likely to vomit or fall asleep.
And then I passed out.
She called for help to get me sitting down; one of the students ran to Stephen to tell him that I was dizzy and he should come. He arrived to see me laying down on a table, pouring sweat, and very, very white.
They finished my toe, cutting away a chunk of nail and bandaging it up.
And then I slept for most of Sunday, waking up only to go to church and meals. As the nurse came to clean it again tonight–necessary after I walked to church through a few streams and thick mud–more students gathered around. I think they were just hoping to there for the show this time.
Nothing like celebrating the weekend with two bummer movies and a crazy white person passed out on the kitchen table!