Tuesday, June 3, 2008



Finally, after over 4 weeks in Dakar and 5 weeks away from site, my ears are pretty much completely healed. The ringing has stopped almost entirely, (at least enough so that I don’t notice it most of the time), and the pain is gone. I can still tune into the ringing at night, and if it’s really quiet I can tune in during the day. The official term is Tinnitus. I’ve done some research and it can be caused by inner ear infections. So this whole thing wasn’t totally uncommon or out of the ordinary. It happens to people all the time. I just hope that eventually my ears heal enough that it stops entirely. Fingers crossed.

Loud noises still bother me a lot more than normal, and so do some vibrations, like when trucks pass by. I had a CT scan and everything is totally normal, and the ENT did a hearing test and I am happy to report that I still have perfect hearing so no permanent damage Alhamdoulilah! His theory about why my ears aren’t back to normal? Stress. For which he prescribed me vitamins to help me sleep. Hmm. I disagree. I think it has much more to do with the fact that my immune system was shot after I had amoebas and other GI illnesses, and constant congestion/allergies from the desert that it literally took an entire month of intense rest to recover from what normally would have taken about a week. Though there may be some truth to his theory because the ringing is noticeably louder when I am over tired, or anxious.

I got off medical hold this week, but then stayed around in Dakar for a conference and am currently helping to translate a documentary that our Peace Corps GAD committee is producing (more on that later). Then it’s up north for a regional retreat for the new volunteers who have installed in our region and THEN it’s back to site. I have been away for SO long, I can’t wait to get back. I really miss my family, my work, and my routine. I have missed the entire month of May. Granted it is the hottest month of the year so it’s not the worst thing ever to have missed out on the desert heat for a bit. I have kept myself occupied by translating our radio show skits from Pulaar into English and soon to be into French, so that we can begin a huge health volunteer resource library. And now I am working on this documentary about women’s empowerment.

What baffled me about this whole process though is just how incredibly long it took me to recover. I’m hoping that it will just take a little longer and soon my ears will be as they were before. So for those of you who have been fretting about my health and well-being, Thanks. I’m really okay and doing everything I can to heal myself entirely.

P.S. A cockroach just ran over my computer screen as I’m uploading this at the internet cafĂ©. I’m pretty sure it actually came out of my bag. Yum.


Anonymous said...

i'm SO happy you're doing better. lots of love, Ronak

ps. i'm impressed with how cooly you handle the cockroaches. my computer would so be thrown against the wall before i could stop myself... i don't feel like a brat at all. ;)

Anonymous said...

o cait,

at least your feeling better, im sure when you go home for the wedding, you will heal much quicker, we just went to the city to see aunt patty, matt and zach, and matt is going to africa too. tanzania, i believe. i guess our family has alot of africa lovers. lol

well please, continue to concentrate on getting better, and ill see you in aug!!



Booyataa said...

Your website made me feel very nostalgic for my 9 years in Velingara. Would any of your Pulaar speaking friends like free copies of a paper in Pulaar? See http://soon.org.uk/fulani/free-papers.php

We mail them free of charge if specifically requested.

Thanks, Jane