May 1, 2010

A fresh start for May

No one ever won a prize for not taking a sick day, my roommate said as she touched my clammy shoulder. I felt tears well up, mostly in relief that I could just go back to bed. It's not my nature to admit when I'm sick. But sitting there, my teaching outfit half-on, my fever raging, I decided that she was right. I wasn't doing anyone a favor by showing up to teach like this.

After sleeping almost non-stop from noon on Thursday to six o'clock Saturday morning, I have arrived back in my body. My back aches from the long horizontal period and I think I've run out of things to dream about. My dreams ran the usual gambit: my family, high school volleyball, being underwater, ex-boyfriends and other people I haven't seem in years; plus a new dream where I am hugging David Keyzer, but I can't remember if he is alive or not.

In between dreams, I laid awake—well, semi-conscious—thinking about Nebraska. It was like watching a slide show of my own life. The pictures of endless plain, the orange carpet of the UNK library, and my favorite table at Barista's were too much for me, consumed with fever in a 90 degree room. Mentally changing the subject, I thought back to Kratie Province. My slide show became gold, orange and red with surreal sunsets, and I remembered lying on my back on the porch of someone's house, sweating, half-asleep, listening only to the sound of birds.

After two fuzzy days of Royal-D rehydration powder, Tylenol and watching internal slide shows, I'm back to my usual what-do-I-need-to-do-next self. Cambodia is a big adventure and my body needed a big rest. I've got another three weeks with CWF, and now I am ready for the final stretch.