New Year, New Awesome, New Crutches

Priorities:

Now for the rest of it all:

Remember back in middle school when your friends were getting their first broken bones and you thought, I want a cool cast! followed quickly by Only if it’s my left hand, so I can still write. or Crutches would be awesome for a couple days.

Well.

Think again.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog (or my other social media platforms), you might have noticed that I’ve broken my first bone! And it’s not been nearly as fun as my eighth-grade-self imagined. To make a very, very, verrry long story short…

I’ve had x-rays, multiple MRIs, countless trips to King Faisel Hospital, and spent four weeks in Kigali. I AM FINALLY BACK AT SITE (as of an hour ago). I opened my door, fully expecting a mess and what did I find? A cupboard full of food (thanks to my November care package), clean clothes, clean dishes, and no trash! I even had the foresight to buy petrol for my stove before leaving for my weekend trip that turned into a four-week nightmare.

The PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) has been incredible throughout this whole process. After discovering the break, he went out of his way to find some research on the break and, with giddy excitement, told me how uncommon this kind of injury is and how it’s often only seen in triathletes and military personal. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that the probability of either of those things being true, for me, is bout -25%. (I do enjoy a good uniquity, I s’pose.)

To make things concise, the rest of the post is a bit more organized:

Week One in Kigali (12/5-12/12):
Pretty much covered in my last post; went to Ed 6 Swear-In and the Leadership Retreat…then found out I had a stress fracture.

Week Two (12/12-12/19):
Went to get an MRI on two separate occasions to nail down the fracture and figure out the best treatment. I had every intention of leaving Kigali on Monday, but the MRI machine didn’t pick up good enough images (despite my 90 minutes in the machine). The results from the second MRI came in on Friday and I was put on “Case arrest” (basically had to stay on the couch all week/weekend. At this point, I was starting to go stir-crazy and had intense cabin fever. Luckily, there were two other PCVs “living” at the Case and one other visiting, so we kept each other pretty busy. The whole while I tried to get as much work done as possible via E-mails and phone-calls.

Week Three (12/19-12/26):
By Monday, I had a lovely pair of crutches:
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Never, ever again will I take the States’ conveniences for granted. Getting around even the largest city, in Rwanda, is impossible with crutches. Impossible. Every sidewalk is a death trap and every store is an obstacle course.

At this point, I was starting to get pretty damn bummed. I had planned a trip to Burundi and would’ve left on December 24th. The PCMO didn’t clear me for travel (I don’t blame him one bit; crutches are hard enough that I probably would’ve given up using them on vacation.) Come Monday (12/22), I discovered that I had a minimal case of pink eye, courtesy of the Peace Corps transit house. (Disgusting, right?) Got me some meds from the PCMO and it cleared up the next day, thank heavens. Tuesday (12/23) rolled around and I went to breakfast with some PCVS and had my favorite avocado and bacon sandwich. A few hours later, I got to enjoy the sandwich a second time…and then a third…fourth…fifth…etc. because I got food poisoning. Thus ensued twelve whole hours of vomiting and being unable to sleep a wink.

I had avoided a pity party until that point. Then, the tears fell and I called my parents and grandparents. (Thanks for listening to my sobbing and whining and still loving me.) I have never thought about leaving this place. Rwanda is home now. But in that moment…my darkest moment in country…I just wanted to go home for a day or two and have my mommy make me some soup or something.

By the next day (Christmas Eve), I was feeling weak and bummed about missing Burundi, but was in such a better head space. Thankfully, one of my fellow Health 6 PCVs came into town and offered up a spot house-sitting with her. After getting to the house, we spent the day watching movies and relaxing (with my foot up, mom, don’t worry!). The next day (Christmas), we got up early and went shopping for food goodies. By 6:00PM, we were settled in and grubbing away:

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My co-workers and boss sent me some lovely Christmas messages and I had a great phone call with my entire host family. Speaking of which! My host sister, Jacky, is engaged! She’ll be married, next month, to her boyfriend, Bosco. I’m so unbelievably excited for her!

I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas in Rwanda.

Week Four (12/26-1/2):
I spent the next few days, until New Year’s Eve, house-sitting with the girls and having a generally relaxing time. My favorite part was probably cleaning up after the two cats, which were clearly not potty-trained; especially when one of them decided to eat an entire lizard:

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Classy cat food.

What to say about NYE?

Rwanda does it better.

I spent New Year’s Eve eating, drinking, (avoiding) dancing at a club, crashing a wedding, playing beer pong with water (so American), and staying up until 6:30AM, tryinggg to keep up with the three-hundred, or so, Rwandans at our hostel. I failed and had to sleep a wink. But dayum…the party raged on until 2:00PM the next day. I really do not understand where their energy comes from; this is such a napping culture…but there were people up and partying for 36 hours! Crazies.

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Zach came to visit me at the transit house, in my time of need!

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Laura, Grace, and me!

Chuck, A-a-ron, Zach, and me!

Whitney and me!

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We forgot to take a NYE photo; morning after!

Vanessa likes to take selfies on my phone; she deserves this.

And, if you’re wondering, I spent the stroke of midnight in a cab with three other PCVs…lost and looking for the club our friends were at. #glamorous

Yesterday, I tried to head back to site after seeing the doctor one last time (until my one-month check-up). The universe had other plans. After hobbling my ass to the bus stop, venturing on the bus with crutches, and trekking across the large bus station…I was told the soonest bus I could get on was at 6:00PM (it was 1:00PM at the time). If I had gone at six, I wouldn’t have been back at site until 10:00PM and taking a moto after 8:00PM is not the business in a country that doesn’t have DUI checkpoints. I opted, instead, for a 6:30AM bus today and am finally, finally, FINALLY back at site! I could’ve cried tears of joy when I saw my neighbors and realized they had truly missed me as much as I had missed them!

And, now, it is time for a nap and my very own bed in my very own home.

I’m ready for 2015; I’ve never been more ready to conquer 365 days.

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