Thursday, February 17, 2011

Veloma, Toliara

I got some blood work back today and it turns out I have hypocalicemia, or abnormally low levels of blood calcium. Why might I have this odd little deficiency? Parasite X, of course! No seriously, I have some type of unknown parasite which is leeching my calcium. I guess this sort of thing must be rather common, as the doctor tested directly for calcium (among other things) and the pharmacy had a nicely packaged treatment none other than hypocalicemia. The treatment regime is a mega antibiotic (to kill Parasite X), ten days of calcium super-supplements (to stop the nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and painful bones), followed by a week of some scary looking B6/magnesium concoction in glass viles. Ever use V05 hot oil? Same viles. Scary.

So, I should be back to functional in no time! I really am desperate to get out of Toliara and back into the forest. Its been really nice to have shower/bathroom facilities, but I am in Madagascar for LEMURS. A few things to note about Toliara before I go:

1. The sunsets are lovely. Even if they are over rubble. And yes, people live in that rubble.

2. There was some sort of a yogurt party outside of my hotel today. There was loud music playing all day and when I went down stairs and asked what was going on found out that it was "publicity of food." There were two enormous speakers outside of the small grocery type store, and two DJ-ish dudes behind a table. Directly in front of the DJs, were 4 small bottles of "Yoa", which is drinking yogurt. OK.

3. Bang Dong tissues. I just had to buy a box. Enough said?

4. This isn't about Toliara so much, but I thought it was cute anyhow. Today I went out to eat. It was the first time in nearly a week that I ventured out for food. I could only eat a wee bit of my veggie curry and really didn't want to waste the rest. There is no 'to go' here (INCLUDING COFFEE) but the restaurant was kind enough to lend me their Santa bowl, such that I could take my lunch with me.

Ok, well I will sign off now and will be back online in late April. In the mean time, I promise to take my vitamins (literally), watch for scorpions (literally), and pay off any drunken AK-47 wielding gendarme (literally, beit with cash or french fries [and yes, this actually happened]).


  1. 1. Be careful about those Santa bowls. In 1987 I got food poisoning in Tana from eating veg.curry out of a tupperware bowl.
    2. Before you leave Madagascar, see if you can get some Vermox. I used to take it in the 90s after a field season. Kills all the little gut parasites.
    3. I am amazed that Toliara had all those pharmaceuticals!


  2. I am totally going to find Vermox!