So as I mentioned in my last couple of posts, we had a great time testing mum’s heart out through close encounters with wildlife, and other such things over the last few weeks…in between all vomiting our hearts out and running to the toilet every hour.
That’s right. One by one we have all been struck down with “Livingston Fever”, which my insiders inform me hits every summer.
My turn came on Monday a couple of weeks ago, just as I reached the top of a 25 minute gorge climb, in 38 degree Celsius temperatures, after a 6 hour rafting date with dad which covered 31 kilometres and 19 rapids (check out the video in my last post).
I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and my only water intake had been the bits of Zambezi river forced down my throat by Rapid Number 7. Gazing at the view, I took a nice, big swig of cold coke and knew instantly my time had come.
The next eight hours of my life involved so much throwing up that I eventually found myself in the bath, with my husband washing warm water over my seizing muscles, while I begged the Lord for mercy.
He heard the bit about the vomiting, but I forgot to mention the other end. So after a fitful sleep, no food and no water, I found myself facing another day with a runny, cramping tummy.
Finally, Wednesday dawned, and I spent a relatively glorious day sipping water and nibbling toast whilst lying in our air conditioned room…until the power cut out for six hours and Mum suddenly turned green. As usual, the farm gal from Raetihi was the last to fall.
Honestly, there is only so much candle-light that feels romantic, and then you just start to worry about burning the house down. More pressing, I felt anxious about my medically-sustained mother regurgitating her pills within minutes of consumption. Worse-case scenarios flashed into my mind. So we cranked up the generator we had FINALLY had connected, turned her air con on, and sat back to enjoy the mind-numbing hum rage just outside Kepler’s room, after shutting windows to block the petrol fumes.
Ah, the serene sights, smells and sounds of adventure.
That all brings me to my proper bad day; that Friday. It started when I woke still unable to properly face food and our cloudy, pot-boiled municipal water.
It plunged significantly when I learned there was, in fact, a major break down at the Municipal Water Works, and no spare pump. We needed to gear up for a major water shortage (what did that mean? A day, a week, a MONTH without water??).
It nearly hit bottom when we learned that the concrete was about to be poured at Shongwe Lookout…and you need water to pour concrete. Our tank, 200m down the road, was the only option left, and we happened to have all the gear needed to get water from it to Shongwe.
Being stuck between the pressures of building, and not knowing when you will next have a water supply for your family is a very unhappy place.
I finally cracked when my poor, innocent mum washed her raw chicken hands all over my carrots while we prepared dinner for a guest.
It barely counts as even a straw (not your fault mum!), but I was a well-loaded camel by then.
I stumbled to the bathroom to cry and wash my (now also) raw chickeny hands, only to grab the conditioner instead of soap.
And there you have it. The pinnacle of my bad day. Standing at the bathroom sink desperate to cry from hunger, tiredness and stress all at the same time, with raw chicken hands smeared in conditioner.
All I could do was laugh.