Friday, December 5, 2014

Twilight Zone

Thursday night, our first night on Safari, one of my classmates was quite ill. She hadn’t felt well all day and decided to stay back at camp. She didn’t improve, and if anything felt worse. Alex and I decided she needed medical attention, so we encouraged her to go to the doctor. Alex located the area doctor, at another (much swankier [no-really $250 a night now $600 in the high season]) lodge. Alex, a local guide, myself, the one not feeling well, and two others loaded a van and ventured over. As we were helping her walk down the stairs, she almost collapsed, so I picked her up and carried her into the lobby and onto a couch (looks like some of that first-aid training has came in handy).

The lodge was nearly empty, seeing only two guests the whole time.

Not long after we arrived it started raining, pouring, and hailing. The winds were howling slamming the doors, and making the lights swing. Loud thunder could be heard and flashes of lightning could be seen.

As we are waiting in the lobby for the doctor, one guest comes to the desk to ask to exchange USD to KSH, the man behind the desk tells her to wait a minute for the person to come. A minute later I hear a thud and the woman says “are you okay?” in a normal non panicked tone. I look up and there is no one behind the counter.

I run over, to find the man laying on the floor unconscious, I signal for Alex to come over and as he is coming another lodge staff member does as well. She states “he will be fine” then calmly walks away. As Alex and I are helping this guy stand up, two other staff members come over and start helping him. I notice that he is holding his pants with his left arm, and dragging his leg. I suspect a stroke, but I am told again by the other staff “he will be fine”.

They bring him to a back room.

I begin questioning the woman standing at the desk as to what she saw, and all she can say is he just collapsed.

The woman working behind the desk returns, and I question her about this situation (having not seen or heard from the man who collapsed yet). Eventually, she tells me that he had an injury as a child, is on medication, and this happens occasionally.

About half an hour later the man emerges, walking fine, and after a bit returns to work elsewhere in the lodge.

All this time the doctor had still not arrived, because the roads became too impassable for the car he was in. We needed to meet him at our campground. We caught a brief break in the rain, made it to our van and started the journey back. This journey was in the rain and thunder, going whichever way was best. Alex at times stepped out to check the depth of water before proceeding.

We returned to our campground where the doctor was, and my colleague got the help she needed.

The campground prepared dinner for us separately, since we had missed the main meal, and relaxed a bit.

This entire night was out of the Twilight Zone. If the power had gone out at the lodge, I would have been convinced I was suddenly in a horror movie.

It didn’t help much our cellphones barely picked up any signal.

At the end of the day everyone was fine, and everyone was safe but this experience was incredibly….crazy. I never thought this would be the experience I would have on Safari, but hey it was a memorable experience nonetheless.

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