I am in Ecuador. The real Ecuador. I am staying with the Umana family in their beautiful house in Cumbaya. Cumbaya is a suburb of sorts to Quito, about fifteen minutes to and from. It is so pretty here. We live below a beautiful volcano and in a jungle valley. I love the house I am staying in, I have my own room and have the cutest kitten ever as a roommate, I love it!
I have been having a great time enjoying the environment and life here, except I have something that is prohibiting some of my fun: a wicked rash. I am not trying to scare anyone, or sprout fear in people about the dangers of traveling and the effects of the developing world. I am just trying to tell my real story, the good and the ugly. Even if it involves talking about the itchy subjects.
When I reached Quito I looked in a mirror in my new home and screamed. My face was all red and puffy, kind of like chicken pox except swollen and turning purple. I had no clue what could have caused this rash. I had traveled halfway across the world, but besides that, I had done everything else normally. I later found out, after visiting with several doctors in a local hospital, that I was having an allergic reaction to my malaria pills. I need to take malaria pills for when I travel to Panama and adventure in the southern Ecuadorian jungle, but the side effects are gnarly. The doctors gave me several shots and pills I must take for ten days, to stop the reaction. I feel like I am a freak, and am embarrassed to go outside because of how bad I look. But I need to get over my fear and live!
I am recovering slowly but surely. Today, even though I’m still marked by this rash, I plan to leave my sheltered cocoon and explore my new home!