"Never a dull moment, huh?" - part of a text from my mother last week. Never a dull moment is right. I've been battling a heat rash on my back since late November. It was annoying but tolerable for a while, and the combination of my travels in December in cooler parts of the country + some different meds helped a little bit. But ever since I got back to my site, the weather has been growing more and more miserable each day, as has the rash. Last week it flared up to an unbearable level, and did not improve despite the Peace Corps doctors increasing my med dosage and adding another medication. So, they told me I would need to come to Tana to see a dermatologist. So naturally, cyclone Bingiza decided to hit Morondava at the exact same time, preventing me from leaving my site and traveling to Tana. Then over the weekend the safety and security officer was sending out alerts about potential problems with demonstrations in Tana, especially around the airport. Apparently former president Ravalomanana (who has been exiled) thought it would be a good time to try to finagle his way back onto the island. So, getting to Tana was a bit of a challenge. Had it been an emergency, the situation absolutely would have been different, so to all concerned parties - have no fear. Since it wasn't an emergency, I was able to wait it out and am now in Tana. I'll be here at least through tomorrow, possibly longer. I'm seeing the dermatologist in the morning so we'll see how it goes. I'll be sure to post something longer tomorrow. For now, I have an early morning ahead of me and want to take advantage of the electricity and crawl into bed with a movie.
Here's a picture of my back one of the days last week. (Cooler whether has since helped the rash cool off, though it is still bothering me.)