Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CD Diary: Sukau to DG. And a visit to the doctor's.

06 June 2012, Wednesday.
Did I have a rough night; kamikaze mosquitoes were relentless, and I woke up to an inflamed face of 16 bites spread out almost symmetrically, 2 were on my eyelids that almost sealed them shut.

In addition to my beat-up appearance, my belly felt like it had a tonne of bricks. I passed it off as a bad case of indigestion.

Right after breakfast, a sudden wave of nausea hit me. Before I could utter "I need to throw up", I scrambled to the grass patch by the hut's stairs and was on all fours, my gut turned inside out. I looked up to find friend S holding out a few pieces of tissue in front of me as he said, "I don't know what else to do". Neither did I. It was a scene no one had planned for, but in such trips, it has to happen to one of us. Fortunately it was me.

Work in the morning went on as usual. We were expecting new faces to arrive later that morning, for a meet-and-greet. I, however, was more incapacitated than I imagined, and could only lie in bed, shuffling occasionally to the bathroom for the nasty expulsions.

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We were leaving Sukau and the B+B for "DG" that very afternoon; in my condition, I was not looking forward to a long car ride.

Everyone caught word of my state of affairs -- Isabelle was so kind and brought me a stack of remedies and a large bottle of water (even though my body was not keeping any of it), and arranged for our afternoon's pick-up to stop by a clinic. I couldn't wait for time to go by quicker, that day.

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Hubs and I weren't sure if the small-town's doctor was going to speak English, but we were lucky to have Bahasa-speaking company. And with luck, this said doctor spoke English. While waiting, I needed to use the bathroom urgently. Using that clinic's bathroom is an experience I do not wish to repeat.

Given the usual dose of antibiotics, motion sickness and pain medication, we continued our journey to "DG". (I didn't know what "DG" stood for, but didn't ask. I figured I was going to find out eventually.)

It was also much later that I discovered, to get to "DG", we needed to take a boat...
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Oh, I was desperately relying on the motion sickness pill to work twice as hard. The hour-long boat ride seemed longer, as we made a few stops to visit possible flat areas suitable for flights. I stayed on the boat in those times, spilling my gut into the river, and getting swarmed by sand flies (chiggers).
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We made it to DGFC by late afternoon. DGFC = Danau Girang Field Centre.
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Walking the paved way from the jetty through the forest reminded me of a tropical holiday resort. For some strange reason. (Young and fresh-faced students that walked by in their flip-flop sandals with their cheerful greetings might be the reason.)

The field station was really impressive, with a large common space and cozy work rooms.
Power outages at DGFC were timed, so was the use of Wi-fi. Wi-fi!
Ah, internet access... My mood lifted. Dinner was great too, with everyone dining together in a community spirit. It was easy to forget that we were in a research field centre.

After dinner, the guys gave an impromptu presentation to the students...
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The next morning, we were to ride out to a selected site, for flights. (You guessed it.)

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