Wednesday, 7:30am: I wake up and get ready for monthly meeting at hospital
8:00: Meeting scheduled to begin
8:30: I enter meeting room
10:00: Meeting begins
10:15: I take something out of my backpack
6:00pm: Meeting ends
6:30: I enter my compound
6:35: I begin preparing a cake for my neighbor/ host brother, who is celebrating his 14th birthday
6:45: I reach into my backpack
6:45: The equivalent of a thousand wasp stings
6:45-6:50: I set a new word record for most expletives said in five minutes
6:50: I look into the backpack
6:50-6:55: I break my recently set world record for most expletives said in five minutes
6:58: My neighbor kills the scorpion
6:59: We dance on his grave
7:00: I call the Peace Corps Medical Officer (PCMO) and inform him of my situation
7:01: PCMO asks me to put thermometer in my mouth while he gives me instructions
7:02: PCMO asks me many questions that require a response
7:03: Thermometer falls out of my mouth
7:05: Temperature normal! PCMO tells me I might need treatment at PC Headquarters in Lomé
7:06: I take a Benadryl
7:07: I call my Peace Corps big Katie. She tells me that she had a friend who was once stung by a scorpion in the testicles
7:08: I feel a little bit better about myself
7:09-7:29: Excruciating pain
7:30: Host family arrives
7:31: Host family eats cake to celebrate 14-year-old neighbor’s birthday!
7:32: Host family hears story of scorpion sting
7:33: PCMO calls again. He stresses that under no circumstances am I allowed to see an herbal doctor or cut the wound
7:34: Host mom says, “We need to go to the herbal doctor RIGHT NOW. He will only cut the wound.”
7:35: I thank my host mom but turn down her very kind offer
7:38: We reach a compromise. We will not visit the herbal doctor, but I will eat four cloves of raw garlic.
7:40: I eat four cloves of raw garlic
7:41: I’m healed! The pain completely dissipates
7:41: Just kidding. The pain is still just as bad, except now I also am dealing with the fact that my mouth will taste like garlic until 2024
7:51: Host mom asks how many formal outfits I will need when I go to the capital, Lomé
7:52: I tell her 0.
7:53: Host mom shoves two formal outfits into my backpack.
7:54: I take a second Benadryl
8:00: Host family leaves. 14-year-old stays behind to monitor me throughout the night, even though it is literally his birthday
8:01: Benadryl begins to kick in
8:05: I tell 14-year-old neighbor that I am going to bed. I give him explicit instructions, “If Amigo gets up in the middle of the night, you can let him out to pee. Super easy, right?”
8:06: 14-year-old agrees that what I just said is super easy
8:07: Selfie with injured hand
8:10: I ask myself, “When was the last time I was in this much pain?”
8:11: I remember the time that the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2006, and I did the cancan in my room, slipped, and bruised my wrist
8:20: Believing the end of the world is nigh, I eat a cup of cake batter and listen to Christmas music.
9:00: Pain begins to subside. PCMO tells me I don’t have to come to Lomé. I start drifting in and out of sleep!
Thursday, 4:00am: 14-year-old neighbor wakes me to ask if I am doing okay. I appreciate this.
6:00: 14-year-old neighbor wakes me to ask if I can put on a movie for him. I do not appreciate this.
7:30: 14-year-old neighbor wakes me to tell me that people are at the door to make sure that I’m okay.
7:31: I narrowly avoid stepping in a puddle of Amigo’s pee
7:31: I say, “Did Amigo pee inside last night?”
7:32: 14-year-old neighbor responds, “Oh yeah. He pooped in the corner too.”
7:33: 14-year-old neighbor asks for a dime so he can buy breakfast
8:30: PCMO calls to check in
8:31: I tell him that I should be back on my feet in no time
8:31: He asks if I’m not on my feet yet
8:32: I say, “Yes, but that’s because I’m lazy.”
8:33: We both have a good laugh 🇹🇬❤️