This set of posts comprise an addendum for Time and Place 2015-16, accounting for previous travels and events.
In all of my travels to 100 countries I’ve only been seriously ill twice, neither time life-threatening fortunately. A few years ago after a dance festival in Cape Town I climbed aboard a very big bus and headed for Windhoek, Namibia, almost 1,500 kilometers away. It was a great ride in a comfortable conveyance through country that went from being geographically much like the Wisconsin to land more resembling my desert southwest. I loved every mile. In Windhoek, I was scheduled to meet with Haymich Olivier, director of the Early Rain Dance Theatre. Windhoek appeared a pleasant enough little city though I was too see little of it. I did spend a most enjoyable day or so talking with Haymich and watching a rehearsal of his obviously accomplished dancers.
Then it struck—what it was I did not know but the pain, primarily focused in my arms and legs was intense—in fact the weight of the big fluffy hotel towels made drying off after a shower agony. It didn’t feel like anything internal or immediately life-threatening so I decided to cut out the planned bus trip from Windhoek to Gaborone, Botswana on to Johannesburg and fly straight to Johannesburg where I was meeting friends at a dance festival. The journey was horrendous since every step to the bus to the airport to the taxi into the city was accompanied by shooting pains of the kind that make one gasp for breath.
I finally made it to what would soon become my favorite guesthouse in the world, Tama Rumah, on a leafy Melville Jo’burg street. Ann, the manager, took one look at me, put me in her car and headed for a nearby clinic. The doctor did a spot on diagnosis of RA flare-up (I have fairly mild late-onset rheumatoid arthritis which rarely bothers me), shot me up with prednisone and sent me home with more pills. Within two hours I was almost pain-free, by morning it was though I had never experienced a moment of discomfort. It was a brilliant festival and it rained most nights so I was once again a most happy traveler.
And that, my children, is the story of when grandmother visited Windhoek, Namibia.