Unfortunately the last couple weeks were dominated (at least they seemed to be my me!) by me falling ill and the trials and tribulations to get it diagnosed and treated. About a month ago I noticed my balance being just a touch off. My vision would bounce around a little. Over a couple weeks the vision imbalance worsened until one day my world was spinning and I could not make it stop causing me to throw up over and over. Of course this happened the day Ken left for Bogotá with a friend in search of a vehicle for our next adventure in South America (more later). Kaylee and some good friends here in Santa Marta took great care of me while we worked to find the right doctor for vertigo. I've never experienced anything like that, it was terrible and knocked me down for almost the whole week. We found a wonderful ENT who promptly diagnosed a middle ear infection and some impacted wax. With a prescription in hand, I steadily improved over the next three to four days.
Just as I was starting to be functional again, the same ear - where the wax removal had caused a small sore - started an outer ear infection that became very painful. Once it was bad enough I decided I needed the doctor again, I emailed the doctor hoping to sneak in a quick consultation. When we didn't hear back, we went to the office anyway only to find it was closed in the lead up to Semana Santa, the big holiday week leading up to Easter. That evening as we considered other options, Ken was chatting with a group of men gathered for the weekend fishing tournament. As introductions were made and stories exchanged, one man asked Ken if he was Danielle's husband. Ken said yes, wondering who I could possibly know that he did not since Ken is the more outgoing one of us when it comes to meeting new people and chatting in Spanish. The man said, "I'm doctor Romero, her ear doctor, I've been trying to get a hold of her all day. Is she here?" I was in the boat whimpering in pain. When Kaylee ran to tell me the doctor was here, I could hardly believe it, and so relieved. He looked in my ear with a cell phone flashlight, said 'yep, pretty infected' and wrote me a prescription on a scratch sheet of paper. We couldn't believe our luck running into my doctor right where we literally live, on the dock! Small big-towns everywhere, everyone is connected. Four days later, I am finally a fully functional person again. It's been a long few weeks.
In the meantime;
- We attended a birthday party for one of Kaylee's classmates at a beautiful banana plantation in existence since the 1700's and got a tour of the newly refurbished plantation house, now used as a weekend getaway.
- We spent a lot of time repairing our dinghy - some seams needed gluing
- Kaylee started taking guitar lessons from our favorite local musician, Rolando
- We delivered food from the police food bank to a local community
- Kaylee participated in a tennis tournament
- We bought a truck!
- Ken and Kaylee took a wedding videographer and a couple out sailing to get some drone sailing shots. He has promised us some footage!
- We rescued a puppy and found it a new home. Kaylee named her Luna and she was just about the sweetest thing ever. We hated to give her up, but there was no way we could keep her.
- We took some new and old friends out for a daysail and some nice swimming
- We started planning our next trip
So you may have noticed we bought a truck in the middle of that dissertation on my ear. We decided not long after we arrived in Santa Marta that we would try to get inland to do some exploring of Colombia, hopefully Ecuador and possibly Peru. Putting Kaylee in school delayed that plan a bit, but gave us an opportunity to meet lots of people, make good friends and really plot how we wanted to do the trip. We began the discussion thinking we would do it all by bus and backpack, but started thinking about what it would take to rent or buy our own vehicle and give us a little more flexibility. Renting quickly went away as an option because you cannot cross country lines when renting. One friend, who deals in vehicles, and Ken came up with a plan to buy a 4x4 truck and then our friend would either buy it himself or sell it for us. Sounded great to us! So Ken and Sander headed off to Bogotá to find the truck they were looking for. Three days later and fair amount of bureaucratic hoops jumped, we have our new chariot.
Kaylee's last day of school was Friday. We are using this holiday week to play with friends and let the dust settle from all the holiday traffic. We will secure our boat in the marina and take off inland sometime next week. I promise to be better about posting some pics on Instagram and will try to keep the blog in a little better shape too. Also, the SPOT tracker will be live again, but probably not on the 10-min tracking mode in order to save some battery life.
We should be back in the States (by plane) late summer or early fall and look forward to catching up with everyone!