Wenn du im Ausland krank wirst

sick abroad

Erfahrungen aus Kenia

Auf Reisen krank werden nervt. Eigentlich willst du deine Reise genießen und musst auf der Höhe sein.

Ich war mehrere Male krank in Kenia und habe eine gewisse Einstellung entwickelt, die es einfacher macht, dass ich schnell wieder gesund werde.

Ich folge der Regel: Je früher, desto besser. Wenn ich mich fiebrig fühle, oder schwach, mir schwindelig ist oder ich Bauchschmerzen habe, gehe ich zum Arzt oder zur Apotheke. Es muss nicht immer ein Krankenhaus sein. Gerade in Kenia muss man im öffentlichen Krankenhaus manchmal lange warten. Eine Apotheke oder eine private Klinik tut es auch. Die machen einen Test und verschreiben dir dann das entsprechende Medikament.

Wenn es mir nicht gut geht, liegt das meistens an Malaria oder Bauchbeschwerden.

Malaria

Die Symptome bei mir fangen immer mit Gelenkschmerzen in den Fingern an. Dann verbreiten sie sich über den ganzen Körper. Ich fühle mich schlapp, generell unwohl und mir ist einfach schwummrig. Es passiert häufig, wenn ich gerade vom Land zurückkomme, wo Malaria häufiger vorkommt als in der Hauptstadt Nairobi.

Ich gehe dann zum Arzt. Der piekst mich in den Finger und testet mein Blut. Dann bekomme ich sechs mal vier gelbe Tabletten, die ich in den kommenden drei Tagen nehme – und fertig.

Malaria sollte jedoch ernst genommen werden. Selbst wenn du prophylaktische Mittel nimmst und dich mit Insektenspray einsprühst – geh zum Arzt, wenn dir auch nur ein bisschen übel ist.

Wir haben einmal meine ganze Familie zum Arzt geschleppt, einfach um sicher zu sein. Niemand hatte Malaria, und es war eine Erleichterung, Gewissheit zu haben.

Auf der anderen Seite ist Malaria für uns privilegierte Touristen auch nicht das Ende der Welt und leicht zu behandeln. Auch in ländlichen kenianischen Gegenden gibt es Einrichtungen des Gesundheitswesens. Nimm sie unbedingt in Anspruch!

Bauchschmerzen

Wir Reisende wissen oft nicht, wie man sich richtig die Hände wäscht, bestimmtes Essen säubert oder einen bestimmten hygienischen Standard unter neuen Umständen aufrechterhält. Deshalb bekommen wir oft Probleme mit der Verdauung. Manche lassen sich mit Durchfall-Medikamenten beheben. Ich habe normalerweise immer welche zur Hand. Wenn das Bauchweh aber länger als einen Tag anhält, gehe ich zum Arzt.

Der fragt dann meistens nach einer Stuhlprobe. Nicht jedermanns Sache, aber wichtig für eine ordentliche Diagnose. Bisher hatte ich bakterielle Magen-Infekte oder Amöben. Es gab immer Medikamente dagegen. Ich frage dann auch immer, was ich essen und trinken darf und was nicht.

Medikamente

Manchmal lässt sich über den Preis für die Medikamente verhandeln. Das hängt aber vom Ort und der Art der Medikamente ab. Manche Marken sind günstiger, andere teurer. Wir hatten mal einen Fall einer Infektion im Mund. Das benötigte Mundwasser gab es wesentlich günstiger im Supermarkt als beim Apotheker.

Schmerzmittel

Normalerweise gibt mir der Arzt oder Apotheker immer Schmerztabletten mit. (Denke daran, dass du vor allem bei Magen-Darm-Problemen nicht alle Schmerzmittel vertragen wirst.) Wir hatten oft noch einen Vorrat von letztem Mal und ich habe dem Arzt gesagt, dass ich keine brauchte.

Natürliche Linderung

Meine Schwiegermutter hatte früher einen Topf mit hausgemachter Medizin, die einfach alles heilte. Sie half mir, meinen Durchfall loszuwerden, mit zwei Tassen eines sehr bitteren Kräutertees. Wenn du solchen Sachen offen gegenüberstehst, so wie ich, können sie durchaus helfen. Es handelt sich um altes Wissen, das seit Generationen wirkt.

Dosierung

Frage nach, wie viele Tabletten du zu welcher Tageszeit nehmen musst. Ich verwechsle die Zahlen und Mengen ständig, die die Apotheker auf die kleinen Tütchen schreiben, um die Dosierung anzuzeigen.

Kurzum: Versuche, nicht auszuflippen.

Ich hinterfrage meinen deutschen Arzt nicht besonders oft, warum sollte ich es dann in Kenia tun? Er weiß, was er tut. Er hat diese Dinge studiert und ich bin nicht seine erste Patientin.

Wenn ich beim Arzt bin, rede ich viel, um sicherzugehen, dass er alle Infos und ich alle Handlungsanweisungen bekomme.

Geh frühzeitig zum Arzt oder Apotheker. Kommuniziere viel und höflich. Und gute Besserung!

9 things people in India did with my baby

travel with a baby to india

Travelling with an infant is different from any other way of travel I did before.

  • Packing gave me some unknown challenges. (How many diapers are enough? How many are too many?)
  • I massively slowed down the itinerary. (We tried to take a break every other day.)
  • And travelling with an infant was probably also the easiest way to get in contact with local people around me.

Here are 9 things they did with my baby which they might do to yours if you let them.

1.They called my baby’s name (when he was almost asleep).

One of the first questions was for his name. And once people knew it they would call it over and over again. Even if the pronunciation was difficult to them. Especially, when I was trying real hard to make him sleep.

2. They called my baby other names.

Sweety Pie and Chubby were only some of the English names I understood. The ones they gave him in their mother tongues passed me.

3. They pinched my baby’s cheeks.

To all occasions and in various degrees my son was pinched in and twitched at the cheeks. I had read about it earlier and realised that it is a common thing to do to babies. Although he didn’t love it, he never complained about it either.

4. They held my baby.

Much quicker than any German before, many Indians took my son into their arms. Several of our hosts seemed to see it as their duty to let me have my arms and lap free so that I could eat. Therefore they carried him a lot. But also total strangers would pluck him from my arms. One young woman even asked whether I would remove him from the wrap I was carrying him in so that she could hold him. I had to explain to her that she should at least wait until he woke up. But when he did, I had my arms free once more.

5. They carried my baby around and away.

Once people held him, it didn’t take long and they carried him around and showed him things in the other room, in the yard or elsewhere. Several times a day I was wondering where my child was.

6. They fed my baby.

In India my baby started to show interest in food other than mother’s milk. Since it was his first time to have solid food I tried to be careful with what he ate. I didn’t want to overwhelm his little stomach. He ate biscuits, though, and other Indian food that people gave him.

7. They talked to my baby in their mother tongue.

He doesn’t speak yet and he is growing up with at least two different languages anyway. So the languages in India may have not been more confusing to him. Only I didn’t understand what people told him.

8. They took photos of and with my baby.

We as a family have a policy. We don’t want photos of our baby to be spread around. We tell people that it’s okay to show them to others but they need permission before sharing them online. In that way we are trying to keep control over the distribution of our baby’s photos. I should have mentioned that to the many people in India taking photos with and of him. I just felt uncomfortable and wanted to be polite so I didn’t. Next time I will.

9. They blessed my baby.

I don’t know what it means when a woman moves her hands around my baby’s face and then clicks her finger bones on her temples. They did it a lot. But I consider it as a blessing. All the things people did to him, including starting to cry, people did out of happiness and joy about him and for his best.

4 reasons why my baby is a more mindful traveller than I am

baby travel mindful

Mindfulness means paying attention to the very moment and living in the absolute present. It means being. It means acceptance, patience and openness.

To travel mindfully, I open my mind as wide as possible, curiously letting all impressions in without judging them. At least I try. Here is why my baby is much better at it.

1. Baby lives in the present.

It is admirable how children live the present moment to the max. Baby doesn’t worry about the future and ponder over the past. All that counts for him is what is there right now. That is why even  the hundredth time my funny noises are funny to him.

2. Baby discovers something new in everything.

To him, everything is an opportunity, everything is interesting, everything is new. Keys, blankets, trees, people and the floor – he tries to discover them all with the same undivided amount of curiosity, as if he saw them for the very first time.

3. Baby doesn’t judge.

Whether I give him a fancy toy or a random spoon, he will play with both. Whether a grumpy old man passes him or his favourite aunt, he watches them both curiously and is open to what they may have in store for him.

4. Baby trusts.

He knows everything will be fine. He doesn’t fear falling from the bed, being knocked by a car, banging his head on the floor or slipping through his dad’s arms. Baby just enjoys being thrown in the air and trusts he will be caught.

In short: Baby has an open heart.

  • He treasures the present moment.
  • He acknowledges the opportunity in everything new.
  • He is non-judgemental.
  • And he trusts.

How to travel as mindful as a baby

Live in the present moment.

Don’t rush to tick the sights on your bucket list. Instead, pay attention to the place you are in right now. Practice that a lot during your trip. Be it the waiting lounge at the airport, the hostel room, the river bend, the temple, the kiosk. How does it look like? How does it sound, smell, taste and feel like? Simply experience the places without liking or disliking them. Do that often.

Focus on mundane things and people, too.

If you consider an area at your destination more boring than the others, go there deliberately and be open for surprises. Look out of the taxi window knowing that nobody ever had this view, which is your very own this very moment, before. And nobody will ever have it again. Not even you. Be curious for the way people live. See what you can learn from them.

Don’t judge.

Try not to compare life abroad with what you know and take for granted. Instead, sit, breath, listen and watch. It is not your job to divide all impressions into good or bad. Instead leave the categories closed and just focus on the experiences flowing by.

Get lost.

Start walking, not knowing where you are going. You might have to ask strangers for help to get back. Trust that all your encounters will be beautiful. I am not suggesting to behave risky and mindless. On the contrary: Be mindful and pay attention to all the possibilities coming your way when you simply trust that you will be fine.

Mindfulness is like a muscle. It needs to be trained. But then, after some exercise, it will work seamlessly. I am constantly reminded by my baby how fluent time is and how needless to try to hold on to it. Instead, I try to open my heart as often as possible, practice mindfulness and let the world flow through me for a second.