Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where did the pounds go?

Moving to Armenia has taken its toll on us physically, first of all
traveling here with our whole family suffering a winter flu, then
Winter snow, rain and cold that seemed to last through Spring,
coupled with the kids bring back colds from kindergarden, seemed to
keep us generally immobilized, with at least one of us sick. This is
when we tried such remedies as Vodka and Garlic, rubbing snorting,
eating and drinking, we tried Russian versions of cold medicines, on
of which sent me (Kalem) into an Anti-falactic reaction, which
required more medicine to fix.
From previous trips to Armenia, I was warned not to drink the water
due to bacteria, so this time I bought four test kits and checked all
of the main water locations we would generally be drinking from. The
test was negative for bacteria, but only showed very hard water not
surprising for non galvanized pipe. So we drank the water with ease;
but still something else caused stomach problems, mostly for me, but
we were pretty certain it was not the water. A note in Armenia we
also found ourselves walking quite a bit which also added to the loss
of extra weight.
After a while I tried eliminating coffee which had cause different
problems in the past for me, but again to no major consistency. About
this time we moved to the village, which brought a whole new set of
problems. Our newly remodeled house was extremely humid from all of
the water based wall treatments, earthen plaster, drywall plaster,
paint etc. There was and still is stinging nettle everywhere around
the house and the village for that matter, the kids and I would
frequently run inside for the anti-itch cream. We all fell ill again
that first couple of weeks, and our neighbors attributed it to
"changing air."
One night I awoke in agonizing pain and found myself between the bed
and the bathroom the rest of the night, not knowing in which direction
to approach the toilet. That actually lasted into the next day, and
the cause was left unknown. Once that bought was over I noticed that
I had run out of holes in my belt. I had already moved in two, about
two inches, and my pants were still loose. Although I know I didn't
loose it all in one night I was curious to see how much weight I had
lost after being in Armenia for five months. Ten pounds was lost in
all, and so I started to try and replace the weight.
I had often skipped lunch for work, but now I would try to eat at
least one lunch if not two. I switched back to beer for toasts,
instead of Vodka, whenever possible, and tried to limit my stress.
Just when I was gaining weight and had eaten one of the most
satisfying meals of my time in Armenia, (lamb, pork, and chicken!),
and was completely full, I continued the feasting with cold
watermelon. To my dismay found myself in the bathroom again the whole
next day.
My most recent theory is the warning we were given about not eating
watermelon that has been out in the sun. Almost everyone buys
watermelon from street markets, almost all of the watermelon is left
in the sun, and so I am beginning my fast from watermelon. My Imodium
supply is running very low, but I do think they sell a Russian version
here. I also tried the village remedy of eating a spoon full of
unused coffee grounds. Which seemed to work but has kept me up late
into the night writing this blog.
As for those who think this to be "too much information" this is very
much apart of most peoples experience with Armenia and is important to
be noted. It is hard not to think and long for the processed fried
food of America at a time like this.


CristyLynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CristyLynn said...

Trying again...I found your blog through Kendra Fletcher's. I'm glad that apparently you found benzine again!
I couldn't help but laugh really hard at this post, though, as we are living in St. Petersburg, Russia. We haven't experienced many of the "outages" that you have, but the medical remedies certainly abound, or the advice for mothers of young children! I don't know the Armenian word for animal fat, but if you hear it, beware!
I would love to add you to my blog roll to keep up with what's going on with you, if that's all right. I'd love to pray for you!
By grace,