Scott Hanselman

South Africa 2008 - Scott in the Time of Cholera

December 20, 2008 Comment on this post [30] Posted in Africa
Sponsored By

image Well, more of lower-cased 'C' cholera. Or, just forgot to wash some grapes. Either way, it feels like Cholera. Much like my trip to Tanzania when I was waiting for Death's Sweet Release.

This of course, has little to do with South Africa specifically and more to do with travelling. In large cities, it also has little to do with water cleanliness. If you are African and you come to the US and drink tap water you are taking a chance that you'll encounter a bug you haven't seen before. I have apparently encountered this bug and insulted its mother, and it's taken it personally. I am OK only when on my back and unconscious. All other positions or levels of awake are a world of pain and nausea.

My uncle just set out yesterday for Harare, Zimbabwe in his truck to bring food and water to our relatives that are left. He's going for 7 days and he is taking 15 liters of bottled water just for himself. The line at Beitbridge to get into Zim is apparently 3km long. It's back to back cars, just waiting in the heat, right in the middle of the Cholera outbreak. I'm feeling crappy, but I hope that our Uncle makes it back safely.

You know you are really, really sick when you can't remember what well feels like. Was I ever well? What does it feel like to eat food and process it appropriately? Will I ever know again?

Here's hoping. ;)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Hosting By
Hosted in an Azure App Service
December 20, 2008 14:50

Come now Scott - the whole framework versioning and SP1 GDR release business *is* pretty sickening, but I think you're overplaying it a bit.

Joking aside, hope you feel better soon. And don't forget that once you're well again, you can never quite remember what really, really sick feels like.

December 20, 2008 14:51
Sorry to hear about you being sick. Get well soon.
December 20, 2008 15:27
Will - ROTFLMAO! Tell me about it.
December 20, 2008 16:39
Yikes! Get well soon, Scott!
December 20, 2008 16:50
Oh my:( Get well soon.

Christmas greetings from Poland!
December 20, 2008 18:11
Drink plenty of electrolyte and make sure you make it from water that has been boiled.
December 20, 2008 20:11
Take good care of yourself and get well. Keep in touch. Our love to everyone!
December 20, 2008 20:55
What do you think now about that immigration officer that didn't want to let you into the country?

Get better!
December 20, 2008 20:57

Waterborne illnesses in the 3rd world are nothing to laugh at. We're very concerned for you and you're in my families prayers now. Get well soon and come back to us, with your family, safe and sound.

December 21, 2008 1:33
Sorry to hear about this sudden turn of events. Sounds serious.

Is Gaterade, or any sports drink, available in local stores? (Assuming you can manage the sugars in these drinks... they're often too much for me)
December 21, 2008 2:07
I hope you have a speedy recovery. Hang in there!
December 21, 2008 5:17
Hey Now Scott,
Hope you feel better. You'll be fine.
Tuffen up, like an old IDE hardrive that needs to spin for a just a little while longer!

Hanselminutes fan,
December 21, 2008 10:25
Waterborne illnesses in the 3rd world are nothing to laugh at.

Just as the "3rd World" specificity of the remark.
December 21, 2008 10:53
Bummer! LOL, just realised that expression may be less than appropriate for the circumstances. Hope you're on the mend.

Mike mentioned sport drinks and while they are widely available here, South Africans usually just drink Coke in times of tummy troubles.
December 21, 2008 11:02
It's probably not much of a comfort, but you could have had a similar experience, even if you had stayed in the States. There's a nasty stomach flu bug on the rampage. Last week, I found myself sprawled face down on a tile floor, simultaneously freezing and burning up. I had long ago run out of anything organic to give back, so I was pretty sure I had thrown up my soul. But I didn't have the energy to lift myself up and fish it out of the toilet. And I could swear I heard a voice saying, "Come to the light..."
December 21, 2008 17:07
Hope you feel better in time for Christmas.
December 21, 2008 17:43
One or two drags of some green will get you going again. I remember instances where a little helped a lot with nausea.
December 21, 2008 19:01

Assert(Green == absinthe); ...?
December 21, 2008 19:01

Assert(Green == absinthe); ...?
December 21, 2008 19:07
Hang in there Scott! Hope you get well for x-mas!
December 21, 2008 20:01
Hmm, absinthe usually doesn't help with nausea for me, it induces nausea.
December 21, 2008 22:00

Nice play on the Gabriel Garcia-Marquez book title!

Glad to hear you're recovering.

December 22, 2008 18:06
Hey Scott,

As a South African I must say that I am very sorry to hear about your mishaps during your stay. It is a beautiful country but not without its flaws. Glad to see you're taking it in good spirits though! Hope you make a speedy recovery and have a greats festive season!

December 22, 2008 18:31
At the very least you need to survive this "vacation". You can be sick all you want when you get back.
December 22, 2008 19:51
Hey Scott,

Love your blog btw. I'm a Microsoft/OpenSource person too and I'm glad people like you spoke up for this very smart union of different paradigms.

Found this and figured if you're still in South Africa it might be interesting:
December 22, 2008 20:14
Hey Scott, if you're not better yet, I might have some advice. (I got a similar experience in Brazil a few years ago).

It usually has nothing to do with bad water, as you probably know, but with the fact that you stomach aren't used to the bugs in the part of the world that you're in! Your stomach doesn't have the "stomach flora" that is required for this part of earth. Rest assured that once you're healthy again, it won't happen again - your stomach will contain all the necessary bugs!
December 22, 2008 21:13
Must make your diabetes even more 'interesting' to deal with.

I feel for your uncle too, those lines to the border are almost as long as the ones to the mall here. Good luck, hope you'll enjoy the rest of your trip.
December 23, 2008 7:05
Get well Scott! I hope the rest of your family is doing well!
December 23, 2008 10:57
Ernst - Ya, it's exactly what you said, a bug I hadn't seen before. Same thing happened when I drank the water in Tanzania. However, I am well now, and eating salad again. ;)

I would agree that urbanized South Africa is hardly "3rd world" and the tap water is largely fine. When I think 3rd world, I think of shanties with NO running water, no electricity. You can find this in parts of the US, in fact.
December 29, 2008 16:57
Remember these things are 90% mental and 10% physical and 100% awful. That one is from the same category as the Catholic church and the rhythm method - pretty useless.


Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.