“Be not sick too late, nor well too soon” 

The rain finally fell around 1 AM last night. It had a slow start, a drop by drop start, then the drops got fierce, bigger and louder. I could hear the rain hitting the door and windows. That got me up. I shut the windows.

The morning is glorious. It is only 66˚ but the sun is working its magic, and today’s high should be around 75˚. The dogs have been in and out all morning. Henry is currently in and barking at my neighbor across the street as if he’d never seen the neighbor before this morning. Henry does that. He warns me about both the familiar and the unfamiliar.

My cold is just about gone. I had no coughing or hacking this morning, but my voice is still a bit hoarse. I think my sloth day, yesterday, helped. Today I’m taking it easy again. I may even take a nap. I should drink tea. My mother always gave me tea when I was sick.

I don’t get sick much now, haven’t in a long time. This cold was quite the surprise. I had shots this year: covid and boosters, flu, pneumonia, shingles and tetanus. The last time I had so many shots was during Peace Corps training in Ghana.

During the first week of training, in Winneba, Ghana, we had a full group lecture about the various illnesses and diseases we could catch in Ghana. There was a huge color-coded map of Ghana in the front of the room, the colors represented diseases endemic to the specific areas. Where I was going had every color, every disease, every illness, but I figured Peace Corps would protect us with shots and all, and I really wanted to live in the Upper Region so I think I just shrugged. In the course of the next two years I had a case of cholera caught while I was in Niger, a bit of dysentery from eating bad market food and nothing else of any note. During the dry seasons I stopped taking my anti-malarial pills, a huge Peace Corps no-no, but during the dry season there were no bugs, no mosquitos and no malaria. I was protected from just about everything: yellow fever, malaria (during the rainy season I took my pills), rabies, typhoid, paratyphoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis. Shot day was part of training. I got a fever. Cholera shots were later after cholera had broken out. I had two shots, but I got cholera anyway. It was mild. Mostly for those two years, I was really healthy. Getting sick was always a surprise, never an expectation.

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