Friday, August 26, 1977, 9:00 pm, Day 577I cut my hair today. I don't know how long it has been since my last one, but I do know that this is only the third time since I had been in Sierra Leone, so I guess it would be about 6 or 7 months. It went pretty quick this time. I just used my fingers for a guide for the length, and then went quickly over it, cutting it roughly to that length. Then I combed it out good and trimmed up all of the jagged spots to round it all off. Once it was washed and then let dry it looked just fine, because all of the curls were still there.
Sores are starting to build back up on me again these past few days, and it might be past my capabilities to heal them up by myself. If the sores persist in hanging around, then I will have to turn myself into the Doc when I reach Freetown next week. I've got three now. One is on the back of my shin, and then I've got a matching pair with the other two. Each is on an ankle, on the outside part, on top of that bone that sticks out at the joint. They were soress that seem to have gotten infected and then form into a hole in the skin that seems to go clear through. The one on my shin is the biggest, as it was there first, and I am trying to get it to heal by cleaning it and changing bandages a couple of times a day. The other two have just started, but I can't really treat them properly now, because I don't have enough bandages for all three. Both ankles are a little sore and swollen at the moment, but hopefully by just trying to keep them cleaned, I could keep them from getting too much worse.
My appetite is really big lately. Yesterday was Market Day, and I went and just about ate my way through it. It seemed that I was always eating something while I was there. When I got back to kamiendor I ate alot more, and then finished off an extra big portion of rice chop for dinner, all without ever really filling up.
Grannuts (peanuts) are being harvested at this time here around Kamiendor. It seems like everyone has their own grannut farm, and so I have been getting alot of free grannuts lately. The thing with grannuts, though, is that you can sit and shell and eat them all day, just about, without ever getting full.
I had an accident on my well-access footpath on wednesday. It occured while I was driving a wheelbarrow. I was working by myself, and I had the wheelbarrow full of rocks, and was wheeling it down the footpath to where I was making a retaining wall. At a 20% downhill grade, the wheelbarrow full of rocks almost goes by itself, and it is all I can do just to keep it on the footpath and to keep it from tipping over.
Anyway, the wheelbarrow and I were whipping along at a good pace, when suddenly the wheel got stuck in a hole. The front of the wheelbarrow stopped on a dime, but the back of the wheelbarrow and myself, couldn't. The wheelbarrow flipped over and it was all I could manage to try to keep out of the way. As is was, the handle grazzed my sideas I slipped by outside it. What finally stopped me was my running into a coffee tree nearby. Without that I would have been thrown down the hillside 10 to 20 feet. I feel that I was very lucky not to have had that handle coming directly at my stomach, because with the momentum that I had, I might have been impaled by it. As it was, I just had a few scratches as a result of my near-fatal wheelbarrow accident at about 7 mph.
Saturday, August 27, 1977, 8:00 pm, Day 578The sore on one of my ankles has gotten worse, and all today my foot has been swollen. I put my shoes on for a few hours this evening because of the rain and the cold when I went to eat. My foot really got to hurting then, after being cramped up inside a shoe like that for a few hours. I have to take time out here to fix up the water that I have just boiled so that I can soak my foot.
I have my foot soaking now. I figure that I will leave it soaking for a long, long time. I hope it does some good. The other sores haven't bothered me today. The one on my shin that I was bandaging is still there and not looking any better, but at least it isn't looking too sore and there is no swelling there, so I think it has a decent chance to heal if I can keep it clean. I still wash it and change the bandages twice a day. The sore on my other ankle isn't any worse, and it might even be better. The area is still red around there, but I don't think that it is swollen, and it isn't too tender. It has a good chance of healing on its own, and that is the chance that it is going to take. I'll have to start putting bandages on this sore that I am soaking at the moment because it has now gotten too big and bothersome to ignore. With it like it is, I don't feel like going out to work, and I feel that I shouldn't be doing much more than to sit in my room with my foot propped up, so as to take some of the pressure off.
That was how I spent much of today. There was no work today, due to the fact that it rained all this morning. I tried to clean up the sore a bit this morning, but it is hard to reach and also it was very tender, so I didn't do too much. The skin is broken and then there is a space about a half inch long by a quarter inch wide which is mostly covered by skin. I think infection persists inside, and I think that the only way to clean it out is to remove all of the skin covering, which I haven't been able to manage yet. I just don't know. A doctor, I'm not.
These sores are of the same type that I have had before. The others have lasted as long as 2 to 3 months, sometimes looking better and then slipping back to worse, but always, always refusing to heal quickly. These sores are still fresh, and I sure don't plan to keep them for that long. If they are still with me when I get to Freetown, then it will be in Freetown where I will stay until everything is healed and healthy on me.
Sunday, August 28, 1977, 9:00 am, Day 579This morning my sore ankle is still swollen. The sore has alot of dead skin and stuff around it, so it could use a good cleaning out, but I cannot get to it good enough to do it. I am not going out to work today, but will spend as much time as I can with my feet propped up in my room.
Tomorrow, I am going down to Koidu, and then the next day I should reach Freetown. My feet should hopefully be able to hold together for that long. That will put me in Freetown a day earlier than I planned, so I will be able to turn myself into the Doctor before the meeting the next day.
Monday, August 29, 1977, 8:00 pm, Day 580I came down to Sefadu today and I brought Moiba with me. It wasn't your average, ordinary trip. When we reached Manjama at 20 miles from Kamiendor, the motorcycle started acting like it was running out of petrol, so that it was time to switch to reserve. I didn't switch in time though, so the motorcycle stopped. It was back to its old tricks. It wouldn't start for nothing! I fiddled with it and tried to start it for quite awhile. I figure the problem was electrical and probably due to a bad spark plug. We left the motorcycle in manjama and took a lorry the rest of the way.
The lorry was a beat-up, 4-wheel drive Land Rover, and i was impressed. It made it through all of the bad, bad spots on the road, and all without having to ask people to get out and walk. When we made it into Jagbwema, the suspension spring on the back wheel came undone, so we stopped. They jacked the car up, popped the spring back into place, and then tied it securely with bush rope. A few miles later, we had a flat tire. It was quickly replaced with the spare. On the outskirts of Sefadu, we were then stopped for quite awhile, while the policemen at the checkpoint argued with the driver about not having any front or back lights, and about overloading. I think he had to "dash" his way through.
My feet are still with me here. They managed to survive the trip. The sores look like they aren't too dirty and I don't notice any infection. My one foot, though, is swollen up even more than before. The swelling starts at my toes and continues up till it reaches my shin. The swollen area is not very tender, but it can be very painful if I just stand up on my foot for awhile. It hurts when I first start walking, but fortunately, after about ten steps the pain disappears, and I can almost walk normally, unless I happen to jarr it by stepping on a stone or in a hole. I should be in to see the Doc tomorrow in Freetown.