Being ill abroad is no fun…

Runny nose. Blocked nose. Itchy throat. Fever. And nausea. All the things you don’t want to deal with when you are living in a strange house in a strange country. There is no time when your cravings for things from home are stronger… what I would do for a box of Kleenex, a packet of strawberry soothers and a bowl of rice pudding with strawberry jam! And a cheeky dose of yummy Calpol of course (I just checked and they only sell it in the UK, Ireland, India, Cyprus, Hong Kong and the Philippines so definitely no chance of me getting any). 

If anything,, being ill abroad, for me anyway, makes me miss my family a whole lot more. Since my Dad worked from home from when I was around 11, I have really strong memories of being sick at home when I was a teenager. They were the best days. I remember laying in bed, catching up on Jeremy Kyle, with the satisfying knowledge all my friends were in Maths or Science wishing that they could be at home. And having two daughters who went through various illnesses over their teenage years, my Dad really perfected his role as carer of a sick person – he always becomes the sweetest person when me or Holly was sick. My diet when I was ill always consisted of only carrot and coriander soup and rice pudding – my Dad never let the kitchen run out of these things when I was ill and he would always make sure I had enough water and pills and tissues. Then, after getting bored of Jeremy Kyle, it would always cheer my day up when my sister would get home from school and my Mum would get home from work and I would have even more people fussing over me and asking if I was OK. My mum was always more generous about granting another day home from school – probably as she didn’t usually have to make endless bowls of rice pudding with the perfect amount of jam in – so I always made sure I seemed a little bit more ill when she poked her head in in the evenings! Sorry Dad! Despite not enjoying all the symptoms that come with being ill, those few days every now and then would be almost the only time a teen like me would be stuck at home and forced to rely on the care of someone else – so it may seem weird, but I am really nostalgic about those memories. 

But I’m not at home for my Dad to look after me and make me feel better – I’m in Honduras! With an amazing family – but a family who all have busy days and half of them with the same cold as me. So tomorrow, I will be sorting myself out with whatever food I can find – and it definitely won’t be rice pudding. And, unlike school, I actually enjoying going to my project and I was ill last week too so I’m really not happy about most likely having to call in sick for a day or two again! At least the miracle that is the internet will still provide me with some good, old British trash tv…

So to sum up, I am suffering with some really bad cold symptoms and to rub it in a little more, I am missing my family more than ever. I would give anything for a big hug from my Mum or Dad right now and knowing I have to wait more than 3 months until I get one seems like an eternity. I will feel back to normal in a couple of days and having less than 4 months left will be terrifying again and I will put everyone at home to the back of my mind again (it seems cold but it would be too painful to miss everyone so much, all of the time). But for the time being I am going to wallow in my self pity and crave a couple of packets of strawberry soothers… 

First signs of missing home

Possibly due to my birthday fast approaching now, I have had my first bout of homesickness! I was actually starting to think I wasn’t going to feel any homesickness as I’ve been here for 4 months and not felt any strong pangs for home. However, I am seriously big on birthdays. Obsessed some might say. And it seems as though the idea of not spending it with my family and closest friends is having an affect on me. My parents, sister and best friend, Lozzy pop, have always been so great at making a big fuss of me as I turn into a little kid and I’m slightly dreading not having that attention! I’m clearly still a child despite turning 23 soon… However, along with the apprehension of having my first birthday away from home, I have been missing other little things from home… I miss my bedroom. I miss being able to buy books and magazines (in English). I miss nights out. I miss UK clothes shops. I miss going out for fish and chips with my dad. I miss turning my music on full volume and singing along in my car. I miss cuddling my dogs. I miss waiting for Lauren outside her house and getting excited to see her. I miss steak and ale pie. I miss baths. I miss being crazy with my sister. I miss being able to phone my mum and get her support whenever I need it. I miss watching films with George.

 That is another thing I have had to get used to in Honduras – the first time I have been single in 8 years! I somehow went from long relationship to long relationship since I was 14 and so along with living in a completely different country, I am suddenly getting my head around not being in a relationship. There have been moments when I have really missed certains things about my last relationship but doing something like Honduras and leaving home for a year I think, for me at least, it has been easier not having that extra attachment to home. And luckily I have managed to stay on good terms with all the exes – especially George who is now one of my best friends. I am looking forward to opening my birthday card from him… I have been so patient not to open it!!! 

 Another reminder of home came a few days ago – in the form of a huge thunderstorm during the night. It is amazing how you don’t realise how much you miss something until you see, hear or smell something to remind you. I didn’t realise how much I missed the sound of rain in the night when you know you are tucked up safely in bed. Well at least the storm started off like that anyway… we actually saw the first hints of it as Azariah, my host sister, was driving us home after a night at the cinema. We kept seeing flashes of light in the sky but as there weren’t any signs of thunder we weren’t sure what they were. It quickly started raining when we got home though. I had read in someone else’s blog before I came here that when it rains here, it isn’t just a little, one off downpour like in the UK and they were very right. It rains so hard for hours, it has only happened twice so far since I’ve been here but both times it has been a ridiculous amount of rain. The last time my room was flooded – I lived on a hill and my bedroom was three floors up. And this time a huge storm accompanied the rain; it was so loud I actually jumped a few times. It was as though it was right outside my bedroom and, as the storm cut the power for a while, the lightening literally lit up the whole house. I’m sure in England it always seems far away and it’s fun to count the seconds between the lightening and the thunder but here it seems as though every thunder crack and lightening bolt is right above your head. Below is a picture of the storm in a local newspaper – pretty amazing actually. The signs of the storm were evident the next day though with stories of houses flooding, mud and stones across roads and a lot of traffic. My host brother had reassured me a few days before that it always rains on the 3rd of May in Honduras without fail, well the storm started late in the night of the 2nd, but it definitely carried on into the early hours of the 3rd so the myth carries on… 

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While I was writing this another storm began and the rain is falling hard as the thunder shakes the house again. The rainy season starts in May and goes through to November so I guess I’ll be getting used to this! Now for a film with my host parents…