Gripes, Giardia, Squirts & Purifed Water

As our readers and listeners will know this has not been a trip without its share of tummy troubles. They are ongoing and relate to the state of the food we eat (rotten meat in stews isn’t uncommon) and what utensils and any raw vegetables have been washed in. The sanitary conditions in the villages en route have ranged from bad to shocking. It has been inevitable that we would fall victim to this reality.

As fairly seasoned travellers we do take precautions – we avoid raw food when at all possible, not only wash when we can (many villages have no flowing water) but use anti-bacterial sterilent as well. We are wary of even bottled water (it’s often just “spring” water and in these parts not being filtered is dangerous) and use a water filter for all our drinking water. Our filter is the First Need brand and it is a godsend – we use it even on bottled water.

That we still fall victim to the tummy troubles indicates just how harsh the conditions are. When you have to go to the squatter out in the animal house you get an idea of just how formidable the environment is. So we have preventative and curative options with us and together these minimise the discomfort.

We’ve met volunteer workers who have been here for over 12 months and they still fall victim to gripes and squirts regularly, so that reassures us that our approach is at least keeping even worse at bay.

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