Travel to Bali and spend 4 days in Ubud, 8 days on Gili Island and 2 days in Semanyak with wife Simone, daughter Sadie and sister in law Ruth to celebrate Ruths –th birthday.
From the moment she heard about it Sadie didn’t want to go back to Bali again, ‘couldn’t say why just wanted to go to Fingal instead, but who listens to 6 year olds? Looking back her idea would have had a lot going for it.
Two weeks before we left the accommodation at Semanyak burnt down, no worries easily fixed just book something else.
Next a text came through in the early hours before we flew out that the plane was delayed, more texts followed and 3 days later we finally got to Indo on another airline.
After an abbreviated stay at Ubud arriving at Gili, a little coral isle off Lombok, we felt we’d found our feet. It’s a strip of esplanade inhabited by beautiful people doing cool things with a shanty village of locals behind. Being neither cool nor beautiful, when I wasn’t lazing around the villa or swimming I went for rides through the back streets. The unpretentiousness and connection between the village people, their family life and the children was captivating. Though their living conditions made me feel like a bloated dufus.
All was good until Sadie started getting sick on the third day, headache, vomiting, fever. Dysentery started that night and by first light her eyes were rolled back, and her breathing was rapid and shallow. We had to get out of the place, what were the options, what can we do, who can help??
The rudimentary clinic on the island put her on a drip and after a few hours she was fully concious so we risked a dash across the straits in a speedboat to Lombok heading for a hospital in Mataram. A car was waiting at a little palm fringed cove for us and wound us for another hour around the coastal road to the city.
The relief of getting there by nightfall gave way to more concerns. Communication was tricky and the pediatrician didn’t make eye contact and seemed detached and cold, and told us all the tests were normal. There was no fresh linen on the beds, the medication was handed to us to administer. Scrawny cats tried to sneak into the room and steal food and fought in the hallway at night. In the following day and a half no bathing was provided, during call to pray the nursing station was deserted and most importantly Sadie was still very, very sick. No ingratitude or insult intended but we had to get out of there too.
Our insurance provider supported a transfer to Bali but their rep in Singapore was having trouble talking the local dialect.
Providence; a phone call came through and it was Paul, the owner of the villa on Gili urging us to go to Kuta and offering to book air tickets out the next morning, we jumped at it and had to then jump through various admin hoops to get Sadie discharged, bills paid, etc in time to catch the first flight out. She's a very tough little kid and never cried or whinged, amazing.
At Bali International Medical Centre in Kuta the next morning Dengue fever and Amoebic dysentery were diagnosed. An appropriate course of treatment was organized and from that point on Sadie began to get better. After seven days in hospital and dropping from 36 down to 30 kilos we left Bali and it’s never felt better to get home. Thanks to everyone who helped us along the way. It was beautiful to watch the nursing staff and the doctors at BIMC care for her and dote over her, fantastic stuff. Sadie is back on her food and is now giving cheek again and looking forward to going to Fingal.
(Tuesday, 05 July 2011)