Around 3:00 this morning the monster in my stomach made himself known through a not-so-subtle manipulation of the dream I was having. I'll spare you the details, but one minute I was playing the guitar in a trailer on a movie set and the next it became very, very clear that I had to get myself to a toilet right away. Ugh.
I think the monster was created by a bottle of litchi juice that I drank during the jewelry fair yesterday afternoon. I'd walked across the street to a convenience store to get something to drink. I browsed the selection of beverages in the cooler and decided to be daring, to support local industry instead of buying some juice imported from South Africa or a sugary soda. So I grabbed a bottle of Top Juice, Mozambique's attempt at a juice industry. It looked harmless enough - the bottle was plastic and had an actual printed label, the lid was sealed and the whole thing was refrigerated properly.
Boy was I wrong! I don't know at what point the litchi took a turn for the worse, but I have no doubt that I imbibed a bacteria-laden drink. I mean it tasted okay, but I knew something was definitely off when I started experiencing stomach pains while packing up my jewelry a few hours later. I had a meeting with the IFC last night (yes, a meeting on Sunday evening, ah the good life of a consultant) and could feel the monster gaining strength and manifesting his foul mood. I wondered if the project officer sitting across the table could actually hear the grumbles of my gut...
The monster finally had enough early this morning when I had my first run to the toilet. He's continued to remind me of his presence at regular intervals thereafter, and I am currently sipping a cup of pomegranate tea with pinches of salt and sugar to maintain myself hydrated.
I'm sure the monster is having a good laugh because not only has he caused me to be ill, he's managed to set my bowels into protest on the worst day possible. I have a huge presentation to deliver this afternoon at the IFC on behalf of our client that has a transport business. It is the public announcement of his expansion plans, and I will be presenting to the directors of his company, his main clients (some of the largest multinational projects in Mozambique), and several government stakeholders from the Ministry of Transport and Communication. I am trying to make peace with the monster in my stomach so that I don't have to excuse myself and make a mad dash to the toilet in the middle of my Power Point.