in my dreams

Greg is away this week – travelling South on VSO business – leaving me to “hold the fort” in the Far North.  I don’t mind being alone of course.  I have plenty of work things to do, then add in the audiobooks to listen to while I quilt and I am almost glad for the solitude.  Only one little glitch in the perfect bachelorette plan… dreamland.

First, as with many other places in Africa, Cameroon is a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  Nasty little buggers.  Hence the need to take anti-malarials.  The one I am taking – Mephloquine, AKA Lariam –  has an interesting side effect for some of its takers: wild vivid dreams.  Being as I previously didn’t have the ability to remember my dreams and nearly always slumbered peacefully, this new twist on my nighttime routine have been rather interesting the last 7 months.

As a result of my mephloquine-induced dreams, I have had an even wilder adventure than CUSO-VSO volunteers are purported have.  I’ve hung out with polar bears in my parent’s backyard.  I have run with the giraffes down the streets of Maroua.  I have done a few song and dance shows for audiences of the animal kingdom (which I promise not to repeat to a human audience).  I tracked down walking suitcases at various international airports.

Oh yeah, and then there was the albino moose that broke through the window of a friend’s house trying to outrun the tsunami on Sprout Lake.

Sometimes, such as last night, the ridiculousness is amusing and makes me forgive the lack of deep sleep.  The Kermit-the-frog look-alike young man, who had come into the house looking for Greg so he could hand-in his term paper, should have been a slam dunk.  Greg’s  students/learners from the RRU communications program tend to be slightly less amphibian.  And we’re in Cameroon, not Canada, for crying out loud!  It wasn’t until he said he had come through the little red door in the TV that I clued in.  Wake up, silly girl!

Not in my volunteer contract, but all very lovely and exciting none the less.

Except when I can’t tell it’s a dream.  When I REALLY CANNOT TELL at all.

Repeatedly, I have dreamt that there were people in the house.  Sometimes it’s as simple as not knowing who is sleeping next to me (honest: it is always Greg!!!).  Sometimes people are in the little courtyard having some sort of party.  Many a night, I’ve had to physically get up and check just to be sure.

Then there are the nights when I am dying of embarrassment because there are all these people in the house (and bedroom) and I’m sleeping in only my skimpy, falling apart pyjamas!  “Why didn’t Greg stop me,” I would moan.  “Why, oh why???  I’m just not that kind of girl!!!!”

The dreams are so vivid and life-like, there is sometimes very little difference between dream and reality.

Earlier this week, just after nightfall, two men I didn’t know came knocking at the door.  I don’t, as a rule, ever answer the door after dark unless I know who it is (don’t always answer in the daylight either, but that’s a different story entirely).  When I saw the strangers through the little window, I decided to stay quiet and pretend I wasn’t home.  Safety first.  Then I thought:  oh no, now they think no one is home – if they were robbers, they might want to come in thinking it’s a good time!  So I locked the inside door as well and returned to enjoy my quiet evening of quilting.

As I prepared for bed, I thought about how my nightly escapades might have a really fun time with this…  how would I know the difference between real robbers are mephloquine-imagined Kermit-like visitors?  And would I remember that there isn’t supposed to be someone sleeping next to me this week?  What would they think of my pjs?

Would reality finally bridge over to dreamland?

Nah… scaring myself in real time was more than enough.  I only dreamt of food and foolishness that night.

Still, lucky for me: I have another 17 months to… er… enjoy these exciting Mephloquine adventures.  Fun fun.  Best see about getting new pyjamas though.  Just in case!

~ by Caroline Spira on June 11, 2010.

4 Responses to “in my dreams”

  1. Thanks for making me laugh today!

    • Of all the days to make you laugh, birthday girl, this is a good one. 😉 Glad you find enjoyment in my embarrassments.

  2. Dear Caroline,

    I am still really enjoying your blog when I get the chance to read it. Recently I needed to write the CIDA report for public engagement where we highlighted success in PE. I noted Beneath the mosquito net as a an excellent example of integrated social media and public engagement. It is fantastic and your names have come up even in with the Digital media folks who work in the UK. Famous for a blog – next thing there will be a movie….
    Take care and thanks for your great work.

    Hope you are slumbering peacefully!
    Kristie Kelly
    CUSO-VSO Public Engagement Manager

  3. Well Caroline you know what they say: Reality is a crutch

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