Monday, April 21, 2008

Viral infection & Travel issues

Have not been feeling well the past few days. Somewhat feverish but the fever always subsided after I take a panadol. Plus a bit of stomach indigestion, cough and running nose. A fellow traveler suggested that these could be symptons of malaria. Went to a clinic here in Kigali and conducted some tests. As it turned out, it wasn¡¯t malaria. I had an infection of mild salmonella, i.e., a virus caused by intake of contaminated food or water. Since the trouble began in Uganda, it was probably something I ate or drink there, although I could not recall any particular circumstance that could have led to this.
A few days ago in Uganda, I bought air tickets for Kigali (Rwanda) ¨C Bujumbura (Burundi) by Rwandair Express on Monday afternoon and Bujumbura ¨C Nairobi (Kenya) on Kenya Airways on Wednesday afternoon. Bad news: On Friday night when I arrived in Kigali, I heard and then confirmed by checking BBC website, that Bujumbura has been attacked and shelled by rebels opposed to the Burundi Government, and the government had begun an offensive against rebels 50km from the capital. Burundi has been in ceasefire 2 years ago and despite minor incidents from time to time, Bujumbura had not been shelled in 2 years.
I checked with the airlines on Saturday and they were still flying to Burundi now. News is sketchy whether peace has been restored on Saturday. I will have to check with the airlines on Monday morning if they are still flying to Burundi. If they are still flying, I still have to decide whether whether it is safe to fly to Burundi as scheduled, with the risk of (a) conflict worsening and there is real risk of getting caught in crossfire, or (b) my Kenya Airways flight on Wed for Bujumbura-Nairobi may get cancelled (if conflict worsens) and I get trapped in Burundi;
If the decision is not to go to Burundi, I have to ask Kenya Airways if they could reroute my US$300 ticket so that I can fly Kigali-Nairobi direct.

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