Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Glass in my Foot and Being Welcomed Into the Tribe


I failed to get the second piece of glass out of my foot with the tweezers.  I tried the bottle suction method repeatedly with no luck.

It hurt to walk.

So I found a doctor here at the Lega Navale.  He looked at it, poked and prodded, and decided the problem was infection.  So every day for a week I went back to him, he examined and cleaned it and told me it was getting better.  He would take the glass out tomorrow, or maybe it would come out on its own.

At the end of the week he told me it was better.

“But the glass is still in there.”  I told him.

“How do you know?”  He asked me.  “The infection caused the pain.”

The last time I checked it felt like something was in there, as though I had a small pebble in my shoe even when I walked barefoot, and once in a while, the stabbing pain.

I hadn’t walked on that part of my foot for a few days.  My hips, legs, and back hurt from all the hobbling, but maybe it had come out on its own.  So I tried walking, and sure enough, I felt fine. It didn’t hurt.  The wound healed.  

I walked for an hour to pick up my GPS.  It broke when I paddled Oslo fjord, so when I first arrived in Naples, I brought it in to be fixed.  The shop told me it would take three weeks.  I figured I couldn’t start without a GPS and the company promised my kayak would arrive any day, so I went and bought a new one.

Three weeks have passed since then, so I went to pick up my GPS.  Now I have two.

Two days later I felt a stabbing pain and the small pebble that felt like glass in my foot.  The infection left and the skin healed over, but the glass is still in there.  The doctor said I need an x ray and surgery.  He’s setting it up for me.  

When my kayak comes I’ll paddle away, and return by train when I can get an appointment to open my foot up.

I hope my kayak comes.  Most recently they assured me it would arrive October 18th.  Before that it was October first, and before that, they promised and twice promised that it would be ready and in Naples for my launch the morning of September 10th.  Forty days late and counting.

The president of the Lega Navale wanted to speak to me.

“We need to talk.  Let’s sit down for coffee.”

“I don’t drink coffee, but I’m happy to sit and talk.”  I told him, smiling to cover my assumption that I had overstayed my welcome.  If I couldn’t stay here at the Lega Navale anymore, then I would probably give up on waiting for my kayak.  I’d need to get a job.  As it is, even with a free place to stay, I’m spending too much money.

“How long will you be staying here.”

I told him the tear jerker version of my story.  I’m desperate to leave, but my boat keeps getting delayed.  Every day I spend here, while the weather is still good and the days are long, though not as long as they were 40 days ago, is two days I’ll be paddling in February.

“I don’t understand.”  He told me.  “Are you an instructor, with a license, or doing this on your own?”


“Can I see your license?”  He asked me.

I’ve been telling people I’m an instructor for almost a year now.  This was the first time anyone has ever asked to see my ACA level four open water coastal kayaking instructor certification.

“Sure.” I pulled the card out of my wallet.

“I see. ... We will make you a member of the club, and pay you to teach kayaking while you wait.”

“I’ve been teaching for free, in appreciation for you letting me stay here.”

“We’ll pay you.”

And what’s more, they accepted me into their tribe.



  1. Well it sucks that your kayak still hasn't arrived yet, but that's AWESOME about them wanting to have you teach for pay while you're there!!!

  2. Thanks Tammy! It's cool to know you guys are out there. Have you been following for long?

  3. Been reading since you posted on the other blog that you were posting here again. And I followed the other one too. I'm just not such a big commenter.... I usually stalk rather than commenting :)

  4. It's a pleasure to have you on board and I'm glad you're enjoying my writing.