Jarrod, Catherine, Karissa and I pose with our guide in the rain just outside the bat cave. So 16 days ago, I left Yaoundé to go to Bamenda in northwest Cameroon. No pull ups for me there. And one week ago on Sunday I was still in Bamenda, and while we were hiking outside a Fulani village, I slipped on the bed of a steam in the rain and gauged my right palm. I returned from Bamenda on Monday. Since Friday (four days ago) I've been out sick with a stomach bug and haven't eaten very much. I've felt my muscles and my gut slowly fade away with a nice view of my scrawny bones taking their place.

This morning, I woke up at 5am and was feeling quite motivated to accelerate my return to good health, so I jumped on the pull-up bar (i.e., my shower rod). To my surprise, each repetition was much easier than I remember it being. I was able to do a set of eight pull-ups with very little effort, despite being way out of shape. I must have lost a ton of weight. Or at least, it seems like it. Before I got sick, I guess I weighed 145 lbs. Last night I weight myself in at 140 lbs. Does 5 lbs really make that much of a difference? And I was expecting my upper body strength to fade a lot faster than that. How quickly does that go?