The next day (my birthday by chance), I knew we had to see a doctor. We had a feeling that this could be Dengue Fever, which is a virus caused by a mosquito bite and takes about a week to a month to incubate in the body before the notoriously horrific fever starts. We had been bit by more than a few mosquitoes in Colombia, and figured there was a good chance it could be Dengue. If it was, there's no official treatment for it, and the fever usually passes on its own in a few days to a couple weeks. Unfortunately, the symptoms were also similar to Malaria, a much more serious mosquito-born tropical disease, so we wanted to know for sure.
A simple blood test at the doctor's gave us results the next morning, and thankfully, it was not Malaria. But it was too soon to test for Dengue, so we're still not sure what it was exactly: either Dengue Fever or a tropical gastro-intestinal parasite. After two days of fever, Tim remained sick (mostly with intestinal issues), and the day we were to leave for the HU conference crept up on us, until suddenly we realized that we may not be able to make it.
But luckily, Tim was feeling well enough to go, and he hadn't taken any strong medicine since the night before. So we headed out of Quito and miraculously arrived at the event all in one piece.
I have to graciously thank Raúl, owner of the Hotel Sierra Alisos and coordinator of the event, for being so generous with us and offering us a hotel room while Tim was feeling sick so that we didn't have to camp in the cold. I think that the wood stove in the room really did the trick, and the next day Tim felt great, we made our speech, and everything went wonderfully.
This was the first time on our journey that we had been robbed, but it wasn't the end of the world for us because it was an old phone, and we immediately shut it down and bought Tim a new one (which he likes very much). Good thing it wasn't his wallet! And we've definitely learned a lesson in keeping our possessions more secure while walking into crowds.
Next up: seeing the actual equator, and maybe the cloud forests of Mindo. Then we'll head into the mountains, possibly camp along a volcano crater, and go to the Amazon rainforest. Stay tuned, and we'll keep you posted.