Illness and Fermented Foods

One of the churches

In the past four months, my husband and I have moved three times. If you have been wondering why I  been MIA for so long this is where I lay the blame. It has been a tiring and frustrating experience. But, I am determined to hang on long enough to like it. And though it’s only been a short period of time, I feel like I have grown considerably. I have always thought of myself as an easy-going person. But, this has made me realize that I have needs. Though they are not grand needs, I can not take everything, like I previously thought. So, I have learned quickly to say what I want and don’t want and I’m realizing that the things that used to be needs are not that important.


We have, finally, settled into an apartment in Sucre. We bought furniture that is all used,since it didn’t look much

The new furniture doesn’t look much different from the used

different than the furniture that was new. And we are no longer living out of our suitcases. I even have a six-burner stove where two of the burners don’t work. But, that is not the best part. We have hot water and gas in our apartment. AND the toilet is not sitting in the middle of the shower. It’s really the little things. But, seriously, we can finally feel comfortable in our place. It doesn’t feel like home yet, but that will take some time. 

As I mentioned, we moved into a city called Sucre. It’s a little over 9,000 feet high and a much bigger city than our previous location, Tarija. Because it’s bigger, we can find items IMG_2792.JPGthat wasn’t easily found in Tarija – like dates! Sucre is the university city, so we find lots of foreigners in this location as well. I’m sure that, also, contributes to the ease of finding products. But, there are some disadvantages. Tarija focused on keeping its city clean. I don’t know what Sucre focuses on, but it’s not cleanliness. Dog feces are nearly everywhere and often we can find the natives using the streets to do their thing along with the animals. It’s hard to find public restrooms or even public trash cans. So, I don’t really blame the residents. But, it’s still sickening. We carry antibacterial wipes with us everywhere we go. And it’s difficult to want to eat anything off of the street carts because lack of restrooms means lack of sinks to wash ones hands.

Despite the difficulty, Sucre has its charm

Though we try to our to keep away from the bad bacteria, it is impossible to do it completely. In fact, friends of ours who have been living here for a while told us to expect to get sick often. In fact, they eat from everywhere hoping that their bodies fully adjust to the germs out here. And though I have no desire to get sick, I have made myself ok with the idea. But, I still choose to be careful. What concerns me more than getting sick here and there is obtaining a parasite. I curse the day I watched those documentaries on parasites. I wonder if there are parasite cleanses I can do occasionally as a precautionary stance? Looks like I’ve got some research ahead of me.


Well, my husband is the first to get sick. He’s been sick for over a week now. He started out with a fever and body chills, along with diarrhea. He has been able to ease all of the symptoms, except the diarrhea. So far, he has been sticking to a liquid diet and that seems to be helping him out. If he eats solids, it’s cooked rice or bread. But, he once had coffee and alcohol, and his body hated him for it.

I’m not going to post any recipes on this page since diarrhea, poop, and all those nasty words doesn’t seem to fit in well pictures of delicious food. But, I will say that I have been working on fermenting foods to help with his digestion – to help with our digestion, to be more exact.



Fermented food gives the body the probiotics it needs to digest food, like yogurt. According to, “They often begin as whole foods, and with the help of microorganisms, their sugars and carbs are converted into compounds like lactic acid—the stuff that gives pickles and sauerkraut their signature sour taste. The process also turns these foods into probiotic powerhouses that boost levels of good bacteria in your digestive tract, improving the health and balance of your body’s collective microbiome, or bacterial community. A healthier microbiome, in turn, has been shown to aid in digestion, increase immunity, prevent disease, and—according to some preliminary studies—reduce blood pressure and keep you slim.” We are hoping that if we pump our bodies with the good bacterial, it will help us combat the evilness that wants to come into our bodies while living every day life.

Right now, I have a ginger beer, a hot sauce, and some vegetables fermenting in my kitchen. This is not my first rodeo. I have been fermenting foods for a few years now. But, I had fallen off of the wagon in the past year when there was no longer any routine in our lives to rely on. But, I’m back on again and riding with a vengeance. These bugs will not beat us!

If you would like more information on food fermentation, check out the websites listed below. I will, also, show the recipes for my fermented items in future posts.

Side Note: I really like being in Bolivia. There is just a sort of humor in what we see around us that makes me need to speak about it. I will not pretend that everything is perfect. But, as time goes by, things will become more and more normal in our eyes.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kimberly McGhee says:

    Terry and I are trying more probiotics … thank you for the links. I love hearing your story.. keep writing so real..


    1. Jeremy was having really bad tummy problems a few years ago and that’s when we started doing this. He does so much better with his digestion after eating fermented foods after a month or so.


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