The result of our feast yesterday? Everyone sick. I threw my guts up and worse! Coming out of both ends. I guess it’s because it’s so long since we ate properly. At least we have some water now. I have been sick so many times I’m starting to feel better though still quite weak. Others are still throwing up and wishing to die. There weren’t many of us feeling like eating what was left of the food – but by evening I felt better enough to try. We have to eat to keep strong. Che sent out another communique by radio and I helped to send it. I am getting better with the radio. It explained our side of things for the battle last week on the 8th of May. It told the truth about the men captured and dead and explained the reason for our armed struggled for the peasants of Bolivia and said that we will not end until final victory is achieved.
Today we set out for the lake. Che gave us all a good talking to about food. He said we have to be honest about what we eat, and share with our comrades. Benigno and Urbano hung their heads in shame. Aniceto was told off for being unwilling to work but eager to do anything if there is a chance of food. Che says it’s the wrong perspective. Food is necessary but should not become a goal, however hungry we are.
We had taken a lot of corn from the farm and stored it in a cave – just in time before we heard some trucks coming. We kept away from the road and found a field with beans in it – which we picked. We also saw planes bombing but they were a few kilometers away. We went uphill and soon saw the lake. As it got dark we went towards a house which had been abandoned. They’d left food! And water! So we ate chicken with rice.
We left at four in the morning, moved on a bit and rested all day.
Che was sick today. Really sick. I was scared he was going to die. We had started on our march and he passed out. Inti, Pombo, Urbano and I rushed to carry him in his hammock on our way. He was really bad. We had to change his trousers but couldn’t clean him up properly. Pombo gave him some injections. It is lucky we still have medicine with us. It was awful to see him so ill. It makes me feel helpless to see the man I look up to in such a state and I can do nothing to make him better. I just hope we don’t come across soldiers any time soon.
We found a cart along the way and put Che on it as we carried on. At night we got a message through the radio. It was not good news. It simply showed that we are isolated and there is no one coming to join us or help us any time soon. We made camp at the sawmill we’d been at a few days ago.
We walked again today and Che was a lot better (which relieved me) but Raul has a sore knee which is almost stopping him from walking. He had antibiotics and is going to have it burst tomorrow. We found some water at the foot of the mountain.
Today, while Raul had his abscess lanced and pus drained (it was disgusting) and could hardly walk, we set up ambush. It was a day of doctoring because Camba had a tooth pain and Che became ‘Fernando the tooth puller’ and took out his tooth. He bore it well. We baked some bread in an oven we made, which was so much better than lard.
Raul is getting better slowly, but had to be mostly carried as we moved on. After an ambush was set up by the forward group, we moved on, and Ancieto and I went scouting and found an abandoned army camp. Others took their knapsacks to the river, ready for crossing. We found some dried rations at the camp and took them. We stayed here at night because it rained all night. We counted the food and there are about ten days rations. There is also corn in the nearby fields and calabash fruit growing. We will eat that first, holding our rations in reserve. No one wants to be reduced to lard soup again.