Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bloody Little Pests

After having been in Colombia for about a month and a half now, there are two things that I will never ever complain about again in my life.

1. The constant heat: I knew coming down here that one of the biggest things I would have to adjust to would be the heat, but I wasn't quite prepared for what has greeted me. If you don't find yourself in at least one pool of sweat a day, you're doing something wrong. Since a majority of the houses do not have AC, fans are a man's best friend. Power outages can make for long days and nights as one struggles to find a way to cool down. Normally, my favorite room of the house is in the shower, under the cool, cascading water. Seriously - I've never been such a fan of cold showers before! It's almost to the point where 75 feels cool and requires a blanket, sweatshirt, and comforter at night - no joke!

2. The mosquitoes: Holy cow! Never before in my life have I detested one thing as much as I currently detest mosquitoes. They are literally everywhere here. There is no reprieve! When we go to Colombo for our trainings, they swarm us like we are a prime rack of lamb ready to be devoured. During our sessions, the constant sounds of clapping echos throughout the classrooms as trainees perfect their mosquito killing skills. I'm currently working on the one-handed technique.

Despite bathing in bug spray every hour of every day, the little buggers still manage to be a nuisance. Even at night, while you're sleeping, they're present. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up with bites on the BOTTOMS OF MY FEET! If you know me, you know that I hate touching my own feet, let alone other foreign things. Trying to resist itching those bites is tough. My body has scabs for scabs from these nasty bites. My friend Katrina once counted 66 bites - that was just on her legs! The constant itchy feeling drives us all mad. During one recent Skype session with my friends Megan and Trisha, I managed to acquire 7 new bites. We talked for about an hour. Ridiculous...

This epidemic has become even more fun with the discovery that diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya are being spread around the area thanks to this blood suckers. With no vaccine or current cure, the idea of being lamed up for weeks at a time with uncontrollable joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and a general wish to stop living excites all of us. Luckily, there haven't been any major reported cases in our area here on the coast. Let's just hope that it stays that way...

So if you ever see pictures of me and it looks like I have the chicken pox or measles, don't worry. It's just a new collection of bug bites.