I Hate Mosquitoes

8 04 2010

I try not to use the “h” word very often, but there is only one way to describe how I really feel about mosquitoes and unfortunately for them, that’s it. I have yet to figure out how mosquitoes positively impact the world, other than being incredibly good at population control, and I’m not sure how positive that is. Unfortunately for me the mosquito has become a very big part of my existence here in Guyana, whether I like it or not. The area I live in is famous for their legendary mosquitoes that can carry off a cow or a car if you’re not careful (I’ve yet to see that happen, but during certain times of the year I could believe it.) Twice a year we have what is called by the locals as “mosquito season”. While many of you on the east coast had to endure serious blizzards during the month of February, I was enduring my own blizzard……of mosquitoes. It might be the single most miserable thing EVER……after dengue, but I’ll get to that just now. I am including pictures so you all will understand just how bad mosquito season actually is, and I want you all to keep in mind that the pictures I’m including were not taken during actual mosquito season, but just after a particularly rainy day. Look at the pictures, then multiply by 10, and that is the awfulness that is mosquito season.

Besides the fact that mosquitoes are just plain pesky, they fly and buzz all over you, they bite you and cause you to itch like crazy (and they don’t care where they bite you…they are a partial to elbows, feet, ankles, and toes, but they will bite your face and any other body part they can gain access to). The little f#%&*@# also carry all kinds of diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and filaria. Peace Corps vaccinates us against Yellow fever, but there are no vaccines for malaria, dengue, or filaria. So we have to take malaria medicine which comes with its own goody bag of side effects like depression, hallucinations, crazy dreams, or yeast infections, depending on which medicine you are taking. Filaria is caused by a little mosquito worm that can enter your bloodstream when you are bitten by a mosquito and can cause elephantitus. There is no cure or treatment for filaria, so that means we have to use special salt that has some kind of chemical that kills the worms and causes the salt to turn blue, we also have to de-worm every six months (great way to clean out the colon). Then there is dengue fever, which I wasn’t so lucky to escape. It’s a nice, fun virus that causes fever, headaches, EXTREME exhaustion, rash, joint pain, and lack of appetite. Luckily for me I somehow avoided getting the rash and joint pain, but I spent two weeks with a low-grade fever, headache, and serious exhaustion. Having a fever in 90 degree weather may be the most uncomfortable and miserable thing I have experienced since coming to Guyana. There are no “cures” for dengue, so the only thing you can do is stay hydrated and get lots of rest. So that’s what I did, and now I’m all better. Praise the Lord (who likes variety and Whitney Houston)!

We should be moving into the dry season soon, which means there will be WAY less mosquitoes, but it also means it will be REALLY hot, and that is a whole different kind of miserable.

This is what dengue fever looks like. I must be delirious.....I'm smiling.

 

This is in my kitchen. The little black dots are mosquitoes. The ceiling was worse.

My veranda.....those black dots are mosquitoes.

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