Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fèt Drapo

It's Flag Day, y'all! Last year I celebrated with Bryan and Sharon by paying some beautiful pink birds a visit. On the way out to Trou Caiman we chanced across several parades (including a boyscout march. Scouts in Creole are "scoots," which is just so endearing).

Unfortunately, there's no day off or parades for me this year. While I intend to write a blogpost soon about our upcoming plans, in the meantime I'll just tell you that May 31st is my last day at MCC. Suffice it to say, I have a lot to do between now and then. Today, for example: I spent the first part of the morning giving a really fun workshop on Canadian intervention in Haiti and advocacy for a visiting MCC group. The second part of the morning was my last conference call with MCC's advocacy offices (I think I just shed a little tear - what an amazing group they've been to work with!) and at 3:00 I have another conference call with some other people to talk about something else. Meanwhile, I am trying to deal with the invasion of mosquitoes into our home. We always have skeeters, but lately they've been unbearable. The strategy:
  1. Spray myself all over with Herbal Armor (it's one of the most effective DEET-free repellents we've found).
  2. Drink a prestige to compensate for blood loss. It's a holiday, after all.
  3. Find and empty all sources of standing water in our lakou. This will include cutting open some of the tires stacked outside for the planned expansion of our tire garden. Turns out, tires make great places for pesky mosquito larvae to grow...
  4. Burn eucalyptus leaves, incense etc (Mosquitoes hate the smoke and smell. We like the smell).
  5. Mix up a mosquito deterrent of thyme, lemongrass, lavender and eucalyptus oils and put it all over the house. (I use this book all the time and would highly recommend it if you're into natural remedies.)
  6. Take my 3:00 call in bed, under the mosquito net.
We've been asked a lot about malaria. We don't take anti-malaria prophylaxis because we would rather take a course of chloroquine when we get sick than be on an antibiotics full-time, which kills all the friendly bacteria in our bodies. Malaria mosquitoes (fancy name, Anopheles) are really only out at night, so we just sleep under a net. However, the mosquitoes that give us dengue (which we've both had here and it totally sucks) are daytime fliers... thus the concerted effort to repel them.


    Krys Mann said...

    We're north of you in the Turks and Caicos. Another natural solution to flying mosquitoes or the ones surrounding our pets is to put about 2-3 tblsp dishwashing/washing up liquid in a spray bottle and then fill with water to the top. If you see a mosquito, squirt a couple of times and they hit the floor as they can't fly with the mist on them. We spray around our dogs when they come in and it works a charm on the stray one buzzing around your head with soapy water being the only thing on you. (works on sugar ants/fruit flies as well around the kitchen.

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