Africa has its challenges. As is the case in most countries with extreme humidity, when it rains for days, weeks, or months, the mosquitoes breed in standing water as follows:
“10 to 14 days
How Long Does It Take for Mosquitoes to Breed on Standing Water? The length of the mosquito breeding cycle varies by species, but mosquitoes generally need 10 to 14 days to develop in standing water. Insect control authorities often recommend dumping any standing water at least once a week.”
Of course, we are well aware of the malaria risks when being bitten. Our friend Alan lost his dear wife and nearly died from a rare form of malaria, which they both contracted while living in Marloth Park in 2019. People who live here regularly don’t take malaria tablets. The side effects are too dangerous for long-term prevention. Instead, like me, they use the dreaded DEET, the only chemical that has the potential to work.
But, even so, we all still get bites. It’s easy to miss a spot when applying the product or be an hour late in re-applying the next round, usually every six hours. There’s no easy answer.
There is a pond with vegetation growing outside our bedroom window. It’s no wonder we are being bombarded day and night. Then again, Tom rarely is bitten and doesn’t wear repellent, except when we’re outside at night. At this point, after weeks of non-stop rain and humidity, I have no less than 50 bites.
Although I cover myself with Tabard Repellent, popular in South Africa, specific to its types of mosquitoes, a DEET-containing product, every six hours, I don’t protect my eyes, face, and head, but now, they are biting me on my eyelids in a desperate search for some exposed skin. Finally, I’m starting to feel better from being off of those strong antibiotics, and now I am constantly itching.
Last night was when I could finally savor a glass of wine with the required eight days passing since I started the antibiotics. There was nothing for us to do indoors with the WiFi and power out in the inclement weather. We decided to “rough it” in the bad weather, and we spent the evening on the veranda to have our first sundowners in a while. I loaded up on repellent from head to toe to ensure I wouldn’t be stricken with one more mosquito bite. It worked out.
It appears that about half of my “bites” are reactions from dust mites to which I am allergic. Oh, good grief. I inherited most of these medical issues (allergies, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, joint problems, and on and on), and I was a bit fed up yesterday but feeling better today after a good night’s sleep.
With the power out and no idea when it would be restored, we decided to make the best of the evening. We’d never experienced such high winds in South Africa during the 19 months we’ve spent in this country in the past eight years. Yesterday’s midday meal required the use of the electric stove, which, when the power wasn’t restored, we had no choice but to cook on the braai. We managed to figure it out, although our meal wasn’t as good as it would have been cooked on the stovetop. The power and WiFi both came back on during the night.
Whew! I’m not particularly eager to whinge in our posts, nor do I care to complain much to Tom. He’s so accepting of my various health issues, but only because I spend as little time as possible talking about them. He’s well aware of my problems and is entirely supportive. I can only imagine what a mess I’d be if I didn’t work hard as possible to be healthy.
But, these are the realities of living in South Africa and other parts of Africa with the heat and humidity due to the unpredictable weather. The insects are another thing.
While in the hotel room in Mumbai, India, I promised myself that no matter how bad the weather, the insects, and the bites, I’d still be grateful to be here, and I am. Only moments ago, Tom came in to tell me that Frank and The Misses were on the veranda, looking for me. When these situations occur, I forget all about the inconveniences and revel in the joys of why we are here.
Yes, I could avoid mentioning any of my woes on our site. But, we always promised to “tell it like it is.” By no means am I a “Pollyanna” pretending that all is sweetness and light. Once, while living in Minnesota, we lost power for five days due to a severe summer storm. That was a tough five days. Nowhere in the world is exempt from issues of daily life, and here is no exception. Right now, the power outages in the US are equally challenging for many citizens to tolerate.
Last night in the wind and rain, we sat on the veranda while I was sipping on my glass of wine and Tom, on his cocktail, reveling in the joys the bush has to offer. We were pleasantly surprised when it proved to be the most prolific night of visitors we’ve had since we arrived over a month ago. We were thrilled! Photos will follow tomorrow.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2020:
|The soldier prepared for the big event, the nightly ceremony closing the borders between India and Pakistan. For more, please click here.|