Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Living Paranoid

Life under the mosquito net.

I don't know why I let her get to me this time. I've lived in Asia. I've been bitten by mosquitos all over the world. I'm not saying that I'll never contract anything but do I need to live in fear?

Just before I left on this trip, my mom started telling me about Malaria. Malaria kills about 150 people a year in the United States. It kills many more elsewhere. A couple of days prior, I went to get my Yellow Fever shots. There the nurse started weaving a web of disease and incontinence designed to scare the bejeezus out of me and spent hundreds, if not thousands on immunizations.

I vowed not to let it get to me yet I've been here for two weeks and the paranoia of mosquitoes and malaria lingers. Could that dirty, nasty buzzing creature hold my demise? I must run. I must hide. I must get real.

Yes, the threat of death from Malaria is real. I hope I don't get it. I've been spraying my clothes and creaming my body with all the repellants and DEET this and DEET that. I've even started to convince myself that maybe I feel feverish.

The Beausejour has no air conditioning. This means either suffer in the heat of a closed room or leave the patio doors wide open, allowing the millions of Rwandan mosquitoes access to my ample bosom (body) filled with tasty blood.

In retaliation, I've taken to hiding under the mosquito net at night during my fitful slumbers. Sure I'm donning shorts, t-shirt and slippers as I smoke my Cuban cigars on the patio with a Diet Coke at night, but I've slathered on insect repellant and the cigar smoke should act as a sufficient enough smokescreen.

But at night, it's the mosquito net. I've never slept under a mosquito net but it's not too bad - so long as you blast that fan on high and point it at the net. The combined breeze and net should keep them at bay, but then you have to secure the net down around the bed so it doesn't blow away leaving you exposed to disease and certain death.

Here in Rwanda, I've fought the good fight. But I've tired of watching American Mzungus walking around in their skirts, shorts and Birkenstocks. If they're not living in fear of Malaria, then neither shall I.

If I stop blogging within six months, you'll know what happened.

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