Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dengue Delirium

Hello all:)

Well, it's raining yet again, and I just heard that one of the girls from my group already got Dengue. She lives in my neighborhood so I know those little buggers are buzzing around close! I've heard that while the rain here is common it's pretty excessive lately. The Director said that last year there were just 2 hurricanes or whatever they're called but that this year in the two weeks we've been there there have already been like 6 or we're in line for 6. Jeesh! I'm supposed to go on a trip this week to visit a PCV waaaay up in Puerta Plata and they may not be letting us go. Noooo!!! I wanted to go to the bea- I mean I wanted to see what life was like for a PCV after graduation! We're just sitting around in the training office right now waiting for people to show up. A lot of people are late because when it rains the public transportation stops (seems weird since they get a lot of rain you'd think they'd be used to it but their drainage systems can't handle it) and plus a lot of people's families get kind of crazy about them leaving in the rain. They worry about us a lot. Oop, time to go. Talk to you all soon. Thanks for the comments:)



batteredbugs said...

Ahhh Lil' Bets...
"But nobody told me"!!!
Sorry, this is soooo long, but please do copy it and read it later, don't waste your "pay time" online wading through it all. Ahem... Yes Bets, that's actually some very good information that most people, even most healthcare professionals here in our highly domesticated scape might be aware of, but seldom ever have to deal with, so that information tends to get filed away somewhere in their brains in their "dead file". And that is quite often how many plagues come about now-a-days. So I'm glad that they're covering this info with all of you out there finally. I only wish that I'd been more impressive about some of those subjects with all of you myself when you were all at home years ago. Yes, worm infestations can be nasty. I've personally had round worm and ring worm, and they're no fun. I never had a tape worm, but those can be some of the most damming on the human body. And yes, constant, frequent hand washing is probably your best combatant to thwarting off a personal infestation of that sort. I am however not a big fan of all of the anti-bacterial cleansers on the market today or even those hand sanitizers out there either, as both are guilty of killing off a lot of good and necessary bacterias that our bodies harbor that we need. Another thing that is of great benefit is a nail brush, U may have noticed one by some of our sinks through the years, and most notably around my sinks here today. Nail brushes with a little good old fashioned soap, glycerin & lye, will easily dislodge worm eggs that can become entrapped under the finger nails and cuticles. Although should you contract one of those nasty "worms", there's a very powerful natural elixir called wormwood that probably grows naturally around there as well that completely kills every sort of worm infestation known to mankind. Matt the hairdresser grows a crop of it each year and then distills it with vodka which we partake of together every year with a little bit of red bull whenever he has a batch made up. It's actually a good practice to get into b/c sometimes you may have a worm and not even know it for quite sometime. Also being made aware of the various diseases that can be contracted via vectors like mosquitoes and flies, etc. is also noteworthy info. And whenever your on or near a flood plane area there are certain precautions that you can take to help ensure against epidemic infestations of those types of vectors. Again, up here in our more domesticated environment where tall grasses are well maintained (kept cut), standing pools of water are avoided via good drainage systems, ditches, streams, rivers, etc., proper watershed principals for which there are now well established laws and guidelines finally here on the books in the USA, but only as recently here as within the last few decades! And Ur Dad's been real big on proper watershed and drainage implementation all of his life, if any of you had been paying attention... Ever since I was a child of 4 yrs. old (1962&63) and Pop_a_Doc and I found ourselves in court with a couple of our neighbors over the tons and tons of dirt that we dug up with hand shovels and moved with wheel barrows on our first property, which happened to be a natural flood plane, to set up a system of drainage tracts, berms, and ditches to keep our property properly drained off and dry, where Pop_a_Doc was actually instrumental in establishing some of the national watershed laws that are now currently on the books here today. Couple that with our proper modern day methods of sewage and waste water handling & treatment, including the basic individual septic systems that are still found in many more rural areas today like the one I have here at the school where city public water supply and waste water disposal/treatment systems just aren't available. It is this very infrastructure that we have in place here in this country that just plain old isn't in many of the over populated 3rd world countries, like the one you're in right now, that prevents our nation from having to address many of these topics that they're finally discussing with you guys out there right now. If nothing else this should positively impress upon you the importance of many of the rules and regulations that you had to enforce on people here during your tenure with the zoning enforcement dept. out there in Belvidere. All I goto say is "rot's a ruck" with the people down there, but everyone is teachable/trainable, just as you are now via your PC instructors. Listen and learn your lessons well b/c those people are right on target with the information that you've relayed here lately. And your best chances for a successful survival during your tour of duty down there is going to depend greatly on your understanding and assimilation of the instruction and information they've been giving you down there right now, pay careful attention. You've probably often heard the phrase "knowledge is power", well that statement holds truer for you today than ever before in your life, but not in the "power" aspect as much as a more basic survival and well being aspect. All in all, this is probably some of the most important information you have ever received throughout all of your educational pursuits. And well, as far as the spiders are concerned, you must know that they are a very important and necessary feature in our environmental eco-system, as they and crickets are some of the greatest and most potent "decomposers" of natural organic matter in the world! And since your going to be living in some of the more untamed, wild areas of the world here now over the next couple of years, the best thing you can do is again is to pay attention and rigidly adhere to the methods of protecting yourself that they are instructing you on out there right now. That is one of the reasons that I have done and continue to do a couple of regular perimeter sprays around the building here each year of insect killing toxins. With particular attention to the fire wood pile that I have to collect here each year for heating purposes. Learning, knowing, utilizing, and practicing sometimes simple basic things like your mosquito mesh tent over and around your bedding could actually save your life! Again, learn your lessons well. And I did see your list of items needed there and will try to coordinate w/Rachael's mailings to get you some of those badly needed provisions down there. And unfortunately without all of the proper and necessary training and information that you're finally getting now, it was impossible for you to go down there actually properly prepared for what lies ahead for you now, but we are your support group and will do our best to see that all of your needs are met... Just don't starve to death on us in the meantime! So on that note, keep hanging in there and know that thanks to all of your writings and posts to your blog here that your "great adventure" has also become one of the greatest adventures for all of us here too. I really love and look forward to each and every post you make here. They mean a lot to each and every one of us. And one more thing, yes, it seems that you've managed to land there through one of the most active hurricane/tropical storm sessions ever recorded! But isn't that just kind of some of the luck of us "Spencer's"!?! :) God, peace, prosperity, and good health be with you Lil' Doodles... We all surely do love and miss you here in our midsts greatly, probably more than you could know.
BaTTered/Dad! :)

batteredbugs said...

Geeze Bets,
In everybody's eyes here U'r a real gem. Your hardships there may seem overwhelming, but just remember what God has to say about that... He will never test you beyond your abilities, he'll always leave U a way out if U trust in Him, so just keep hanging in there and don't get sick. And U gotto believe that there is a God! Never for one minute ever believe otherwise, always put your trust in Him, and he'll pull U through, always. U kinda just goto roll with the punches. As Muhamid Ali always said, "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee", so for now U've goto float like the butterfly as mother nature might dictate, but then sting like the bee whenever the opportunity allows U to, always seize the opportunities that He places before U. Be potent and be strong, Ur gonna make it just fine, I know U will b/c U come from some really good stock, U are one tough cookie. Be tough, be strong, and keep on hangin' in there. After talking to U tonight, as brief as our talk was, I almost feel motivated to call my buddy coach and have him fuel up his plane and just fly down there with the badly needed provisions that U need! And I might just do that. It's stupefying just how ill prepared you were for what you walked into down there. U're barely hanging on by a shoestring like most of the other inhabitance out there, and that shouldn't be, I really feel that Ur above that. Hearing of your hardships down there really makes me want to "force the hand", and I just might be provoked to do just that. This has surely become beyond merely any sort of simple "adventure" for U down there, and I surely don't want U to have to experience or endure anything like the Dengue! My advice for now would be to be vigilant of and careful to avoid any flood drainage tracts which can change in an instant with the cascading rains and mudslides they're experiencing out there. No wonder "a lot of people's families get kind of crazy about them leaving in the rain". Pay attention to all educational resources out there even beyond the ones Ur PC teachers invoke upon U, there's much more to it all than just the pure simple basics that they're preaching to U guys. Pay careful attention to the native's chidings/lessons as well, their messaging is also to be well heeded. They live there and really do know what they're talking about! Again, U'r of good stock and have an astute head on Ur shoulders, if U use it U'll fare well. Stay on top of the heap as U always have. I have every bit of confidence in your abilities to survive and thrive, but these are very taxing and challenging tribulations that U're going to have to endure with the weather patterns as they are. They are killing the native people around you and I really don't want U to become merely one of their statistics, U're way too good and to precious to me to waste on any of that kind of nonsense. So, be strong, be sharp, be alert, and be safe, pay attention to everything around you, U're in a very hostile environment in ao many different aspects. We're going to render some assistance, but U're a long way off, so it's going to be costly and difficult, but know that everyone in Ur family's circle is behind U 110% and will help U and your constituents in any way we can, as U all stand for a most noble and worthy cause. And do know that things will get better as right now U are entrenched in the hurricane season and that there is so much more to it all than what your experiencing right now which is basic primal survival. If U can get through this leg of it the rest will be a walk on the beach, but never ever let your guard down, even when U're just walking on the beach! There's things like jellyfish washed up on the beaches, etc... Not to mention the sharks, and I'm not just talking about the fish! Listen to the people that live there, they'll give U as much information and education as those who brought U there, and probably even more. Just remember that God created us as all equal, and right now it's a level playing field out there for U, but being not armed with the proper knowledge or experience of having endured what's upon U right now U're at and extreme disadvantage. Don't look down on or belittle those around U just b/c their skin color differs from Ur's or b/c they don't speak Ur language, right now Ur all equal, and maybe Ur the one at the disadvantage for lack of experience and exposure to their customs and climate conditions, but I'm sure U've already experiences some of that being as pale and blonde as U are! I've already heard some tales or your obvious arian appearance, blonde hair, blue eyes, pale complexion, and perfect bod, U're a worshiped goddess on that ile! As well as a preditory one! Watch out. But I think U already know that, actually I'm sure U do. I sure hope that this all helps U to forage on, but do know that there's a proverbial army back here rooting for Ur continued success. And actually I had quite a conversation with a Loatian customer of mine out on the shop pad today that only helped to hone my own perception of where U're at right now today. And the basic message that's resounding loudly in my head tonight is that in God's eyes we're all equal, none is above any other. So, humble yourself, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to all informational inputs that are available to you from any and every source. Again, I know that you're a very sharp and perceptive young lady, and I have every hope and belief that U're gonna do just fine, but there's always the unpredictable and the unexpected, so just be sharp and be careful, and God's peace and sanctity be with you. But also know that Coach's plane is a 4 seater, and if U want U could bale. U're "old man" would allow and provide U the "out" if need be, either on the boat or the plane if that would be your wish or desire, but again, I think U're of better stock than that.
U're "Old Man"...
BaTTered Dad! :)

i_should_b_asleep said...

Dad... you write more then Bets does!

What happens when she gets dengay? Does she have to go back to the U.S.? How did she know she had it?
News geeks want to know...

The kids corn picking went awesome. (Um.. yeah... picking corn in jeans while holding a 30 pound infant in 90 degree heat is AMAZING). Spiders are everywhere in those crops!! What sicko would want that for a job?!?!?
I was at Family Life for 14 hours yesterday! I will post the pics online and give you a link once I figure it out. I have some free time this weekend.
We're watching hurricanes Hannah and Ike... and Josephine. Ike's gonna be a doozy. It's a Cat 4 already.
If you see a tarantula... (especially on your mosquito net) you totally have to take a picture for us!

lovin ya from NY--
I'll read this post to the kids tomorrow... I'm sure they'll have a TON of interesting tips for you. We're also slipping you some more mail then. I hope you make it north!
Hey... thanks for all your posts. We feel so much closer to you.