Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The good news is, the water tanks at Glover's Reef are all full, even the one we installed after the rainy season supposedly ended. You can guess the bad news. Belize gets 3 - 4 inches of rain in the month of January, typically. This year we got several times that amount in any given week. Where is Global Warming when you need it?!! Actually, this could be an indication of things to come (let's hope not), or might just be one tail of a statistical 'normal' curve. Time will tell.

Aaanyway, I am off for an 8 day week, so I hope to get the Manatee as near done as possible. We started on the spars for the masts, ripping up 2x4's into 2x2's and joining them into two 8 ft and two 18ft spars. I am not satisfied with the joints, but am guaranteed they will hold, so we'll see.

We had a rather famous guest on a trip recently. He wasn't a movie or rock star, but most Canadians would recognise him by outdoor the clothing he designs. He has promised to send me a few items, as a way of sponsoring my upcoming voyage and I am thrilled to receive them. We'll see how well they perform after four months of hard use.

Ahh, life in the tropics. Yesterday I removed a botfly from a colleague's head. It's like a small housefly, which lays on egg on your skin or on vegetation, or even on the underside of a mosquito. At any rate, the egg finds itself on your skin at some point, where it immedialty hatches and burrows in. From there the little maggot grows, feeding on your body fluids, and keeps a small open sore through which it sticks a tiny, transparent breathing tube. You may first notice a small swollen spot with a hole, like a burst pimple. At night, however, it shifts around in its bed, using small hooks located at the head end. This you can feel, and it feels exactly like it sounds.

To get rid of the little pest, you have to smother it. You can use vaseline or duct tape. Duct tape works great (here's a use even Red Green wouldn't have thought of, eh?) because as the maggot tries to extend its snorkel, it crawls out of the hole and gets stuck on the tape. Vaseline doesn't work as well, and neither one works well on the scalp, as my coworker discovered. The alternate treatment is to take the stem of a tobacco leaf (which they sell by the handful in stores here), stick it in the airhole, and leave it overnight. The maggot immediatly struggles vigorously, much to the discomfort of the host, and eventually dies. It is then removed with a lot of squeezing like popping a huge and particularly nasty zit. The wound heals quickly, and it's all over with. Until the next one: this particular host has played this role 3 times before. Just to be clear, these creatures live in the deep jungle and are not found on the cayes.


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