Funny ha ha
Trip Start Jun 14, 2004
27Trip End Jul 30, 2006
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Small news, I have taken over as co-editor of the Belize Peace Corps publication called the toucan times with Aaron, another volunteer. One of our first tasks was to create a welcome section for the incoming volunteers. One of the articles I wrote was on all the skin crap I have had since coming to belize.
I thought you all might find it funny.
The rashed out Chinay:
Welcome First years! This is your resident in rashes, chinay gyal up on the hill in cayo.
Now I don't want to create any unneeded apprehension concerning your skin and its inevitable rebellion against our new tropical environment. I merely want to introduce you to what I like to call "the ongoing warfare between your skin and Belize."
1. BEWARE OF THE CASHEWS. My first affliction is one that my friends and I like to refer to as the "rash that tried to eat my face."
One of the first cultural days you will go on will bring you to a beautiful place right on the lagoon called Crooked Tree. It was a splendid day filled with roasting cashews, sleeping in hammocks and eating wonderful food. Looking back I now refer to it as "the place of devilry and evilness."
The next day I woke up with a lee rash on my face. This lee rash grew and grew and then took over my body for the next week.
First on my face. "hey guys, what's this on my forehead?"
"hmm, just some heat rash. Don't worry."
Then worse on my face and on the inside of my elbows.
"still heat rash?"
"nope. Reaction to the cashew smoke. Let's go and get some pills for you at the doctor's."
Then even worse on my face. It's inside my nose and ears, and my left eye is halfway shut because it's all over my eyelid.
Starting to grow on my lower back.
"Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and it'll be gone?"
"Let's bring you to the hospital again and get some more pills."
Somehow it gets even worse on my face. I have no chin because my neck is so swollen. My back and the inside of my elbows have turned into red mush. I'm told not to sweat. What? Its 379 degrees out. Sure no problem.
The story ends with me going to a dermatologist in Belize City who took one look at me and told me I was going to have to be admitted into the hospital, where I spent the next five days hooked up to IV drips of Hydro Cortizone and Benadryl.
Moral of the Story: Don't get too close to the cashew smoke.
2. Fungus. There are plenty-o-fungus down here in Belize. My vast experience with them so far:
Ringworm. Not really a worm I learned. Will go away in three to four weeks with cream.
Fungus on the tookas. Don't spend your entire technical training in a wet bathing suit. Also will go away with cream.
Another fungus on the tookas. Didn't learn my lesson the first time.
Fungus on the face. Apparently there is nothing to do about this fungus. It will just grow back, so the only thing you can do is to deal with it.
3. Drug induced acne. During one of my check ups with the dermatologist after the rash that tried to eat my face, I inquired about the zits ALL OVER MY FACE. To which she replies, "Oh, it's because you've been on cipro for so long," which I was taking for the rash from hell. Oh really? Fantastic. Now I have acne because of the rash. That's really great. Why doesn't my nose just fall off or something?
4. Scabies that weren't really scabies. Advice: don't run around in the jungle at night with a skirt on because you may get attacked by teeny tiny ticks. Which happened to me. I am one of those people that cannot NOT itch something if it itches. And since I had a skirt on that fateful night, the ticks made their way to the warmest, comfiest area that they could. My ass.
"Why does my butt itch so much?" I wondered to myself the day after said tick attack. Scratch scratch scratch. More scratching the next day . . . and the next. I scratched so much that I infected all those nasty tick bites to the point where I couldn't really sit down without it hurting and had to go to Belize City to have a doctor look at it. Yummy.
5. My latest development . . . Something is killing my toe nails and turning them yellow. Mmmmmm. According to Jackie I have two choices: go on meds for 12 weeks or have those suckers pulled out. Both sound extraordinarily appealing, don't they?