Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More on Fleas

We had the house fumigated, so now I only get a few flea bites a day from what ever gets on me during the day walking around.  I had hundreds, for a while there, because I'd get 20 - 50 a day and they last and itch FOREVER, and leave scars that I don't know how long they last.  Your Mom seemingly has only had 2 or 3 the whole time we've been here.  The exterminator guy tells me its because I'm allergic to the fleas' anticoagulant they inject when they bit you, to keep the blood flowing, and she is not.  She's probably getting bit too, but doesn't react.  None of the Chileans seem to be bothered by them.  I see lots of stray dogs that are very bothered by them.  You can't walk anywhere without stray dogs coming up to you, and they're lounging around on all the sidwalks and in front of people's businesses and doors, especially on the main streets.   Its real easy for fleas to hop  off a dog and on to a person.  You'd never see it, they're so small and quick.

I don't feel them biting.  But occasionally I think I feel them walking around under my clothes looking for a place to bite. What do you do when you feel that itchy feeling and you're at someone's house in the middle of a discussion?  They get under your clothes and you can never see them they're so quick and small and blend in to dark colors.

The fleas here are very small. I've only seen two.  They really big ones are the size of a pin head.  They're impossible to kill by rubbing them between your fingers and squeezing or slapping them like mosquitos.  But you can stun them by rubbing them real hard between your fingers so they don't jump away real quick, and then you can smash them with one fingernail against the other.  That is the missionary way.

Its already getting cold again, after only a few weeks of cool (not warm) weather.  When the sun is not out, (most of the time here on the coast except for a few weeks in the summer) its like the Lucky Leaf in winter on a cold cloudy windy day.  The only difference is its the same temperature inside your house as outside, so you never get away from the cold.  This morning when we woke up it was 58 deg. inside the house.  Not too bad.  Sometimes it gets real cold inside.

The people here are very strange to us, when it comes to the temperature.  All winter long, they leave the doors to the church wide open and open the windows in the classrooms because its "too hot", or "too stuffy".  Because the wind blows always, and the way the church is designed like an "H",the wind comes screaming in the front door and down all the hallways and out another door.  They like that when its about 45 degrees inside and out, and they bundle up and are happy.

Then, in the peak of summer, like January and Feb, when the church building (all concrete and stone and ceramic tile finish) is just warming up to about 65 deg or so (you'd think they'd be boiling if 45 is hot to them in the winter, right?). But in the summer, they all start complaining about 65 deg. being cold and they turn on the heating system till its about 80 inside, and they still complain about it being cold.  But they still leave the front door wide open (65-70 outside). They will never turn on the heater in the winter no matter how cold it is inside.  "Its not good for your health to have warm air in the winter", and "there is no reason to waste all that gas."  

We have quit trying to close doors and windows to keep the temperature moderate, because within a couple of minutes someone will open them. Its like trying  to stop the tide or the wind.

Imagine the sensory experience of hundreds of these.  They last about 3 weeks.

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