Mo-Sqwee-Tos, that’s what my friend Agnes Asio, a/k/a Agnes Number 1, calls the insects that my life revolves around now. As of this writing, I have about 60 bites all over my arms and legs. I have so many mo-sqwee-to bites that my back broke out in hives and I had to do a Benadryl binge for a couple of days. My back is better and the Mo-sqwee-to bites are improving daily.
On my first night in Kapuwai, Agnes #1 warned me about the necessity of sleeping under the net every night and to always cover my legs when I am outside after the mo-sqwee-tos come out, which is around 6 p.m. every night. Some nights they are so bad that I can’t sit outside and talk with everyone while Agnes Number 3 cooks dinner for everyone. I detest the nights I can’t sit out with everyone – there is so much laughter here.
After I had been here about a week and was covered with mo-sqwee-to bites head to toe, the women of PACODET determined that I must not be securing my bed net properly. They came into my apartment and showed me that after I get into bed I must check for mo-sqwee-tos inside the net and then secure the net under the mattress. After that talk my mo-sqwee-to bite situation improved markedly.
My friend Tom Barton is taking me on Thursday to the next village over for their market day. The market at Kameke has these clay pots that you put water into and through the magic of evaporative cooling, they cool anything you put into them like a refrigerator. When I find a Coke, I’m going to buy about 60 of them. Of all the things I thought I would miss from home, turns out that I miss soft drinks the most. On the average day I drink about 2 liters of water. Before I left, I was drinking that much Diet Coke everyday.
I can’t wait until Thursday.