Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bed Bugs, Fleas, and Poison Ivy

Now that it is pretty much over and done with I’m ok blogging about it, but for a while there I was freaking out! The weekend we went to the coffee finca I contracted a bunch of bug bites, as did everyone else. A few days past and everyone else carried on, but I was still scratching away, all night and all day. Seriously I wasn’t sleeping because I was so itchy and my cortisone cream wasn’t cutting it. My teacher put a bug in my ear (no pun intended) that I might want to consider the idea of “bed bugs” OH, NO! Immediately my thoughts went to a friend of ours who had to move out of her apartment in Denver because she couldn’t get rid of bed bugs. Great, just what we need. Of course I hurried home after school to raid the bed and sure enough, a found a little black bug. Just one, but I was convinced.

Bravely that afternoon, Ben brought to our family’s attention that there might be an issue with our bed. Of course they didn’t believe it – 15 years of students and this had never before happened. Convinced that I picked up a flea on our chicken bus excursion to Totonicapan earlier in the week, they revealed that they found one in the house after we returned from the trip. Maybe it was from all the street dogs or the way we were packed into the bus like sardines? Who would ever know! Nevertheless when we returned from our weekend in Pana, our room was cleaned and the bedding was changed. But my itching persisted. We began to wonder if I had come into contact with a poisonous plant of some sort at the finca.

Finally Tuesday morning I paid a visit to the ICAmigos free clinic at our school. The doctor wasn’t sure of the cause, but advised me to purchase Calafar cream (the same as calamine lotion I think) at the local pharmacy. For the remainder of the week I alternated the calfar and cortisone and I am happy to say, that today is my first official day without itching in 2 weeks!!!! Gracias Dios!

While I was miserable for quite some time, this whole experience has taught me a lesson. Just because you might be the “clean girl”, you’re not above catching a flea! Now I walk the streets with the gift of fear – fear of every dog, every crowd, and every little itch I have! Is that paranoia or what? And here’s the kicker. I have earned my sobre nombre (nickname) at school – Pulgita (little flea). Endearing, huh?

Gross photo, I know, but it got even worse than it looks!


Aunt, Uncle, & cousins in IL said...

You are extremely brave, Krista! I also like to be "clean" and don't do camping at all unless it is in a fully furnished cabin! What an incredible experience you and Ben are having. I enjoy reading your blog. I told Toby if he ever has to do a report on a Spanish speaking country, he will be all set with all the information and pictures you have posted. Be safe and continue to make the most of every minute. Beth

osmanmaya said...


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