Difficult Mosquito Nets
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007
A mosquito net is difficult and annoying to use.
If you have camped in a pup tent, then you many be able to empathize with people who are supposed to be using a mosquito net. There is just no way to get in and out of a one-man tent simply. To protect yourself from mosquitoes you need to unzip, jump inside, and re-zip the net very fast. Then suffocate from the heat.
Malaria or Paludisme
I was in Niger last year, I thought I had Malaria, on hindsight, I may have had Paludisme, I mean food poisoning.
The situation was this, I was very sick, I kept saying to the Niger people, what I thought was the word for Malaria; I said, Malaria, the people would agree or disagree with no problem. I realized later, I was saying Malaria, and nobody knew this word. I need to say, Paludisme the French African way of saying, Malaria.
There are some good sign boards about Puludisme in this area of Togo; the villages along the road to Adeta were promoting the fight against Puludisme. I am not sure; sleeping under a mosquito net is difficult, annoying and fraught with methodical and procedural flaws.
The goal is to not be bitten by mosquitoes.
This is an almost impossible goal to achieve.
I know one thing; I am not going to take Malaria pills for 75 percent of my life. I live in the Tropical Malaria - Puludisme areas of the planet at least 75 percent of the year.
I asked Michael the fixer,
- Do you use a mosquito net? -
- I like to sleep under a fan. -
I will cultural reinterpret this statement.
No, I do not sleep under a mosquito net, I know I am supposed to; I would like to sleep under a fan because the fan blows the mosquitoes off me. However, the truth is, I do not have a fan, and there is not electricity most or about half the time. Therefore, even though I know I am supposed to protect myself from Mosquitoes so I do not get Malaria or Puludisme, I just cannot be bothered. It is too hot, too difficult and I would rather just deal with them, rather than worry about Malaria. Plus, I am too cheap to buy one.
I can about count the number of times I have seen a person in Malaria prone areas sleep under mosquito nets. I see them in Tourist hotels; however, the normal population seems to avoid them. I guess on the Amazon River in places they used them a few times.
In Niger, they have this cool sleep outside bed set-up, which is more or less the Hausa bed, it has a mosquito net.
Still, the goal is to not be bitten by a mosquito, the goal is close to impossible.
- Unless you go into a mosquito net with a bottom, zip is shut, and start to sleep at about 5:00 or an hour before sunset.
A mosquito will bite through the bottom of a hammock.
They can find the small hole; I was looking at a mosquito net in the Turag area of Agadez, Niger one time. The net was over the short stick homes as was supposed to protect a baby. I could see rips in the net everywhere, a mosquito net is delicate, and it rips easy.
Truthfully, DDT is probably the answer. The real solution seems to be to install screens on the windows by professionals.
I was sort of thinking in Kpalime, I was in the L’Aurore hotel for one night; the place had very good screens on the windows. I entered the toilet and shower area and this small window above the toilet was just bars with No screen over the windows. Almost Africa.
I thought to myself, this is not going to work, so I closed to the toilet and hoped they had not already entered.
I was in the Bafana Bafana before that, and there were no screens on any of the windows. It took some work, but I put up my mosquito net and slept under a blanket. Sleeping under a mosquito net is like sleeping under a blanket; it almost successfully stops the breeze or fan, not completely, but close.
Why rooms do not have hooks on the walls for me to install a mosquito net? Ok, I am in this 2000 CFA room in the middle of nowhere, on the planet with Malaria. This funky little room has nails in the wall, I am wondering, was it for pictures or did someone, sometime actually set up a mosquito net? I always carry a mosquito net; I do not use Malaria pills, although setting up a Mosquito net in most rooms in is an Act of God, very difficult and complicated.
You can tell the serious people, they have a bed with four poles, and then you can hook a mosquito net on each of the four poles.
I was cracking up laughing at Mawuli in the Auberge Mandela. The room was sealed tight, a very good room, and the number 4 room I think. Well, I decided to extra kill off the fleas, ants and anything that moved. I closed the doors and windows, before I was going to start living there. I started to gas the place with the insect killer called Killit, the cost is about 1000 CFA.
I did not Almost Africa is, I was doing a German quality job. I was trying to kill everything in the room, I sprayed every crack, crevice and place a flea or mosquito, or my arch enemy ants could sleep.
Mawuli came and sticks his head in the room and sort of signs me to stop. I am thinking to myself, you are slow in the head, please take you vitamins.
I was at the toxic level of breathing and they were outside and he and this girl Essay could smell it, it was annoying them. I thought to myself, and wanted to holler.
- Stop being so lazy, move to the front and leave the courtyard. -
A little annoyance can bring Africa to a stop.
I did not stop, I used the whole can, and thought, I did not Almost Africa that, I did a German style job of killing.
I have this very long pull string on the bottom of my mosquito net. I pick up the four corners of the bed; place the mosquito net under the edges. I then can pull the draw string. As best I can tell, a normal lie on the edges type mosquito net does an almost job, but does not stop them. Then my next problem is to enter the bed, I need to loosen the drawstring, and then climb under it, annoying and difficult, but I do not like to be bitten, I am not so worried about Malaria, I just do not like to have mosquito welts on my body. I like to sleep peacefully.
In addition, it keeps the cockroaches from crawling over my bed and rats from defecating on me as I learned in Pak Bara, Thailand as they crawl in the rafter of my bungalows.
But, it is hot, difficult, and if I had a fan, that was full steam ahead, a good blow, I would maybe think about not using this net and go for the fan, but I know, that would almost work, but not really.
I like to ask people if they carry a mosquito net. The will buy the malaria pills, but are too lazy to carry the mosquito net, but it takes more thinking to set up a mosquito net than to toxic yourself with Malaria pills.
I am sort of musing now, I am thinking, how I can modify this net again so I can have a zipper opening, so I can climb in and out easy. It is possible; I just make a big pull string opening, as a door. I added these carabineer things to the corners the other day in the Bafana Bafana so I can take the long nylon cords off the corners so they are not tangled. I also use them cords for other jobs, like typing my bag on the bottom of my pack.
I have to admit, this mosquito net is getting better all the time, as I keep engineering in other ideas.
The big idea on that sign board is to buy the impregnated mosquito repellant versions of mosquito nets. Seems somewhat silly to me, but for why not, helps the Denmark people to sell mosquito nets to Ghana people who think they cannot make mosquito nets… Another story…
I want to make two modifications to my net. I want the top to be only the size of a single bed, however the bottom to be as big as double or regular bed. I also want to install this pull string type entrance. Buying good lightweight mosquito net is difficult to purchase, I think I need to go somewhere where they do not have a problem with Malaria… Hehehe
There are tons of tailor shops here, I sometime hope I am required to use this mosquito net for a few weeks. I would be more inclined to make the modification and not forget until the next time I am under this blanket.
It is cooler here at 757 meters or something like that, but not enough, it rained and then stopped.
I keep thinking, when I enter an expensive hotel and they have mosquito nets, I am worried. A much better system is to install screens on the windows, mosquito nets are uncomfortable and meant for cheap hotels.
I truthfully think they would do better to install screens on all the windows of the home here, probably would be as effective as trying to put nails in clay adobe walls, and expecting them to hold. The fundamental problem is the rooms, homes, and bed are designed wrong, the root problem is in the design of what is need to hang the mosquito net. Then the mosquito net, there is many adaptations needed before I am happy or through with this baby.
For those who pay a fortune for mosquito nets in a gear shops, they cost about 3 dollars in Thailand.
Mosquito Nets, Mosquito, Annoyances, West Africa Annoyances, Insects, Gear, West Africa Gear,
Difficult Mosquito Nets
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
May 1, 2007
I have a digital sound meter I am carrying for reference, I purhased at Radio Shack in the USA for about 50 U.S. dollars. The hope to measure the level of sounds around the world. I sort of think in term or No Smoking or Smoking choices. I think any guide would be helpful to explain large source of temporary or regular noise.
The decibel scale is used primarily to compare sound intensities although it can be used to compare voltages.
Decibels Typical sound
0 --- Threshold of hearing
10 --- Rustle of leaves in gentle breeze
10 --- Quiet whisper
20 --- Average whisper
20-50 --- Quiet conversation
40-45 --- Hotel; theater (between performances)
50-65 --- Loud conversation
65-70 --- Traffic on busy street
65-90 --- Train
75-80 --- Factory (light/medium work)
90 --- Heavy traffic
90-100 --- Thunder
110-140 --- Jet aircraft at takeoff
130 --- Threshold of pain
140-190 --- Space rocket at takeoff
Decibel Scale, Noise, Annoyances, West Africa Annoyances, Hotel Noise, Hotel Room Choosing, Togo,
Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Hotel Relais Des Plateaux
I am in room 105 on the bottom, as far away from the speakers on the first floor as possible, if I went up a floor, the same room up, and then should it should be quieter, yet I think the higher priced rooms.
I maybe had set a new record for music volume on my new Radio Shack Sound Meter. I have only been using and testing for a couple of months and great fun. I have discovered sudden abrupt noises, like the beep of a horn, or this many screaming in the microphone here the problem noise, steady noise like a fan I can ignore, although noise.
78 to 92 decibels in my room.
85-97 decibels maybe 101 in the reception area.
May 1, 2007
The digital reader jumps tremendously, as the man has a PA system with a Disc Jockey type microphone speaker system. Right up there with the loud speakers of the call to prayer in the Islamic Religion, I had to move last year in Natitingou, Benin because of the speakers, and maybe the loudest room I have every been in was the call to prayer room on the eighth floor in Cairo, Egypt.
It is a Holiday here in Atakpame, maybe called a Fete, I ask what and they say, May 1.
Sort of like saying September 11, without saying Terror Attack on World Trade center in New York of the USA. Anybody reading 100 years from now would be clueless as to what is September 11.
We live in a world where we assume everybody understands, I do not think the world ever had empathy, I keep wanting them to have empathy, but I do not think it every existed in the first place.
I was a little worried last night, and not sure what they were up to, there was about 10 men, or younger men, older boys in the Hotel lobby reception area. This total single men group thing is always a problem anywhere in the world and here in West Africa a bigger problem. When I rented the room, just Eliza and Paula, a girl and a man hanging around.
I was having a kick last night talking with Paula about the price of Hotel rooms, explaining how I got Douche and Toilette mixed up, the prices on the walls, not normal said room with Douche or Chambre avec Douche for 4500, this is the one I negotiated down to 3500. I was thinking a Douche is a Toillette, but one is a shower and the other a toilet, this room is with a shower.
As Paula and me are talking a telephone rings at the recepton desk, one of the short boy goes and get a girl. She answers the phone, Paula says explaining the girl,
- Waiting for a man. -
Combien pour un chambre pour Boom Boom ici.
He thinks I say,
- How much for the girl walking away. -
He then says,
- I do not know do you want a girl; I can get a nice girl tomorrow for you. -
- No, no, I wanted to know how much to rent room for love. -
- 1000 CFA per hour. -
I truly think every hotel I have every stayed in in West Africa has been a Boom Boom love hotel. There is always a person or girl waiting in the reception type area or out front for the partner to come, then later they go.
This is a good hotel, Paula is very helpful, asks my opinions, am I ok, tries every few hours to sell me very expensive food. He pays attention to me; the other staffs are same as normal.
I do not know about the Music, he said there would not be music tonight, for a reason I cannot understand there is a huge area behind the hotel, they could have an open air wedding for 200 people with no problem. The hotel is about half again closer to the Atakpame Market than the l’Amities hotel and 100 Franc cheaper by taxi.
I am ready to leave Atakpame, all fun and games aside, time to get out of Dodge, I know of very few reasons to come to Atakpame, except that it on the path and in the way. The hotels are too far outside any homes and normal cultures, the Amities is better than the Plateau here for normal culture, I just do not see taking a moto from the hotel to a market as being in Africa, like living in prison and they allow me out to go walk in the courtyard for exercise. Then I take a moto back to the room and go to my jail cell. This is great room, number 105 if the paint would stop pealing, I think if I stayed a few days, I would take a broom and clean the walls of loose paint, and the ceiling is falling on my computer and me.
It is a good place to stay, and go and look at Hippos on a day trip, I think a lot better than living with Hippos, but what do I know, I have not seen a Hippo.
Paula will never be able to stop the testosterone bunch from dominating the hotel tonight.
I wish I could say this is abnormal in travel, noise is the reason I purchased the sound meter, and I wanted to really measure how noisy some places I live or leave are. The music is different from traffic noise, I know they cannot stop traffic or beeping horns, and I know the music is done or helped along by the staff acceptance. The l’Amities had a speaker on the courtyard, never too loud, but loud enough to easily be heard in my room. Michel my friend’s radio was too loud, this is where I am and the culture I am in.
The roads of Nepal, the streets of India are louder, not always but louder.
Choosing a room, I saw the bar area, I chose a room as far away as possible from the noise, reception and other factors or variables. I like this hotel, however too much testosterone is presently living here, the owner and the manager cannot stop that. The people in a hotel will change radically, one time it could be great, come back a week later and terrible. I am thinking, the hotels managed by women in West Africa are calmer. The hotel staff has all their friends come over to visit, for me, a series of off the clock rooms are rented to men that are with their Cadeau girls. There is this extra pay thing, done both by men and women manager, yet the men have more male friends they can hook onto for money.
How loud is 100 decibels, I need to find a reference, however various types of sounds are different. This is like Thunder or Heavy Traffic.
This may seem petty, like you are on vacation and people party. I am living in this hotel. I do go home to escape, my art form is to figure out how to find my place to live for me, not for you.
Note as a funny, I moved out a noisy love hotel in Arequipa, Peru because the love noises never ended. Fortunately the West Africa culture is not noise this way.
80 to 92 decibels in my room.
94-97 decibels maybe 104 in the reception area.
May 1, 2007
This is interesting stuff, I can somewhat determine the effect of concrete walls and echos, and the value of a wood door, or how much a close window stops sound.
They have set up a big disco in the very large area here.
As best I understand the music is a combination of Togo, French and Africa semi-rap, more or a steady beat Africa music. Modern, yet very small USA influence. It this was in Ghana there would be heavy American USA Rap, or Gang music, and the words would be about 50 percent more violent. Then a lot of Nigerian music in English. The French Black musicians are about 70 percent less violent than the USA Black musician music in the nature of the words and actions. I am not sure if Gangster rap apply in French. This is one of the reason I am traveling in the French part and not the English part of West Africa now and skipped Ghana, just did not need the influence of the USA music and the culture with it. This does not mean they do not love me, the all want to go to the USA and more in Ghana, however the music of the world is setting the ethics and morals, it is the example the world follows.
Togo, Togo Hotels, Hotel Room Choosing, Hotel Noise, Noise, West Africa Annoyances, Party, Music
Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel