|Repelling Insects Naturally|
|Monday, 09 June 2014 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
I shovel turds the size of cantaloupes from the elephants' dirt floor, tossing them, two at a time, over the rails of a tractor-drawn trailer. One potato, two potato, three potato, four—the trailer drives away to some distant compost heap in heaven and returns, empty and thirsty for more sweat and backbreaking work.
I'm no pansy volunteer. I embrace the manual labor at the Elephant Nature Park. I discard my Crocks and squish squash barefoot into the slimy, knee-deep mud pit composed of dark dirt, elephant spray and water buffalo pee. I attack the task of scooping all the liquid out of the mud pit—the elephants’ playground… with a tiny bucket. I relent not a whit when I notice that no matter how far I throw that bucket of liquid, it just drains back.
So what?!? I kick ass! I'm the Queen of the Thailand Jungle! I'm here to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of Asian elephants, as an endangered species and as individuals. I will give everything I've got—you can't stop me now. The heat may exhaust me, the blisters may distract me, the spiders may creep me out, but there is no poop I won't scoop, there are no logs I won't load, there's absolutely nothing I won't do for the elephants.
Except spray that can of DEET on my precious skin.
Or stand next to you while you're spraying it.
Of all who volunteer, it should be me who is obsessive about avoiding mosquito bites. I'm not all that put off by annoying itches and bumps, but I am put off by Malaria and Japanese encephalitis, which we are recommended to immunize against before visiting areas like this, specifically in Thailand. But if you read my Vaccine-Free Traveler piece, you'll know that I'm not the type who looks to vaccines to prevent an inauspicious disease. I am the type who looks to nature.
So what does a natural girl, who doesn't want to be bitten by mosquitoes in the jungle while claiming the title of Queen of Poop Scooping in northern Thailand, do? I include all of my tips and formulas in my article entitled Natural Insect Repellent—Safe for You and the Earth. Check it out. Then see you in the jungle!
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