I love the outdoors, I especially love warm summer nights with refreshing breezes softly tickling my neck. What I do NOT love about the outdoors in summer, however, is the mosquitoes. We live in this beautiful secluded area surrounded by mountains and trees. I find our school an oasis in a desert of concrete, monolithic buildings. Coming home from the hustle and bustle of typical Korean city life, is incredibly relieving. All of my worries evaporate into the mountain air. I often go the balcony, lay in the hammock, attempt to live in the moment and think only about my breathing. In the evenings we escape our sauna of a lounge for a cooler place to hang out. But recently we have been joined by unwelcome guests, mosquitoes. And no matter the amount of bug spray used, they seem to zone in on my blood and ignore what is meant to repel them from sucking my blood. A couple of evenings ago, I choose to battle them with extra clothing. Rather than only using repellent as protection, I covered myself from head to toe in sweat pants a jacket, and socks. The only areas on my body exposed to the night air were my face and my hands. My hands were the first attacked. They made a b-line for the tip of my ring finger, distorting my fingerprint, and the spot directly under the cuticle of my forefinger. They had found my weakness, so I tucked my hands safely inside my sweat jacket. Or so I thought they would be safe. Little did I know that these beasts, when hungry, will be stopped by nothing, even clothing. I felt him first, the little blood sucker, and then in horror realized that he had found a way to stick his sucker through my clothing to find my hidden blood line. After this happened two more times, I gave up the fight and went inside to watch T.V. Now, I should say, I have never been tested for an allergy to mosquitoes, but judging by my abnormally violent reactions, I assume that I am allergic and no anti-itch cream would soothe the constant itching. Ice is my one and only cure and I sleep with it in bed. Typically at home, if I don't touch the bite, it will stop itching within a couple of hours and wont bother me, but not these suckers, these babies festered for days.
The most obvious bite, but taken two days after the biting occurred. The other two were worse but situated very close to my butt and I felt this audience might not appreciate getting so close to that region.In class, my students noticed my most obvious bite in horror. In stationary store, we talk about how 4 billion trees are cut down every year to make paper. After discussing this, I try to drive home the point by asking,
"What lives in trees." I get lots of different answers but birds are always on the list.
"So," I continue, "what happens to the birds if they don't have a home."
"They die," some of the kids respond.
"What do birds eat?" I ask
Sometimes the kids know the answers and sometimes they just stare at their shoes.
"Mosquitoes" I say with fever, as they are my arch-nemesis. "And what happens if we cut down the birds homes, and they die?"
"Many mosquitoes" one kid will offer.
"That is right. Who likes mosquitoes?"
And as if to illustrate the point a mosquito zoomed over a child's head as I asked this question. "Look teacher, a mosquito."
"Kill it!" I screeched.
The class then went into a frenzy to kill the insect that no one seems to like or need. Many kids stood up and started slapping at the air. We all watched carefully, our hunting instincts alert, trying to track its movements so as not to loose it before it struck. We eventually captured him and I took great pleasure in killing it. It must have been a hilarious seen to any on looker, but if I can help it, I will allow no mosquito to exists in my vicinity as I know what they are after. I am not a violent person, and I don't say this about many things but I HATE with a capitol 'H' mosquitoes and genuinely wish that their existence would vanish. The other day, I tried to look up whether mosquitoes had a greater purpose in the animal kingdom, and I could find non except that they provide food for animals such as dragonflies and birds, but I am pretty sure those animals could find another source of food if the mosquitoes were to disappear for all eternity. Whose with me!?
The inflamed areas would grow and decrease depending on the heat of the room. Occasionally the inflammation would snake all the way to inside of my elbow, which I found odd. I wouldn't have believed it to be a mosquito bite had I not caught him red-handed.
p.s. I have been told in the past that mosquitoes are actually female, but I don't have concrete facts on this so I took liberty to call them males. :)