One of the most common "illnesses" that makes it way through the Tenwek community is scabies, also known as the "human itch mite". Basically, it's like lice for your body. The mites burrow into your skin and like to hang out between the fingers, on the feet, waist, elbows, and other more sensitive areas.
Unfortunately, it has made its rounds through the McCropder community as well. Two families are currently battling the mites with a vengeance. This entails washing all clothes, bedding, and towels with hot water and drying them in a dryer on high heat. Another method is putting items in a closed plastic bag for at least 72 hours. In order to ensure complete destruction, we (the Cropseys) have gone the extra mile of spraying Doom (Kenyan version of Raid) on mattresses, couches, shoes, and in the dresser drawers. For personal treatment, the local pharmacy carries "Scabkil" (pronounced with a long "a", of course) which is a very stinky lotion that must be applied three days in a row. Since a person can be infested for several weeks without any symptoms, the CDC recommends treating all members of the household simultaneously.
Needless to say, the last few days haven't been very pleasant -- constant laundry, itching like mad (especially at night), and lots of time spent applying stinky lotion to small children & adults. We're hoping that our efforts will be rewarded with at least a few months of freedom from scabies.
May 13th is a big day. Today, we are celebrating Jason's birthday, our 10-year anniversary, and our last day of Scabkil application!