Dengue: Uninvited and Unwanted, Came to our House

Well I finally got dengue, I knew the chances were good, the numbers for Manabi were high but we hoped that we had taken all the precautions necessary to avoid these mosquito borne diseases.  We were wrong and I am now part of the growing statistic for the disease here in Ecuador.

My symptoms: first for about three days prior to the first big symptoms I had this awful feeling that I had bad breath, had not changed toothpastes, or eaten anything different but my mouth taste/odor was not right.  On Tuesday I had this headache pain right about my left eye…a sharp pain that lasted only a few seconds, it happened a few times and it was gone so I basically forgot about it. Early morning Wednesday after 1am I got up with the chills and a fever, had a terrible headache and pain in my eyes. I got up added another blanket and attempted to sleep.  Early the next morning I felt even worse, could hardly get out of bed, but assumed it was some sort of flu and was going to ride it out.  After sleeping on and off during the day on Wednesday, Joe was taking my temperature which stayed around 100-101 all day, he gave me Tylenol and as much water as I would drink.  I finally gave in and called my friend Eva around 6:30 pm to call Dra. Christina for me.  Dra. Christina arrived within 30 minutes, along with mi amiga Eva as my translator, and assessed my symptoms and diagnosed dengue…She gave me three shots, two in the backside and one in my arm, left a prescription for three items to get and to start taking 2 Tylenol every 6 hours starting the next morning…Drink plenty of water and get lots of rest.  Within 10 seconds after the first shot I could feel the difference and the headache started to dissipate.  No chills or measurable fever during the night.

Woke Thursday morning feeling beat up but with only a slight headache, tired and a slight fever.  Several things can happen over the next week or so – I can get a rash over my body, get the chills and fever back, and watch it doesn’t progress to something worse.

I guess the reason for writing this is to let folks know that it is not easily going to go away by itself.  As soon as you feel any of these symptoms go to your local clinic, call your general practitioner and please DO NOT TAKE any ibuprofen type products……..

We are pretty proactive people and when it comes to dengue, hemorrhagic fever from dengue, zika and chikungunya we take what I consider good precautions. Our yard is kept neat and all low hanging branches, bushes and flowers are kept cut back. We use Detan repellent every day, Joe fumigates the yard and house for mosquitoes every week and we walk around with cans of spray when we are outside.  We rake up leaves each morning and have no standing water around.  I do attempt to water early mornings so that the topsoil is not wet during the night hours. But none of those precautions help with this one mosquito. I could have been bitten while taking my morning walk but again I put on Detan before I leave the house, I could have been bitten at a local restaurant on Saturday night while out for dinner but again I wore Detan or I could have been bitten in my own home or yard where I always use Detan.

Everyday seemed to have a different symptom, first the headaches and eye sensitivity, next the fever and chills, next just sweats, total exhaustion, sick to stomach with diarrhea, after 12 days I finally feel back to my normal self.

Joe did get fresh papaya leaves from a producing tree and put them through the juicer added lemon juice and sugar and I drank that three times a day towards the end.  this was advice from a friend in Panama. I do think it helped.  World, look out. I’m back!!

High tides never happened

On Friday I posted the pictures of an empty beach with police patrolling to be sure no one went in the water or even sat on the sand. This was caused by an Orange Alert that the government issued. By evening the police had left and folks started milling around on the sand and I understand that the Orange Alert went to Yellow. Yesterday was a beautiful day with lots of sun and warm breezes and all was back to normal. A beach full of people enjoying this holiday weekend.

Mar Bravo - some high tide waves on this side

We noticed a group setting up a hot air balloon on the beach yesterday. For how hard they tried to get it inflated it never got off the ground.

Also tomorrow starts the Crab Ban so if you are a crab lover today is the last day for the next month that you will be allowed to buy these yummy creatures.

Evacuate the beach, Por Favor!

Mid-morning today the police patrols starting announcing the evacuation of the beaches in Salinas. Calling for all crafts, sunbathers, swimmers and vendors to leave the beach due to high tide alerts.  Most folks are now milling around the malecon.

Below is a link to La Nueva for an article that outlines the evacuation.

Tomorrow is the official holiday to celebrate the Independence of Quito and many folks are on their way to Salinas and other beach towns for this long weekend. According to what we have read, the beaches, fishing, boating, sailing and swimming will be prohibited for the next three days. Currently there are police as well as other gentlemen standing guard on the malecon and at the waters edge.

I have never seen the beach this quiet except for census and election days. Strange to be able to see the beach so bare!

High noon Thursday, August 11, 2011


High noon Thrusday, August 11, 2011


High noon Thrusday, August 11, 2011


What do you think these folks are being told?


A few of the folks patroling the waters edge.

Changing the Address on your Cedula

When we moved to Ecuador we had no idea where in Ecuador we would be settling. So when our attorney asked what address do you wish to use on our paperwork, both Joe and I just shrugged… and she used her address in Quito.  With all the hubbub over Expat Residents having to vote earlier this month, I went to the local office of Consejo National Electoral – Delegacion Provincial de Santa Elena to get some information. This office is located in the Centro de Atención building about one block away from the Paseo Shopping Center.

They only make address changes in March and October so we will be going into the office in October to correct our address. To do this you are required to bring three copies of your cedula, your censo and your passport.  Along with three copies of your lease or a utility bill. What I was told is that until an Expat has lived in Ecuador for five years, you cannot vote and after five years it is optional to do so. The interesting thing is that for Ecuadorians, not only do they have the right to vote but that it is compulsory. According to an article I read, voting is mandatory for literate Ecuadorians between the ages of 18 and 65 years old residing in Ecuador. Voting is optional for the illiterate and for senior citizens over the age of 65.  As I mentioned, as permanent residents we will have the option to vote after we have been here 5 years.  Pretty cool! Active military are not able to vote according to the article.  This all came up because we found out that our names appear on the voting rolls in Quito and, as such, were originally told by our consulate that meant we were required to vote.  To see if you are on the voting list go to:  put your cedula number in the blank and press consulta.

The above flyer is found on the reception window in the electoral office – the last exception loosely translates to: Foreign residents are required to live for five years in Ecuador before they can vote.