Chikungunya and Dengue and You


1mosquitoChikungunya: As of today May 22, 2015 there are reported to be 11,897 incidents of Chikungunya and two deaths in Ecuador. Most of these reported cases are in the provinces of Guayas, Esmeraldas and Manabi.  The two deaths are reported to be in the province of Esmeraldas.

I am posting a few bulletins with regards to Chikungunya, how to avoid it and how to have it treated.

World Health Organiation:



Dengue: In the same article referenced above in El Diario there are 17,824 incidents of dengue and two deaths.  Concentration of these incidents has been reported in Guayas, Manabi and Esmeraldas provinces.   According to the local paper there is a third death, a 16 year old boy in Rocafuerte. This would bring the death toll to three.


Very interesting and important side note on both Dengue and Chikungunya: If you take daily aspirin or a blood thinner or similar you are at increased risk if you contact one of these two diseases.  With dengue it can elevate to hemorrhagic fever which can be fatal. In Chikungunya there is a danger in increased bleeding as some of the symptoms may include bleeding from the nose, bleeding internally, and the like.

The reason this fact is interesting is that a lot of us Expats probably take aspirin daily and some perhaps other medications like blood thinners for heart issues. And have never thought of or have not been advised of the increased risk they may have should they encounter one of these two not uncommon illnesses.  I know that during dengue outbreaks they take ibuprofen and similar items off the shelves.

Be sure to check for standing water, remove trash and leaves from your property and above all use insect repellent (Detan) reapplying a few times each day and if you see mosquitoes in your home sleep under a mosquito net.

So let’s be careful out there!

Pata de Vaca – Look How Beautiful!

Correction: This tree is called Bauhinia forficata not Tulipan and is commonly known as Brazilian orchid tree or Pata de Vaca (foot of the cow because of the shape of the leaves). It is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae.  Thank you Esthela Deleg for finding out the correct name.

Outside the wall at Palmazul I see this beautiful tree. When it is in bloom the flowers are just so lovely I could not pass without taking a photo.

IMG_2115IMG_2115aMakes my day!

Spiny Lobster On The Wall

The lobsters that live on our coast are spiny lobsters. They have no claws but the most wonderful succulent lobster tail meat ever.  Our neighbor Sergio is the person who we buy from. We have not been able to buy lobster for several months as the government has an order for non-sales for lobster and crab during certain months of the year – I think when they are spawning.  We had our first for Mother’s Day weekend so great to have them back.  Several months ago Sergio came to my gate with a gift. It was the shell of a lobster, completely intact but totally empty. I have attached it to the wall on our porch, it is very beautiful to see how perfect this empty shell is. Make it a great day!



What great neighbors we have. This afternoon our neighbor Paola brought us a huge bowl of viche. This batch was made with lobster, shrimp, choclo (corn), small plantain balls and the most wonderful broth made with peanuts. Of course she did provide rice as well.  It is out of this world and Paola is one of the best cooks I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

IMG_2153We eat like royalty here. Between the kindness of our neighbors like Paola and the bounty we can buy right at our door we are blessed.

We have a new fruta and verdura vendor who has started to come by on Friday mornings. Today he had strawberries, black and red grapes, granny smith apples as well as gala apples and pears, passion fruit, mora, naranjilla just to name a few. He had corn, peas, small and large lima beans as well as fresh fava beans, carrots, red onions, green onions, cauliflower, broccoli, two types of potatoes, iceberg lettuce and cilantro.  Next week I will take a photo of his truck and him and his wife.

Feeling very blessed…

My New Kitchen Utensil Rack

Having utensil containers sitting on the kitchen counter was becoming a real pain. Not being able to find what I was looking for without pulling everything out and not having room near the stove where most were needed was only part of the problem. I had seen several great ideas on the internet. One was a great peg-board system that was placed inside a picture frame. But finding the materials was not so easy. So when Leigh and Rick bought this great wire for their screen porch, I made my plan to have my neighbor David make me something to hold all my spoons, spatulas, etc.

I made a drawing, gave David the wire mesh and showed him where it needed to go and Ta Da….

IMG_2125Because our breaker box is above our stove, David needed to make this rack into a door that would open as well as a rack to hold all my kitchen things.

IMG_2128I love it.