So the mosquitoes can be quite pesky. It’s especially
delightful terrible that since the weather is always warm , they are always around. I had to coin a word mosquitorized (the terrorization by mosquitoes) for when they would especially torment me. What fell under especially – flying close enough for me to hear the buzz of not just taking the blood but more or less caressing my arm or leg (a poor attempt at seduction? I don’t know).
One night a few weeks ago, I thought how gross repellent made me feel and how it didn’t completely stop the mosquitoes or keep them out of my eyesight (they would frequently be behind the computer). I wondered about citronella candles and the possibility of making them in this country. First I had to determine how to make them and found this site. I called Anna and got her support for an experiment. We even developed a game plan, we would test the candles on volunteers and then pass the idea onto the next set of Business Volunteers to try with Dominicans.
So when I went to Agencias Internacionels, I made a side inquiry and purchase for citronella fragrance. Then on the way back from Dana’s site on Saturday I tried to visit Casa Jarabacoa to buy paraffin wax, but being a saturday it was closed. Luckily Ferreteria Jarabocoa was open and they had someone show me a small shop around the corner that sold the supplies. There no knowing how much .25 kg of fragrance translated into ounces (it would be 8 ounces and there of use for 8 pounds) and taking into account I had to take a taxi to get there and would not want to waste the trip or have to repeat it again soon, I bought the offer of 12 pounds. I did question my judgement on the trip back to site.
At Dana’s site, I told my program director Michael about the idea (including passing it along) and that I saw on wikipedia (although I want another source, though he pointed out for Dominican Republic sales that would not be necessary) that citronella is repellent to the dengue mosquito, making a great selling point for our sales campaign for volunteers. Cause who wants dengue, I sure didn’t enjoy it. Maybe I should include my hospital picture on the label.
Although I really wanted to have a partner in crafting, I wasn’t going to see another American for over a week and wanted to test my theory. So I made a small candle (1/4 lb wax and 1.5 tsp of fragrance) and waited 2 days to light it was advised. Even unlit, the mosquitoes stopped hanging out near the computer and lit I did not notice any new bites. So a great success.
I mentioned it to Hembra to gauge a Dominican’s receptiveness to the idea and she liked it so much, I made some with here and her neighbors. They told me about burning orange leaves as a deterrent, and that made me think about how they could create the fragrance oil. I had looked up how to do it for citronella, but have seen no citronella in country. I then took 3 pounds along on the trip I took last week, and made some with Anna and Robin. I still have 8 pounds, so I guess it is time to start collecting cans and thinking up a marketing campaign.