And thank goodness for that, I say!
I’ll be leaving Bequia in less than two weeks, after having been here for nearly 6 months. When I arrived last October, everyone was extremely concerned about a new mosquito-borne virus making its way through South America and that was expected to pose a threat shortly within the Caribbean region.
We all did what we could (well, most people on the island did) to clean up our properties, to make sure there was no standing water in which mosquitoes could breed. There were island-wide cleanups organized, and people really did seem to be consciously trying to combat the threat of a new virus (too many of us had suffered from Chikungunya two years ago and we didn’t want a repeat!), so it looked as though we might have it beat.
Unfortunately, the government’s way of dealing with mosquitoes is to fog with chemicals … which they have done far too many times this past year. It’s an unnecessary expense and the mosquitoes are still here. Everything else, though is effectively affected, including the honey bees. I spoke with a Bequia apiarist last week who told me he had lost more than a third of his bee population and honey production has been way down. He hasn’t been able to supply local stores at all lately. He also said he noticed the Bequia Sweet birds (grackles) had disappeared from his part of Bequia, but there was one in a tree by our verandah just now, so I know they have not been decimated.
There have been attempts made to breed out the particular type of mosquito carrying all these viruses, but that’s more of a long-term proposition. The one way to ensure the immediate eradication is to clean up the island. We did go through a period earlier in the winter, when the Christmas winds blew strong, that we saw fewer mosquitoes around our house … but recently the numbers have been increasing again. A neighbour did discover a large source of standing water filled with mosquito larvae at a property that has been sitting empty for a number of years. Once that was dealt with we noticed the numbers of mosquitoes are dwindling again.
Anyway, that’s my report – and it’s why I’ve written so little about Zika over the past few months. It’s been a non-issue in SVG, with only one case reported, on Union Island, about a month or so ago. This “new” virus certainly did not ravage the population as Chikungunya did.
And speaking of which … I’ve been experiencing Chikungunya-related pain again recently in my shoulder, and I’ve spoken with and heard from others who still have not shaken the symptoms of that nasty virus. No wonder we were all so worried about another virus threat! I for one don’t think I could ever go through that agony again. That was totally debilitating!
So it was with great joy and relief I discovered the following article about a possible means of combatting these pesky mosquitoes. Ironically, it’s a method developed at Laurentian University, in Sudbury where Dennis and I both lived for a time. It’s cheap, it uses recyclable materials, and it’s proving to be more effective than other methods. I’ve passed on the article to people on Bequia who are committed to finding a way of permanently dealing with this mosquito problem.
Here’s hoping it will work on Bequia!
Almost two-and-a-half years ago, Dennis became interested in growing coffee and wrote this blog post, Roasting coffee beans in a pizza oven on Bequia, for me. That proved to be a very popular post, as a matter of fact! Then last Sept., we wrote another post on the coffee bean production here at The View: An update on roasting coffee beans in a pizza oven on Bequia.
So here we are, another 7 months later, and we have good news! No, don’t run away to plug in your grinder and boil water just yet! But there have been significant developments in the two surviving bushes in our garden, as shown in the following photos …
Although perhaps this development is not fast-enough for Dennis’s liking.
A farmer out standing in his field …
He did manage to harvest a few beans from the first growth last fall, though … about 3 or 4 “cherries”, to be precise. And once they were dried and ready, they were planted in Jan., and have been slowly growing into 8 more coffee bushes that will eventually be planted out sometime later in the year – or possibly next spring. A coffee drinker needs the patience of Job to be able to withstand the waiting time it takes to grow enough beans just for one pot of coffee!!
From Kevin Brennan … on an interesting promotion/publication idea he and I were discussing recently.
I have an interesting idea a-brewing. A mere notion at this point. Maybe a whim, an impulse. Possibly just a funny feeling.
I was chatting with Susan Toy recently about book marketing and how difficult it is, and I mentioned that I’d just about had it with all the usual methods. It’s pretty clear that social media isn’t ideal for it because everyone sees you as spamming. And blogs are great for your brand, but potential book readers don’t really flock to your blog and then run out to buy your stuff. Advertising is expensive. Bookstores don’t like indies. Your friends and family can only do so much for you, word-of-mouth-wise.
In short, it’s hard out there for a book pimp.
So I told Susan that I was this close to putting a book out one copy at a time to readers who would accept a “pay what you want”…
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Wowee!! Congratulations to The Big Ape, Chris The Story Reading Ape, on three years of blogging and promoting all of us authors!! We love you, Chris, for all your support and enthusiasm, and many of us (I know, me included!) would not be where we are on the internet today without all the help you have so generously extended to the community. I’m making arrangements for an entire Geest Line shipload of bananas to be delivered direct to your door very soon!! Happy Anniversary!!!
In thanks for all those authors who have supported and contributed to The Story Reading Ape’s Blogfor the past THREE YEARS, (Blogaversary TODAY), I thought it would be nice for you to be recognised AND to give you something you can display on your own blogs and websites…
Here are THREE Author Hall of Fame Promo Trailers (with music Tracks) that you are FREE to use, refer or link to, reblog, tweet, share on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUponand many other places.
If you can’t remember when you first entered the Hall of Fame, go to it HERE, find YOUR name, click on it, and see the date (top of article) your Guest Author article was posted.
NOTE: If you posted updated or other articles after the first one, find the links to the previous ones in the latest article revealed and follow all…
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