Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting a mosquito net

Getting a mosquito net and frame for our bed turned into a major project taking about 10 days to get in place. And though it seemed really tedious and frustrating if I tried to do this in the USA it would also not have been that easy and would been a lot more expensive. It’s like you can do most anything you want here but you just have to be a little more creative.

Even though we live on top of a hill and we get some good breezes we still have been having a lot of mosquitoes. It got really tiresome to always burn coils and after awhile the fumes were starting to get to us. Our neighbor has a really good design for a canopy frame around his bed and a mosquito net to fit over it. So we decided to copy his design. So off we went to a nearby carpenter to have the frame made. The carpenter did not understand what we wanted, even with the drawing that I had made. He said he understood but he really didn't. Finally I made a model of the frame from rolled up paper, which helped him visualize it, and he started getting together the poles to make the frame. It took several trips to finally get what we wanted. And the last time I went back I found that he had actually made almost enough pieces to fit frames for 3-4 beds all in different stages of completion.
Communication is really difficult especially since we don’t know Krio. Fortunately the carpenter was nearby so I could get there with a local taxi and even walk if I had to. This last trip I could see that he finally had something that we could work with and so I just stayed there until it was finished. Then the pieces of the frame were too big to load into a taxi so I hired two young boys to walk them to our place, about a mile. On the way with the boys a policeman started hollering at us from the security gate of the Presidential Lodge (like our White House) because I had walked on the road leading to the gate. It seems that this is the Procession Road that only the President’s motorcade can drive on but there wasn’t any sign to inform me of this. I had to go up to the guard's gate to see what was the matter. He was really angry with me and I was pretty uncomfortable as he harangued me for several minutes, suggesting that he could arrest me. I kept saying I was sorry and I didn’t know that I couldn’t walk on that road. So I was kind of shaky as I left to finish the walk home. I also didn’t want to get the two boys into trouble because they had followed me. Anyway we got back to the apartment without further incident and we were able to get the pieces of the frame inside. Fortunately we were able to fit the frame back together around the bed.

Now we had to get a mosquito net to fit the around the frame. Farah, our taxi driver (or our personal assistant as I like to call him as he does so much more than just drive us around), took us to a place to have a mosquito net made. Unfortunately though the tailor was cheap he got the dimensions wrong and made it too small. Also his shop was in the market area where we had to park a long way away and walk to it. At that time that was very tiring for me. Fortunately I had Farah go back and pick it up by himself so I didn’t have to go again. So now we were ready to put it over the frame and though it fit the frame the net was not long enough. The idea is to make the net so long it that it bunches up on the floor and prevents from mosquitoes from coming in under the bed into the enclosure. So we had to go back to the shop downtown and go through this whole thing again but, at least this time, he only had to add some additional cloth to the bottom to make it long enough. And each time I had to pay a bit more for the guy to buy more material and also pay Farah for his time to take me there and pick it up when finished. So what was only going to cost about $8 ended up costing several times more in money and time. But now that it is finished it is so nice! Well, but it wouldn’t win any interior decorating awards! When we crawl into bed it’s like entering a safe cocoon of white gauze. Fortunately we live on top of a hill where we get some good breezes because, though a net is safe and cozy, it can also be oppressively hot. And that’s why a lot of people here don’t use them and risk having malaria frequently.

Now I think I will have a canopy cover and matching bedspread made from some the beautiful tye and dye fabric that they make here. Explaining the canopy top to a tailor might take some time but it would look really nice. Maybe that would win me some interior design awards as well!!!!!

1 comment:

Jaya Chandran said...

Mosquito nets can protect us from deadliest diseases caused by mosquitos.
Mosquito net manufacturers Coimbatore