Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When In Samoa, Do As The Samoans Do

I had fleas. Yea, fleas like dogs and cats get. I’m sure every one of you reading  this is thinking two things: “Oh my god that is so gross”and“I didn’t know people could get fleas!” Yes, it is absolutely gross and apparently people can. Well, actually what had happened was the fleas were living in my foam mattress. They mostly come out at night and bite you all down your sides and under your arms.  This isn’t uncommon.  I know of a couple other PCVS who had the same problem. The only problem was how to get rid of them! I went to the Peace Corps nurse asking for tips on how to solve the issue. She said to put my mattress out in my yard and let it sit in the sun for a couple hours.  Even though she has dealt with many other PCVS who have had the same issue, and I’m sure knew what she was talking about, I didn’t really believe her. It is a regular practice for Samoans to lay things out in the sun. Dish towels, pillows, and mats (the mats are what Samoans sleep on) I’ve been told that doing this does kill whatever germs or bugs there are, but again I never believed it.  Nevertheless I was getting really desperate. The bites on my body were really getting to me and I could feel the fleas jumping all over me at night. I would wear long pants and  a long sleeve shirt to bed (even though I live in the tropics and its super hot at night).  I did it just to try and prevent the biting. It didn’t work. So I took my nurses advice and put my mattress out in the yard for about 4 hours. That was yesterday, and I am happy to report that after a night of sleeping in my new sunned mattress I have no new bites. J

(I have to say that is something to definitely be happy about. )


  1. Way-to-go Lindsay on the last three blogs!! Great writing and great perspective; I can tell this second year is going to be solid for you! Wish I could be there to see you accomplish it all, but I'll be reading about it instead. Good luck and enjoy every minute of it!

  2. Hi there,

    This is TOTALLY random and semi-stalkerish, but I stumbled onto your blog when I was googling some stuff about Samoa. I'm volunteering in Samoa through the Kiva Fellows program for 4.5 months (a blink of the eye compared to the Peace Corps!) and have been struggling a bit to meet people. I don't know where you're posted, but if you're ever in Apia with some spare time, I'd love to grab coffee or a drink and hear about your experience with the Peace Corps! My email address is, and I can shoot you my local number if you want.

    Anyway--no pressure!