Tropical Problems, Tropical Solutions


My recent hiatus can be attributed to Dengue Fever and Hawaii, in that order.

The tropics of Taiwan boast a surprising number of colorful diseases, one of which is Dengue spread by mosquito bites. I had the luck to be bitten a week before I had scheduled my vacation time.

What happens to a Dengue victim? you may ask, and if you don’t want to know skip the next few paragraphs. First, you get a headache that won’t go away and aches in your joints, maybe a slight fever. Then if you go to the doctor they will check your blood for high white blood count and send you home with Tylenol for the pain. The treatment plan is practically nonexistent and no vaccine exists. For the next three days you might suffer fever and the clothes-drenching sweats that accompany it. I even had distorted vision while I stumbled around the apartment! The next few days after that you will probably be too weak to work and you will catch up on the sleep you didn’t get when you had the fever and headache. Then you get an itchy rash that looks all speckly and finally you are on the mend.

After this confusing tropical fever had passed I was still able to take my vacation and fly over to Honolulu to visit my family for American Thanksgiving.


I highly recommend running away on a family vacation to Hawaii. It was wonderful basking in sunlight, going surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. While I haven’t mastered any of these I celebrated my opportunities and the kindness of the local Hawaiian people.

Perhaps the best exhibition of Hawaiian culture was a Jake Shimabukuro concert we attended and heard him performing with all his local friends. He is something of a ukulele rock god native to Hawaii.

My sister and I discovered that scuba instructors can offer more intelligent commentary than surf instructors. Although all of them were equally kind sharing their island with us.


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