Wednesday, October 12, 2005
My last post got me thinking about home remedies. This is something I wish I had thought more about in my Peace Corps preparations. I think having brought along some books on this subject would have been useful. Like the one Rick mentioned, Home Comforts : The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson, or this other one I found, If I'd Only Listened to Mom : Hundreds of Household Remedies by Jean B. MacLeod. I have to admit that in the states I was very reliant on solving my everyday problems with the numerous products available rather than using practical on-hand solutions. I also had the internet and my mother (via phone) at hand which provided an easy solution to any problem. Now the products I might have used are unavailable or just plain expensive. Only having Internet at work doesn't help me much at home. And while I love talking with my mom on the phone, I don't really want to use our time discussing how to remove stains or keep bugs out of my rice. (Although the hair cutting tips she gave me for Shane's hair were very much appreciated.) These types of home remedies are also very prevalent in Jamaican culture - I've come to discover that they use rubbing alcohol as the solution to everything. I am picking up a few tips talking to my co-workers and landlady, which I will be sure to store away in my recently expanding bag of tricks. I also found a wonderful medical resource called Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by David Werner which was available as a PDF. So I will be checking this out digitally and maybe I can pick up some good first aid refreshers. If anyone else has any good resources I would love to hear about them (especially ones that I can access electronically or they are willing to send me). Perhaps by the time I return I will have all the answers just like my mom does!