—For Travelling Tropical Missionaries—Compilation by Joseph Reader
1. GBY! THE FOLLOWING COMPILATION WAS GLEANED FROM THE LETTERS, BOTH PUBLISHED & UNPUBLISHED, AS WELL AS THE "TROPICAL TRAVELLER" & "THE TRAVELLER'S HEALTH GUIDE." We pray these tips will be a blessing to all our missionaries in the tropics, both new & old! WLAPFY!
2. OF COURSE THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR ANY MISSIONARY IS REAL DESPERATE UNITED PRAYER, as Dad has emphasised many times & exercised, too! As he says in DM233, "Ask the Lord about everything before you do it. Make sure that's what He wants you to do.—In all thy ways acknowledge Him! (Pr.3:6) The Lord wants to be recognised, He wants you to know that you need Him.—Because lots of things can happen that are totally beyond your control, but not the Lord's! So keep close to the Lord, constantly claiming the protection of the Lord, always asking the Lord to keep you, & bless & protect you."
3. PLANE TRIPS: TRAVEL COMFORTABLY. Wear loose-fitting clothes for the plane trip as your body tends to swell a little in the pressurised cabin of the plane. Have light–weight sweaters handy for the trip.—Most airports & planes are air conditioned. To lock a suitcase before a trip, seal with both lock & luggage strap. Pad delicate items to avoid breakage. Remember to keep some local money with you at the airport for airport tax, tips, porters, etc. Excess liquids cause motion sickness, & remember that alcohol has a greater effect on you in the plane because of the reduced pressure in the cabin! Upon arrival, rest for at least 24 hours. (1)
4. HOTELS: SECURITY IS IMPORTANT IF YOU STAY IN A HOTEL. Keep the "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door & keep the door chained when there to keep maids from charging in. (2) Don't ever open your hotel door to anybody without the chain on it‚ even if they imitate Family knock or voice. Keep your key by the door & grab it every time you run out. (3) Remember, you can't trust the employees. They're poor & representatives of the poor & it's a frequent practice for maids & maintenance men etc. to act as what they call spotters. They don't actually do the dirty work themselves but they just case the joint & you & your jewelry & inform the gang! (4) There's an old trick for robbers to get into hotel rooms where they think there are valuables. They just come & knock at the door & say "Hotel Service," & either pretend to be waiters or service men or some thing. One of the quickest ways to get rid of them is just say, "Well, just a moment, I'll call the desk," & slam the door shut, because with those little chains, all they have to do is push with a good strong shoulder & they can come right on in if they want to. Then go straight to the phone & call the desk & find out if they actually sent them, as normally you shouldn't meet anybody that you haven't called for anyhow. That would probably get rid of impostors real quick if they knew you were calling the desk. Most of all, just pray & trust the Lord. We never had any such problems, thank the Lord, but I always believe in being prepared. (5)
5. CLOTHING: IF YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE SANDALS OR THONGS OF SOME KIND, THAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO BUY, or go running around barefoot, which isn't very safe. The first thing you'll have if you try to wear heavy shoes in a hot climate‚ I promise, almost guarantee you that within one week you'll have a terrific case of athlete's foot! Your feet cannot stand to be cooped up airless in those hot moist shoes. It's the most ideal climate for athlete's foot, which is a fungus. It grows between your toes!—And you never had anything itch so in your life! You can practically feel the worms crawling in! (6) Rubber flip–flops are better than the plastic ones. (7)
6. NEVER GO BAREFOOT OUTSIDE! You find germs more plentiful in a hot warm climate. We kids used to get what they called Florida sores from running around barefoot on the ground. These microbes, bugs, bacteria, or whatever they were, would bore into your skin even through the tough sole of your feet. That's how kids get hookworm & stuff like that, from sitting on their bare bottoms on dirty ground or running around barefoot. (8)
7. IF YOU GO OUT ON THE DIRTY STREETS OF COURSE YOU'LL PROBABLY WANT TO WEAR SOCKS WITH YOUR SANDALS. Take a bath when you get home & put your clothes in the wash. (9)
8. MAYBE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO START A REVOLUTION & INSIST THAT EVERYBODY LEAVE THEIR SHOES OUTDOORS! I think the Eastern custom is great! But our so-called cultured Western & scientific civilisation has never learned any nice civilised habits like leaving your filthy dirty stinkin' contaminated germ-laden shoes outdoors & just coming in in your stocking feet & putting on some kind of clean sandals. (10) Make a line on the floor with the street shoes on one side & house shoes on the other side, if you haven't a sheltered porch for street shoes.
9. I REALLY WOULDN'T ADVISE YOU TO TAKE MUCH IN THE WAY OF HEAVY CLOTHING AT ALL. If you know how to dress you can keep plenty cool, just don't wear any clothes at all, that's all. At home you hardly wear anything, if anything, & you only put on your clothes when you go outside or where anybody can see you. You usually run around the house in your shorts or your briefs or whatever & it's real naked weather. (11) You're going to feel every little stitch, every thread of clothes.
10. GOD JUST DIDN'T INTEND FOR YOU TO WEAR CLOTHES. Clothing is something that came along after the fall of man when he got kicked out of the Garden‚ got kicked out into the cold. The first people wore no clothes, God didn't make'm to wear clothes, you weren't supposed to wear clothes. Think of that! God made the first man & woman with no clothes & they didn't need clothes & they weren't meant to wear clothes in a tropical Garden of Eden climate! (12)
11. SYNTHETIC FABRICS ARE NOT THE THING TO WEAR. The most comfortable shirts I've got are cotton. All my dacron & polyester & synthetics I gave away. (13) Don't take any kind of nylon or synthetic clothes of any kind‚ boys, except your trousers & outer shirts. That stuff is so hot in the tropics!—Dacron & all this other stuff just couldn't be hotter. You might be able to stand some of the blends that are maybe 60% cotton & a little bit of something else, but even that'll feel hot.
12. THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY FEELS COOL IS COTTON. The only thing comfortable to wear is a loose–weaved cotton, not thick hard-weave, but a loose-weaved cotton that permits evaporation. Wearing a cotton shirt is the same principle as those Arizona air coolers. They cool by the process of evaporation. Cotton soaks up the moisture or perspiration & then it evaporates on the outside. The air keeps on evaporating & acts just exactly like one of those coolers in Arizona. (14)
13. YOU GIRLS WILL WANT TO WEAR THE THINNEST DRESSES YOU CAN & YOU BOYS THE THINNEST PANTS YOU CAN. I don't suggest you always go without your underpants when out, you might have an accident, but you'll probably want to wear briefs & no undershirts. (15) If you're wearing those tight bikini men's briefs they're not good for expecting something & praying, & I was expecting some a whole bagful of coats & sweaters everywhere those tight bikini men's briefs they're not good for there. You'll find that around the house the most comfortable & cool thing to wear are boxer shorts or undershorts, not those tight briefs or bikinis. (16)—Or go stark naked!
14. TRY TO WEAR LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHES—jeans & tight-fitting pants don't leave much room for air to circulate. (17) Try to get shirts that you don't have to tuck into your trousers. I don't know what they call them in other places, but in Florida they call them Cuban shirts. You couldn't even stand to stick your shirt inside your pants. That was two layers, pants & shirt down there, & it was just too hot! But you let your shirt hang out because that's the only way you can really keep cool‚ & then you've got all that cool air circulating from underneath up your shirt. (18)
15. ALMOST EVERYTHING BUT HANG-UP CLOTHES CAN BE KEPT IN YOUR SUITCASE, it won't hurt it a bit & it'll stay packed & you just live out of your suitcase. Why would you want to put your stuff in somebody else's dirty drawers or a dirty chest where you don't know what kind of people used the thing? It might be full of bugs and vermin! I keep my stuff in my own clean case & I know it's clean & I zip it up every time too, let me tell you, to keep the bugs out! You're going to find out you want to keep your suitcases closed tight. You just open it for a moment & get out what you want & slap it shut quick before the bugs get in. That's one reason throughout the tropics they put the beds on legs, stilts, so it's not quite as easy for the bugs to find their way into your bed. (19) (But whatever you keep packed away, check on it at least once a week to make sure it's not getting mouldy. If it's a hot moist humid climate you'll probably have to unpack all your clothes & store them where there's air circulating!) Never put'm away dirty or damp or you'll have roaches or mould!
16. DON'T FORGET TO SHAKE YOUR CLOTHES OUT BEFORE YOU PUT THEM ON IN THE MORNING & ALWAYS SHAKE YOUR SHOES OUT. You take your shoe & you pound it real hard on the heel so that whatever's inside the toe there will fall out, & then you shake it out so that it falls down into the heel & then you gotta shake it out of the heel. Then you quick (slams floor with shoe) do like that—kill it!
17. FOR YOUR HANG–UP CLOTHES, YOU'LL FIND OUT WHY THEY INVENTED CLOSETS WITH JUST ONE ROD & NICE LITTLE THIN COAT HANGERS to hang your clothes in the closet & make sure they don't touch the walls or the ceiling or the floor! Because that's what gives the pests more limited access to clothing, where they can't get into your clothes quite as easily when they're hung up well & don't touch the floor or the walls of the closet. But you'll find that most dressers or chests of drawers are completely open at the back & at the bottom & the bugs can crawl underneath‚ up the back & nestle down comfortably in your clothes.(20)
18. DON'T LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES & SHOES SHUT AWAY IN CLOSETS WITH SOLID DOORS & NO AIR or you'll pull them out they'll be all green & mouldy! Keep checking anything stored! (21)
19. TAKE SWEATERS WHEN GOING ON A TRIP OR ANYPLACE YOU EXPECT TO BE AIR-CONDITIONED. (22) Apparently all throughout the tropical world now they have air conditioning—I don't know whether you'd want to call it a blessing or curse. It's a blessing if you can manage to take along your coats and sweaters with you. We take a whole bagful of coats and sweaters everywhere we go. If you have an air-conditioned house, children should wear some clothes while you've got the air conditioner on. —And anyone sensitive to the cold shouldn't sit in a draft. Be careful you don't run from the hot kitchen into the ice-cold air-conditioned room without putting something on, and when you run back into the kitchen take it off. It takes work, beloved‚ to stay healthy‚ & when you climb into a cold cab put on your sweater, and when you climb out into the hot street take it off. Don't be lazy—just keep putting it on and off. (23)
20. KEEPING COOL & ADJUSTING TO THE TROPICS: I WOULD SUGGEST CUTTING YOUR HAIR, BOYS, BEFORE YOU GO. But I won't even have to persuade you to cut your hair when you get there. Every little blade of hair feels like it's burning you up! (24) So if I were you I'd cut that hair if you want to keep cool. 25% of your heat is in your head, so if you can get rid of that 25% you'll be 25% cooler! They teach you that about keeping warm, wear a hat on your head & you conserve 25% of your heat. So if that's 25% of your heat being lost through your head, why, the more heat the better! (25) Also, I want to make sure that they don't mistake you for a hippy or long hair, because they're a little stricter in the East. (26) (Girls can wear their hair up to keep cool. Our girls also wear light-weight cool see–through saris around the house to keep cool—& we're not sorry! Ha!)
21. THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO KEEP COOL: DON'T WEAR ANYTHING‚ STAY WHERE THERE'S A BREEZE OR MOVING AIR & GO SLOW. If you'll get anywhere the air's moving at all it'll keep you nice & cool. God made you so that your skin has moisture in hot weather. Some people call it sweat, nice people call it perspiration & very nice people call it moisture, & you'll have this moisture, water in other words, coming out of the pores of your skin when it's hot. God made you that way purposely, you've got your own automatic cooler. Your skin is an automatic cooler. It's constantly producing water which moistens the surface of the skin, & if you're where there's air, especially moving air, the more the air's moving the more rapid the evaporation. (27)
22. AIR IS REALLY THE SALVATION OF THE TROPICS. If you get plenty of air & breeze, you'll be perfectly comfortable. Are your bedroom windows open, wide open, & your bedroom curtains wide open? (But the windows should be screened to keep out pests!) And is every door in the house open? You can't starve yourself of air, that's the main thing you need. Sit on the wicker chairs or the rattan or the bamboo where you get some air. Don't sit on one of those overstuffed chairs—that's the way to stay hot!
23. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING RIGHT NOW, DON'T THINK YOU CAN'T CATCH COLD IN HOT WEATHER! You can catch cold in hot climates just as quickly as any place. You get chilled just as easily because you dress cool, of course, & you don't wear as many clothes & you sit in a draft or a breeze & catch a chill. The nice balmy breezes of the tropics are laden with moisture too‚ & that's one reason they're nice & cool.
24. IN SOUTHERN CLIMES, NEVER GET IN A HURRY! If you want to keep cool, never get in a hurry because hurry builds up energy consumption & you know what happens when energy is burned—it develops heat. Cut down on the energy & go slow, don't move so fast—don't walk fast, don't move fast, don't work fast. The only kind of fast we like to have is think fast, that doesn't burn up very much energy. So go slow!
25. ONE THING YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE IS YOUR SCHEDULE. You late retirers who burn the midnight oil are going to find out the midnight oil gives off too much heat! Every light bulb gives off heat. In a hot climate you can heat up one room with just one light bulb! One 100-watt bulb will heat it up. Don't burn any lights you don't absolutely have to. Some of you who love a blaze of glory, that's fine where it's wintertime & it's cold & the lights can help heat up the room. Boy, I'll tell you, we learned in Florida to turn out the lights unless you absolutely have to have them, & go to bed early so you can turn off the lights early.
26. IF YOU NEED LIGHT AT ALL just to see your way around, not to fall over furniture after dark, a very good method is to turn on the bathroom light (if it's next to your bedroom, or use a small night light in your bedroom) & you can even run around naked if you have to! (28)
27. I'M FOR A SCHEDULED SIESTA IN THESE HOT COUNTRIES! The natives have learned that & they do it. Any place where you find hot countries they've learned that they just have to slow down & take it easy & take a nap in the afternoon after lunch. (29)
28. ANOTHER THING ABOUT KEEPING COOL IN THIS KIND OF CLIMATE, just like I used to do in Florida, I wash my face & hands & sprinkle water all over my upper half every time I wash my hands, several times a day, & wash my hair too. I don't wash it with soap every time but I just take up a handful of water & wet my hair & just keep wetting myself. You can keep nice & cool as a cucumber! And take an all-over bath at least once a day. We just keep the bathtub full of water all the time & Maria & I both keep dipping in it until when it finally gets too dirty to dip in any more we let it out. (Maria: What we do to keep it clean is we wash our bottoms & our feet in the bidet & the rest of us in the bathtub.) Yes, wash your bottom in the bidet & then you can wash your feet in the same water if you want to. I wash my thongs & my feet both in the bidet at least once a day. (30)
29. WE FOUND A NICE WAY TO COOL OFF JUST BEFORE WE GO TO BED AS WELL AS KEEP CLEAN & KEEP YOUR BED CLEAN IS A QUICK LITTLE DIP‚ SHOWER OR BATH. You may want to rinse off & especially your feet before you climb in bed at night, & in the heat of the day you might want to rinse off just to cool off. (31)
30. YOU CAN GET A CROTCH ITCH OR RASH IF IT DOESN'T GET ENOUGH AIR & YOU DON'T TAKE ENOUGH BATHS. You're going to want to take a shower or bath every single day. It's just the same thing that causes athlete's foot. Your skin doesn't get enough air & it isn't washed enough & all the little bacteria & the germs & the worms & the fungi & everything else just love that kind of an atmosphere, no air, no water & hot. So you'll find you need a bath or swim just about every day. (32)
31. YOU'LL FIND THE KIDS WON'T BE AS HUNGRY, THEY WON'T EAT AS MUCH & YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WATCH YOURSELF. A lot of you just eat by habit. You'll find out you're going to feel full & dead & kind of stuffy & sort of heavy if you eat too much. Eat lightly, foods that are not heat-producers, you're not going to want many sweets because we don't eat sweets anyhow. You're going to eat more salty things, you need a lot of salt because you do a lot of perspiring, & you need less sweets, less fats, less carbohydrates‚ fewer starches, more greens, more minerals, juices, fruits, & oh, they've got lots of fruits! (33)
32. I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT FOR NEWCOMERS TO GET ADJUSTED TO THE CLIMATE & I think we ought to give them a week or two vacation just to get rested up & to get used to the heat & the climate & the bugs. I'd say it takes at least a year or more to really thin out your blood & for a person to get adjusted to the heat & inured to the mosquitoes where they don't kiss you so much anymore.—We're trying to be more positive with Techi & not call them bites, but it's a nice little needle kiss, deep kiss, French kiss!—They don't bite!
33. GIVE NEWCOMERS "THE 7 COURSES"‚ A MISSIONARY FEAST!:
34. THE SUN: GO EASY WITH THE SUN AT FIRST! (35) The extremely fair-headed & red-headed & those who tend to burn & freckle easily really shouldn't have more than 10 or 15 minutes of direct sunshine at a stretch‚ & 1/2 an hour an absolute limit! So if you have hair that's slightly reddish or blonde & fair skin with a tendency to sunburn & freckle, you just ought to stay out of the sun except for very brief periods of exposure. Actually you shouldn't sunbathe at all if you're a heliophobe!—Sun isn't good for heliophobes!
35. YOU'LL FIND TOO MUCH SUN LIKE THAT (ALL DAY) CAN EVEN CAUSE YOU TO CATCH COLD!—It not only gives you a bad burn‚ but it can give you a bad headache, chills, fever, upset stomach, & what they call sunstroke which can make you very sick & even kill you, as it did one little boy in the Bible whom the prophet had to raise from the dead! (2Kg.4:18–37)
36. IT DOES HELP ALSO IF YOU USE A GENEROUS AMOUNT OF SUNTAN OIL‚ which doesn't really actually tan you. But suntan oil does help give you a little more shade & greases your skin. It keeps it from burning so easily for the same reason that you keep basting a roast in the oven! (Maria: But if you do get a burn you can apply Vitamin E oil from a capsule.) These little sunny glowing yellow golden capsules of Vitamin E oil they say is good for any kind of a burn, including sunburn! (36)
37. SWIMMING & THE BEACH: NEVER GO SWIMMING ALONE, ALWAYS WITH SOMEONE NEARBY. (37) (Dad always insists that the "big people" go swimming in pairs & "little people" always have big partners‚ one adult for each child!) Also, never swim in rivers, lakes or harbours, unless you know the water's safe, otherwise they could well be contaminated or full of microscopic pests. (38)
38. SWIMMERS ARE FORBIDDEN TO ENTER THE WATER WITHIN TWO HOURS AFTER A MEAL to make sure your meals are well digested & they're not going to cause you to have indigestion or cramps when out there in the water, which in water over your head can be fatal!
39. WHEN YOU GET OUT AFTER A SWIM, let me warn you‚ that to lie down with the water still on your skin acts just like a lens that magnifies the power of the sun of your skin & you can get a quicker burn with a little water on your skin than with dry skin. Of course, it's even better to have some good suntan oil on even before you go in the water. (39)
40. THAT NICE LITTLE FILM OF SALINE, FILM OF POTENT SALT ON YOUR SKIN IS GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN. Don't come in here & take a shower then & wash it off. I mean, why did you go to the beach if you're going to have to comeback home & take a shower? That nice salt film on your skin is good for it. The mosquitoes don't like it, I learned that in Florida years ago. (Of course, if the ocean is dirty or full of algae where you are, you may need to take a shower after swimming. It depends on your situation. When Dad found out that the nearby ocean was not as clean as we had thought, he relented & let us take quick showers after a dip!)
41. YOUR SKIN IS STICKY BECAUSE IT'S A FILM OF SALT & IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN, good for any sores, it's good for you girls internally. The doctor recommended when Maria had something down in Tenerife to take a nice dip in the water, "Keep your bottom under water at least 10 minutes every day." It'll actually heal sores & things like that, & if you'll leave that film on your skin it'll also deter the mosquitoes. They don't like it, they like nice fresh blood without salt. (40)
42. (After swimming at the beach: ) BY ALL MEANS PLEASE TRY TO BRUSH YOUR SANDY FEET OFF OUTSIDE & don't bring all that sand in & expect it to go down the drain! Sand will clog up a drain! It settles in the bottom of the loop of the drain & it'll just fill it up & then grease & hair & everything else will combine with it & you'll have a mess. Please do not rinse the sand off in the shower or the bidet or wherever, brush it off. When you get home & the sand is all dried, you can just swat it with your towel & brush the rest of it off. Please don't bring sand in. (41) (We set up a footbath right outside, near our front door for people returning from the beach, & changed it frequently.)
43. ON GETTING WATER IN YOUR EARS AFTER SWIMMING: I once got water in my ear & it got a little infected—I think I got it swimming. I had it in Tenerife for about a week or two. But after the first couple of days of nothing but prayer I finally decided that maybe I needed a little mechanical help to find out at least what in the world was wrong, so I went to the doctor. He gave me some antibiotics & some ear drops. The drops were supposed to help dissolve the wax—there's wax there that kind of plugs up your ear. The wax is supposed to be there normally & it constantly flows, believe it or not, which is God's way of kind of cleaning out your ear in case you get bugs or dirt or what ever. It's always flowing, but if it gets hardened you've got problems. Some people get this—I don't know whether they don't wash their ears enough or what. (Sun the infected ear at least 15 minutes daily.—Heat helps!) (Dad also recommends that if you are prone to ear problems or infections, avoid getting your ears wet or going underwater when swimming.)
44. I WASH MY EARS SEVERAL TIMES A DAY WITH JUST MY HANDS. Nearly every time I wash my hands or face, I clean my ears. I go around the channels, just stick the tissue in there & follow the channels & then I rub my thumbs up & down behind my ears. Every time I wash my hands I wash my face & ears‚ & because of that, the moisture that I keep getting in there keeps the wax soft. I've been prayerful when swimming & even when taking a bath. I watch out about the water in my ears & always make sure I get up in a position where I can quickly drain it out. (42)
45. WHEN YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN COME IN OUT OF SWIMMING OR SUN BATHING & INTO THE SHADE‚ IMMEDIATELY PUT ON A ROBE & DRESS VERY WARMLY or you're apt to catch cold & have fever & get sick! After swimming & sun bathing you must be very careful to keep warmer than usual when you come inside. Your body has adjusted itself to that terrible heat, that attack on the body by the sun, & if you go suddenly from one temperature to the other it's just like walking out of an oven into an icebox & it can almost kill you! It can chill you‚ give you a fever & a cold & make you sick! So God bless & protect you from the sun! (43)
46. YOU'VE GOT TO REALLY WATCH OUT FOR GETTING CHILLED AFTER SWIMMING. The water penetrates your skin & it takes about an hour or more to dry out! Water penetrates your flesh that far! That's why you stay so nice & cool afterwards for so long, your flesh is constantly drying out & that constant evaporation keeps you cool an hour or so, & you're not really dry for at least an hour. You should put a lot of clothes on the kids or stick them straight in bed under some covers to keep them warm. You should either put clothes on or stay out & dry out outdoors in the heat or in some warm room, or if you must come in after swimming, then for God's sake turn off the air conditioning! Insist that the kids put on some clothes & keep good & warm until they're thoroughly warmed up & dried out. (44)
47. COOKING & KITCHEN CARE: MAKE SURE ALL MEAT & FISH HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY COOKED TO KILL WORMS. Don't eat open, unrefrigerated leftovers or food on display from store or vendor. Avoid food from sidewalk vendors completely! (45)
48. WHEN A FLAME GETS YELLOW ON A GAS COOKING STOVE IT MEANS IT'S GETTING TOO MUCH GAS & NOT ENOUGH AIR. You're burning almost pure butane & almost no oxygen. It needs to be adjusted with a screwdriver. (46)
49. WATCH OUT WHEN YOU UNLOAD YOUR GROCERIES that the old box or bag they gave you to put the groceries in doesn't already have tenants! If you will set them up over the sink & even open them there or in the sink, then at least you've got a chance to catch them if there's a bug in them. (47) Don't bring home roaches from the grocery store!
50. (MARIA: ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE WORKING WITH THE FOOD—ALWAYS!) And wash the food! Anything in this part of the World, wash it thoroughly on the outside. (48) Wash fruits & vegetables thoroughly on the outside first before you even work with them, or the contamination on the skin could get on to your fingers & into the fruit & everything. In Tenerife I used to make them wash all the fruits & vegetables outside before they even brought them into the house. (Soaking fruits & vegetables in a salt water solution acts as a disinfectant too. Salt is a poison & actually kills germs!)
51. GOD HAS MADE FRUITS & VEGETABLES & ALL SO THAT THEY DON'T PICK UP GERMS OR CONTAMINATION ORDINARILY IF THEY'RE NOT SPOILED. God has protected them, & even if they're grown in human fertiliser they don't seem to pick up any of it except on the surface. So if you wash them, or better yet even skin'm, to play it safe, then they're all right. Take a scrub brush & scrub your vegetables. It's better to peel your potatoes & your carrots, & the lettuce has to be really scrubbed, if you have to use a brush to scrub it!—And you're safer to peel tomatoes. (49)
52. IT'S VERY BAD TO LEAVE FOODS THAT ARE EASILY CONTAMINATED OPEN because there are always bacteria floating around in the air. One of the easiest ways to get food contaminated & infected is from flies. You've got to keep the outside doors shut! Keep the flies out or kill them, & keep your food covered & put away. (50)
53. A REFRIGERATOR IS A HEAT PUMP. It pumps the heat out of the inside of the refrigerator & puts it outside, into the kitchen! So actually, the lower you keep the freezer‚ to keep the temperature in there at minimum‚ why, the better off you are in the kitchen. (51)
54. I HOPE YOU'RE KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR FOOD IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR ALL THE TIME. You should go through your refrigerator daily, the whole thing‚ to make sure some body hasn't left a little bit of something there that's getting old & you're going to have to throw away instead of using it.
55. IF YOU LEAVE ANY VEGETABLES, ESPECIALLY LEAFY VEGETABLES, LETTUCE OR ANYTHING ELSE IN THE REFRIGERATOR TOO LONG, pretty soon it's all wilted & dried out just like it's been through a drought or something. Electric refrigeration & air conditioning are dryers & they will dry out foods put in the fridge, as you've probably noticed, including vegetables.
56. ALSO, NEVER KEEP EGGS IN THE REFRIGERATOR unless they're old or cold storage dead stale eggs. (52) My father used to run a butter & egg store. Fresh eggs are not kept in the fridge, they're stacked outside in a cool place. You will never find fresh eggs in the refrigerator. The only eggs they keep in the fridge in the store are the cheap cold-storage frozen eggs. (53)
57. ANY KIND OF FRESH RAW VEGETABLES WILL SPOIL EVEN MORE QUICKLY IF THEY ARE PUT IN A REFRIGERATOR. They will turn brown quicker & ruin quicker. That's why in the old-fashioned houses they always had a vegetable cellar or a vegetable pantry, some cold place in the basement where you kept stuff like that. Potatoes, lettuce, almost any kind of vegetables or grains or whatever, God made most of those things to keep almost indefinitely without worrying about spoiling at all.
58. DON'T BUY MEAT UNLESS IT LOOKS & SMELLS FRESH, & even then you can't rely on it because they can dye it or dip it, so smell it! If it doesn't smell nice & fresh‚ don't buy it! If you don't know what fresh is, it's a pleasant smell, & if it's not fresh it doesn't smell good, it's not a pleasant smell‚ it smells old, spoiled or rotten!
59. HARD CHEESES MAYHAVE TO BE KEPT IN THE REFRIGERATOR if you live in a hot country, but if you don't have to, they'll be softer and more delicious and easier to eat. If you keep the hard cheese in the refrigerator‚ it'll dry out and get tough. (But keep in cool dry place where it won't get rancid—& in closed metal container to protect from roaches or rodents attracted by the smell!)
60. FOR GOD'S SAKE, NO FOOD SHOULD EVER BE LEFT OPEN OR UNWRAPPED IN THE FRIDGE! No food should ever be left open or unwrapped—neither meat nor leftovers nor soft cheeses nor anything, because a refrigerator, no matter how much you clean it, is not very sanitary. Wrap everything that goes in the fridge! (54)
61. DRY FOODS THAT ARE OPENED SHOULD NOT BE KEPT ON HOT UPPER SHELVES IN THE KITCHEN OR PANTRY, BUT IN COOL PLACES, LOWER SHELVES. (This includes pickles, health–foods‚ nuts, peanut butter etc. Peanut butter & oleo must be kept in a cool place or it'll go rancid. Condiments are generally self-preserving. Crackers & dry spaghetti are best kept down below, in tin boxes if possible.)
62. OILS SHOULD BE KEPT WHERE IT'S COOL. In fact I'd say most oils, once they've been opened, ought to be kept in the fridge to keep them from going bad. Oils are sort of like oleo & butter, they'll go rancid. The butter & the oleo you have to keep in the fridge, but you should keep them in the warmest part of the fridge. Mayonnaise & salad dressing should be kept in the fridge when opened. Applesauce should be kept in the fridge after it's been opened, & it certainly should be kept in a cool place before that.
63. WHAT ARE THE COLDEST PLACES IN THE FRIDGE BESIDES THE FREEZER?—WHICH IS THE COLDEST, OF COURSE. Where comes next?—right under the freezer, directly under the freezer, & the next coldest place is on down the back to the bottom. Because the front is opened so much the cold mostly goes down the back to the bottom & then warm air rises in the front. In the middle of the fridge in the front is the warmest.
64. YOUR OPEN CANNED GOODS‚ MAYONNAISE, BUTTER & MARGARINE & ALL THE THINGS YOU DON'T WANT REAL COLD SHOULD BE KEPT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REFRIGERATOR, IN THE FRONT. The meats, of course‚ that you want to keep frozen are kept in top in the freezer. Then the leftovers, the next thing you really want to keep cold—leftovers, milk & milk products—right under the freezer. The trouble with putting leftovers in the back is, what happens?—Lazy people don't really want to dig around & find them‚ they just open a new can, & then every week you clean out the fridge & half the junk is spoiled leftovers that were never used up that should have been used the next day!
65. YOU SHOULDN'T KEEP POISONS, INSECTICIDES, CLEANSERS, ETC., IN THE SAME ROOM WITH FOOD. Somebody is apt to make a mistake & grab the wrong thing, unless under the sink.
66. WHEN THERE IS NOBODY IN THE KITCHEN THERE IS NO POINT IN LEAVING THE FAN ON. It is absolutely unnecessary with nobody in there. A fan does not cool anything but your skin, that's all, it does not cool the room a bit. It has no cooling effect on the room whatsoever, it only has a cooling effect on you & your skin. (55)
67. HAVE COLD LUNCHES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE SO YOU WON'T HAVE TO DO SO MUCH COOKING. Eat salads, sandwiches, fruit salads, all kinds of sandwiches & cold stuff. In hot countries I don't believe in cooking more than one hot meal a day.—No fires, no cooking for lunch. (56)
68. YOU'D THINK IN HOT COUNTRIES THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HOT FOODS, but actually, as I think I've said before, that's probably how it originated, as a matter of preservation & to kill the germs etc.‚ & they seem to be able to take it 'cause they all have it, whether it's India or Mexico. (57) Even the hot seasonings help kill germs & preserve foods in the Tropix!
69. PESTS: SPRAY BOTH SIDES OF A DIRTY BED WITH A MILD RESIDUAL BUG SPRAY (Baygon is good, & then put down a bed pad)—a dirty bed is how David & Sara got the scabies once, from a dirty crib that they loaned us in a hotel in Madeira. (58) (Also, airing mattresses in the sun helps to kill germs.)
70. DON'T FORGET WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR TOWEL OFF THE RACK TO SHAKE IT OUT before you wipe your face with it, & it's not a bad idea to do like we did at TSC with the toilet lids, sort of bang them a time or two before you sit down to shake anything loose that could be there. Be sure you shake your shoes out too. Of course one nice thing about these thongs & open sandals is you can pretty well see if there's anything in there. I'd advise you not to go tromping around too much in a dark room without any light, you never know what you might be stepping onto! (59) Even when I open up the bed at night, I pick up the pillow & I open the sheet & I give it a little shake. I don't want any unexpected bedfellows. I like a little light in the room so I can see where I'm going, I don't want to trip over anybody.(60)
71. KEEP YOURSELF WELL COVERED WHEN OUT AFTER DARK, TO KEEP MOSQUITOES FROM BITING. (Wear socks!) Avoid strange animals—& if bitten by a dog, wash thoroughly & see a doctor right away. If you live in a snake area always carry a flashlight at night. (61) (In a snake-infested area at night some recommend carrying a stick or umbrella when out‚ & beating the path ahead of your footsteps. A snake will usually only attack when surprised, & this can help the snakes avoid you!)
72. AS FAR AS CONTROLLING FLIES & MOSQUITOES‚ YOU MUST HAVE GOOD SCREENS OR TIGHT CURTAINS or something in your windows in those places—to keep out flies from which you get cholera & several other things, & which are filthy dirty & can fly right in your windows, & the mosquitoes the same, though mosquitoes aren't as dirty but they have more deadly diseases. (62)
73. YOU MUST NOT LET FLIES IN THE HOUSE & AROUND THE BABY OR AROUND THE FOOD!—And you must not leave stuff outside that attracts flies. (63) We should always have a fly-swatter handy! Now remember that fly-swatters are dirty‚ so don't touch the killing end & don't touch it to anything but flies! (64)
74. ANTS SEND OUT SCOUTS! When you see a single little ant running around by himself‚ he's out provisioning, scouting. When he makes a find, why, then in comes the whole army & grabs it & takes off with it. It's just as important‚ in fact more important, to kill that single scout, than it is to wait till you've got the whole column! (65)
75. YOU GET MOST OF YOUR ROACHES FROM A DIRTY KITCHEN, dirty floors, a dining room floor that's not swept or mopped immediately after meals, leaving crumbs & specks of food all over the floor. You have to keep a clean kitchen to keep roaches down. Sweep the floor‚ do the dishes, wipe the counters clean, & make sure that the stove's wiped off clean‚ the counters are clean, the floor is clean, the dishes are done & clean & put away, & all food put away somewhere—in tight containers with lids on & on the shelves, & you're not going to have roaches. You only have roaches because you feed them, & ants too. And if they can't find anything to eat then you're not going to have them. (Soak any dirty dishes in soapy water at night, completely submerged, if it's not possible to wash them immediately because of a meeting or late hour.)
76. GERMS LIKE NICE WARM MOIST DARK PLACES‚ LIKE MOST BUGS & VERMIN, THEY ARE LOVERS ARE DARKNESS because their deeds are evil! That's one reason I say always keep a light on in the kitchen if you have a roach problem, keep a light on all night in the kitchen, always. It's a very rare brave roach who will dare to run out in the light, they'll wait till you turn off the light & then they will come out. And keep all your foods sealed up tight in sealed containers, not even wrapping it up is good enough. If you keep your foods sealed & airtight, neither the ants nor the roaches can smell it & they won't come. (66) Watch out for roaches in the boxes or bags you get take-away food in, & get rid of the wrappings as quickly as possible! (67)
77. I THINK THE SALAMANDERS ARE THE LIZARDS THAT HAVE SUCTION CUPS. You know, they also catch bugs, mosquitoes, flies‚ etc. For goodness sake‚ don't destroy any salamanders, & if you happen to have one visit your room consider yourself honoured‚ you have a special protector from the 'skeeters! (68)
78. I THINK THAT'S ONE THING MOSQUITOES ARE FOR—THEY THIN OUT YOUR BLOOD! Citrus fruits are also notorious as what they call "blood-thinners". Citric acid is sort of a blood thinner so that your blood is not so hot & not so warm & it's not so thick. (69)
79. LIGHTS DO TWO THINGS—THEY ATTRACT MOSQUITOES BUT THEN THEY REPEL THEM. It's a funny thing‚ lights at night will attract them but then they don't like the light. Once they're in they head for the dark.—under your bed, chairs or table, etc.
80. ONE OF THE EASIEST TIMES TO GET'M IS WHEN YOUR HANDS ARE WET. You can just grab'm out of the air & your wet hands just immediately catch'm & suffocate them. Sometimes when you try to slap them between your hands the air concussion just blows them out from between your palms & you miss'm. The best way to do it is to grab'm if you see'm & then be sure when you open your hand to slap quick, bamm, & get'm!
81. MOSQUITOES DON'T LIKE WIND. The fans will blow the mosquitoes away. They don't like wind of any kind, they can't fly very well when you blow them out of the way.
82. WITH YOUR "SKEETER-STINKER" (MOSQUITO PELLET BURNER) GOING‚ I'D AT LEAST LEAVE AN INSIDE DOOR OPEN AT NIGHT. Since most of the mosquitoes come in from the outside it might be okay if you want to shut your windows. But I'm sure not going to lock all the doors with one of those things burning! There should be enough air space in the building to give you plenty of air‚ so that you don't kill yourself or fumigate yourself or asphyxiate yourself with that thing. I just figure that if it kills mosquitoes it might kill me too! Actually it doesn't kill 'em, it's just some kind of a stink that drives them away. (70)
83. IF YOU KEEP FOOD IN GOOD TIGHT WOODEN CUPBOARDS, OR IN THE FRIDGE, where there are not any holes in the wall or behind, in the inside of the cupboard‚ you can usually stop a rat before he can gnaw clear through the cupboard if you keep checking the cupboards every day, ha! You can usually catch them & see where they've been gnawing, trying to get in. You've just got to keep the food in very tight containers, rats seem to be able to smell anything through almost any kind of container. They used to gnaw the lead pipes to get at the water! They will gnaw a hole in a lead pipe to get water.—Now how do they know the water is there?
84. SO YOU'LL HAVE TO KEEP ALL FOOD VERY CAREFULLY IN THE STRONGEST CONTAINERS YOU CAN POSSIBLY FIND. Plastic containers will temporarily, very temporarily, deter the rat if the container is inside a tightly-closed cupboard! But if it is left out anywhere or on the sink where that plastic container is the only protection it has, a rat can gnaw through that in a few minutes while you're sleeping! So just forget about plastic containers. Now you know why all the containers for flour & sugar & bread etc., were metal when I was a kid, because it was common for houses to have mice & rats in those days, because people hadn't really gotten on the job & cleaned up & there were lots of poor people & dirty people, & where there are poor people they are usually dirty people & they can't afford rat poison & even rat traps!
85. RATS ARE PRETTY SMART, THEY LEARN. If they learn pretty soon that they're not going to get the food‚ it's impossible to get it & they're going to die if they try, they learn! And after a while they'll begin to leave you alone, only the new ones will try it & they come in from the neighbours & the neighbourhood & the street etc., & then you get the occasional bum & straggler that's passing by, but all the locals have learned their lesson & they stay away. They go over to the neighbours & eat instead! (71)
86. EATING OUT: AVOID FLY-INFESTED RESTAURANTS. If a restaurant has flies in the dining room, it probably has them in the kitchen as well, & more! (72) It's when you're out that you run the risk of catching something. Even in a nice place, you don't know how dirty the kitchen is or the people are, or maybe the management doesn't know either. (73)
87. WHEN EATING OUT, SHOW WAITERS WHAT YOU WANT TO EAT RIGHT FROM THE MENU TO MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT THING. If you have water with your meal, remember that although the water may have been boiled‚ the ice cubes in it may not have been made from boiled water.(74)
88. WHEN WE EAT OUT WE DON'T EAT THE GREEN RAW VEGETABLES AT ALL. I don't touch the lettuce or tomatoes or anything. We avoid eating those things because you don't know if they're washed thoroughly or grown with human fertiliser.
89. EVEN IN THE NICE RESTAURANT LAST NIGHT I PICKED UP MY PLATE & SMELLED THE MEAT before I ate it. They may be insulted, but I don't care!—I'd rather they be insulted than me poisoned!
90. COFFEE, TEA & BOTTLED DRINKS, INCLUDING WINES & LIQUORS‚ ARE ALMOST THE ONLY SAFE THINGS TO DRINK WHILE YOU'RE OUT. The only safe thing to drink in some places is wine & soft drinks. These beverages are bottled &/or boiled, just like being canned, so every thing bad is killed or it wouldn't keep. Fruit juice, if it's bottled or canned, is pretty safe. In wine everything is killed provided you get 14% wine. That is the point at which God made the wine to naturally ferment because at that level the alcohol kills all the germs, including those that have been producing it. It comes to a natural stop at 14%. If you buy low–alcohol wines they will go off because they start to ferment again as soon as they're opened. (Actually, we rarely drink wine, even at home.—It's too expensive!)
91. ICE CREAM IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS THINGS YOU COULD EAT IN A WARM COUNTRY because you don't know how many times it's been unfrozen & refrozen before it got to you. In delivery trucks it could've defrosted & gotten contaminated & picked up germs & then they just refreeze it. You know‚ freezing doesn't necessarily kill all germs by any means. It just freezes the germs until they get to you & you eat them & they get nice & warmed up inside & they go to work again! (75) Most can stand freezing to 400 degrees below zero!
92. WATCH OUT FOR YOUR UTENSILS & TABLEWARE! Dad usually takes a clean tissue to wipe off his silverware before using it, or he even cleans it himself at the table with a little water if necessary, or asks for a clean piece. He carries along a little cologne in a plastic squeeze bottle for cleansing his hands (or little pre-moistened towelettes) after he's ordered & is done handling the menu etc. While looking over the menu he'll cover his silverware with his napkin to avoid the dirty menu touching it. (In India many carry their own silverware with them when they eat out to be sure it's clean! Straws & toothpicks left on the table or brought by the waiter in open containers are not sanitary or safe. Someone may have used that same straw not long before it was brought to you & the restaurant may have merely rinsed it out! Watch out for cream & sugar left on the tables of sidewalk or beachfront cafes.—The local birds in some countries feast on these delicacies when there are no customers at the table—a crow may have been in the sugar bowl before you came! We've watched them drink milk from cream pitchers!—Or you don't know how long that milk has been sitting there, which could be full of dirt & bacteria!)
93. HEALTH & CLEANLINESS: KEEP SMALL CUTS CLEAN. Attend to "minor" rashes & itches right away because of the abundance of germs in the tropics. Use plenty of soap when cleaning up or taking a shower.—Be sure to rinse well! (76)
94. I DRINK A LOT OF WATER, THAT'S ONE REASON I STAY HEALTHY!
95. BE CAREFUL ABOUT CHILDREN PUTTING THEIR FACE OR THEIR MOUTHS ON BOTTOMS OF DIRTY OLD CHAIRS.—You don't know who's been sitting on them before. (77) I cannot stand to sit down on these dirty old chairs with my nice clean naked body, no telling who's been in them. Take your robe or a sheet or pillowslip & put it over the chair until your robe covers the chair, the back, arms & seat, or where you're going to sit. (78)
96. MONEY IS ONE OF THE DIRTIEST THINGS YOU CAN POSSIBLY TOUCH, & yet people take their money & leaf through it & rub their fingers all over it & pay the taxi driver & go right in & eat dinner & wipe the baby's mouth with all that filth from that money! The Bible calls it "filthy lucre"‚ & it is filthy, one of the dirtiest things you can handle! (79) Wash your hands after handling it!—Or use cologne when you're out.
97. FROM "HOW YOU CAN HELP CHECK THE SPREAD OF CHOLERA" (Newspaper article):
98. SECURITY: CARRY A XEROX COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU, NOT YOUR PASSPORT (photo & ID pages & current visa page). If you're in a crowd be careful. Watch your purses & your wallets. Whenever people start crowding around me I get suspicious right away & I put my hand right on my wallet‚ or with a woman we quick switch her purse so it's between the both of us. Don't wear any jewelry out or at least an absolute minimum. Watch your watches & wallets & purses & don't walk down any sleazy-looking side streets. Always avoid gangs of boys or gangs of men standing around together.
99. I REMEMBER SEVERAL TIMES IN THE YEARS WHEN I WAS ON THE ROAD TRAVELLING IN THE USA when a seedy-looking bum or a tough-looking teenager came up to me—I'm usually pretty well dressed & I was always leery of that kind of situation—& they'd walk up close enough to say, "You got a light, buddy?" That's their approach so they can get close enough to pull out their gun or their knife! They've got to get close, & their approach is, "You got a light?" or "What's the time?" & boy, I used to just take off whenever they did that!—"Don't smoke!" I'd say, & whisst, I just took off! So avoid any close contacts or crowds. I'm even leery of even one seedy-looking character. I don't like to pass too close, just in case they whip out a knife or revolver too quick to avoid it. (80) (Or their bugs hop onto me!)
100. WHERE CRIME ON THE STREETS IS A PROBLEM, DON'T GO OUT ON THE STREETS AT NIGHT unless there are plenty of you. Two girls should never go without an accompanying boy. Girls should carry their purses on the side of them away from the street‚ between them & their partner, tucked under their arm. Purses with metal straps or chains are best, so no one can cut them & take off with the purse! (81)
101. BE SURE ALL THE DOORS ARE KEPT LOCKED & THERE'S A LIGHT ON IN THE HOUSE easily visible to the outside. Thieves are especially afraid of light. They're kind of like the mosquito thieves—the lights may attract them but they don't like to get in the light.
102. BE SURE ALL THE OUTSIDE DOORS ARE LOCKED & DON'T BE SATISFIED WITH JUST TURNING THE KEY IN THE LOCK. I discovered a long time ago living in hotels that if you don't get the key in the right position, the maid can come along & shove her key in & knock yours right out & unlock the doors! So what you do is turn your key clear around to lock the door & then turn it a little further, another quarter turn or even half turn if you can. Most of them will turn that much farther, & they cannot knock it out or stick a pass key or skeleton key or something in. So be sure all doors are locked & bolted if they have bolts, &/or chained!
103. IF YOU'RE ALL GATHERED TOGETHER IN ONE ROOM‚ LEAVE THE DOORS (BEDROOM & INNER DOORS) OPEN SO THAT YOU CAN HEAR IF ANYTHING'S GOING ON IN YOUR ROOMS or outside your rooms or screens or grills. Don't leave anything within arm's reach of unscreened windows, even though they might have metal grills on the windows. In fact‚ if the thieves are real smart & have a nice little stick with a hook on the end of it, they can reach almost anything you leave laying around loose in your room‚ & it's been known to happen! So don't leave any valuables laying out loose in a room when you're not in the room! Put things away in drawers, & if they're very valuable lock'm up in your suitcase. Theft is very common in all poor countries & you can't much blame'm. If you leave it laying around loose & you don't watch it‚ well, that's your fault.
104. I HAD A TEACHER WHO USED TO BLAME IT ON US IF WE GOT SOMETHING STOLEN. He said, "You tempted the thief. You left it out where it was unprotected, you tempted somebody to steal it. It was your fault." You put temptation in front of the thief, so who's to blame? Now don't just be careless & say, "I only ran out of the room for a minute." Maybe somebody was just waiting outside the window for you to run out for a minute‚ to grab it! (82)
105. SERVANTS: THEY ACT THE SAME WAY SOME OF THE COLOURED FOLKS DID DOWN SOUTH, where we used to have some of them working for us. If you didn't camp on their tail every minute‚ they would be sitting around gabbing, doing nothing. If you didn't show them every single thing to do, they wouldn't do it! You had to just make them do everything because they're just naturally lazy & slow, having lived in the tropics all their lives—it's kind of a lazy climate. Nobody will do anything if they don't have to‚ ha! (83)
106. IF YOU HAVE A SERVANT WHO'S A COOK, I SUGGEST YOU LET HIM DO HIS OWN BUYING. Ask him how much money he needs & if they cheat a little bit or pad it a little bit, that's the custom in these tropical countries—it's like part of their salary. So don't worry about it as long as it doesn't start getting to be too obvious & too much & the bill grows a little too fast, more than you could have eaten! You might even put him on a budget.
107. DON'T LET THE MAID OR SERVANT SET THEIR FOOT BEYOND YOUR BEDROOM DOOR OR INSIDE YOUR BEDROOM FOR ANYTHING. Just tell them you'll take care of your own room, & when they are around & you are out of your room I suggest you lock your door in case they forget.
108. I THINK THE SERVANTS OUGHT TO HAVE SUNDAY OFF. I think they ought to go home & spend a weekend with their family every week. That was God's plan, not something irregular‚ but it was one day a week. Our custom is to take Sunday off. That gives us a chance to have our little fellowship meeting & that's one day when our own folks can do the cooking & we only have soup & fellowship meeting, so why not make it Sunday?—When the servants are gone.
109. THE RICH ARE GOING TO SAY WE'RE SPOILING THE SERVANTS. Well, that's what we did in Tenerife & we raised the wages & the standard of living of the help in the town because we kept paying ours more & tipping them better because we didn't think the minimum was enough. We didn't see how they could even live on what they were getting, & they couldn't really. (84)
110. HURRICANES & STORMS: WE SHOULD HAVE THE FAMILY AGREE & PRAY TOGETHER ABOUT STORMS, if it's getting up to the speed of a genuine hurricane. One hit Florida once which they thought was going to miss Florida entirely. It approached the coast & then it veered away, & I think maybe some of our prayers did it. It was headed toward Miami & our church prayed & it just made a sharp right-hand turn & went up the coast instead, & went right in.
111. ASK THE OWNER IF HE HAS ANY STORM SHUTTERS OR STORM DOORS OR ANYTHING, IF THERE'S ANY KIND OF A BLOW. Pray the storm won't hit. I always pray & the Lord usually answers, but I like to be prepared too‚ just in case He has other ideas. I think we should ask the owners what precautions we should take.
112. HURRICANE FLAGS IN THE U.S. WERE A RED FLAG WITH A BLACK SQUARE IN THE CENTRE. When you saw those flying it meant the hurricane was about to hit. Hurricanes are actually the safest kind of natural disaster because you have so much warning & you know exactly where they are. You get constant continued warnings & notices & you know what the score is. It pays to turn on the radio! (During the storm Dad asked that we listen to the news every hour!)
113. YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED TO CLOSE EVERYTHING UP TIGHT IN CASE IT SHOULD START TO REALLY BLOW. Watch your windows, & when it really begins blowing in‚ it's time to shut the windows.
114. YOU CAN HAVE TROUBLE FROM FLOODING IN ANY KIND OF A RAIN IF YOUR DRAINS AREN'T WORKING. I'm talking about rain that travels horizontally & will come in anywhere there's a crack or cranny. You've got to be sure things are closed up pretty tight. (Check for broken windows or windowpanes or large gaps under doors.)
115. IT'S THE FLYING DEBRIS THAT DOES THE MOST DAMAGE IN A HURRICANE, loose junk & tin roofs, signs & rubbish. (Pick up anything in the yard that could be blown around & fly through the air.)
116. EVEN DURING THE STORM KEEP AT LEAST ONE WINDOW OPEN ON THE LEE SIDE AWAY FROM THE WIND, ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE FROM THE WIND. You keep it open & this acts as sort of a suction that keeps the roof on & keeps the walls together. Otherwise, if you have everything closed on the lee side & you would open one thing on the windward side it can blow out your windows, doors‚ & even take off your roof!
117. WHEN IT RAINS, IT RAINS & IT RAINS & IT RAINS & IF YOUR DRAINS OUTSIDE AREN'T GOOD, THEN YOU BETTER BE PREPARED TO TAKE UP THE CARPETS! You have to roll up your carpets quick if it looks like the yard is flooding enough that it's going to start coming in the doors. Roll up the carpet & stack stuff on top of the table or anywhere it's going to be safe, including carpets & chairs, etc. If the water comes in‚ it's better to get everything you can off the floor, because it's really a mess afterwards. It's usually muddy & the bottoms of all the furniture & everything has a coat of mud. You've got one big clean-up job if the water comes in, a mess!
118. THE WATER IS USUALLY DIRTY & MUDDY, & OF COURSE WITH A BIG WIND BEHIND IT IT COULD BLOW IN REAL EASY. It could easily blow in under the doors. We used to have to take rugs & everything else to block the bottoms of the doors just to keep the water from blowing in underneath the doors. Check the drains if it's not blowing too heavy, & make sure all the drains are unplugged, because it just rains & rains & rains during a storm, hurricane or typhoon.
119. LET'S PRAY IT DOESN'T COME IN THE HOUSE, BUT BE PREPARED TO KEEP WINDOWS SHUT TIGHT ON THE SIDE TOWARD THE WIND.—And brother, I mean shut tight!—We may get some wind! Sometimes we'd think we had a door closed tight & it wasn't really tight & bolted shut & it'd blow open with a crash! We had to sometimes nail doors & windows shut to make sure they were really shut tight in a real bad blow.
120. THE MAIN IDEA IS TO KEEP YOUR WINDOWS & DOORS SHUT TOWARDS THE WIND. You can keep the doors open as long as the wind isn't blowing too hard & driving the rain in. On the leeward side always keep a window or door open, on the side away from the wind. The wind direction changes, so keep watching it constantly.
121. IT DOESN'T TAKE A VERY BAD STORM FOR THE LIGHTS & WATER TO GO OFF! So be prepared for that & a drop in your water pressure. If the electricity goes off, run outside & shut your valve off to the city water system so you don't feed them your water, because if the lights go out it's most likely the water's going to go off because it hits the pumps. In Florida we learned when a hurricane was going to hit, to fill up our bathtubs & washtubs & everything we could find with water. If we'd keep our bathtubs full all the time‚ it wouldn't hurt anything. You might want to take a bath!
122. IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO BE PREPARED WITH PLENTY OF WATER & MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE STORE FOR ANYTHING THAT'S NEEDED. You'd better already have it.
123. CUT THE TREE LIMBS TO BE SURE THEY DON'T BEAT ON SOMETHING THEY MIGHT DAMAGE. Get your fingers in-between the palm fronds & get a good firm grip on the stem & yank & they usually come down. When they're hanging down enough for you to reach them, it's time for them to come off. When the winds gets to really whipping them around, they could do the electrical lines damage. (Use working gloves & get as close to the trunk of the tree as you can, & watch out for your head!)
124. THE LESS THERE ARE OF THOSE PALM FRONDS, THE LESS LIKELY THE STORM IS TO BLOW THE TREE OVER. Watch those coconuts! If one of them hits you on the head you'll know it!
125. YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO LEARN TO PLAN AHEAD FOR THIS KIND OF WEATHER. Whose planning was it anyhow to do a shopping trip on typhoon day? Did you know a typhoon was predicted for today? That's what you get for never watching television! You women ought to watch the television news too!
126. DON'T EVER BELIEVE THE WEATHER REPORT. Remember, the weather reports are always to calm the people & prevent panic, always reassuring. They try not to get you excited. They don't usually tell you to fill your bathtub or board up windows until the last minute‚ when it's almost too late, because they're afraid you'll get excited & people will get scared & do crazy things. But the storm can suddenly change in intensity, the velocity of the circular winds can double in just a couple of hours or increase from 75 to 150 mph! It can also suddenly take a burst of speed from standing still to 45 mph in the opposite direction. They're really absolutely freaky, very unpredictable!
127. YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE PREPARED ALL THE TIME & BE READY FOR WHATEVER. Of course, the water damage is always worse than anything—even if you're all nice & bottled up for wind damage the water always gets through somehow, some way. I mean it'll stream in the tiniest little crack almost like you had an ocean or a swimming pool out there pouring through your window. Ha! Imagine with all that water coming down & the wind pushing it through the cracks of your window how much water can push through your windows!
128. MISCELLANEOUS: YOU DON'T DARE KEEP YOUR FILM TOO LONG. In fact, you're not even sure about the film you get off the shelf. You better check your dates, & even that's no guarantee it'll be good. You don't even dare use film that's getting near the end of its time, because it can be spoiled just sitting on the shelf. And even if the film is fresh & you put it in your camera lying around anywhere for long, well, then you'd better just forget it. (85)
129. COVER EQUIPMENT TO PROTECT FROM SUN & DUST. Keep any electronic equipment, typewriters‚ tapes, tape recorders, etc. out of direct sunlight & covered when not in use.
130. KEEP BATHTUBS AT LEAST 1/2 FULL FOR A RESERVE OF WATER. (86)
131. USE THIN LIGHTWEIGHT COTTON TOWELS FOR BATHING & WASHING UP. Dad was furious when we bought thick heavy "American" towels which almost never dried & started to "smell" quickly, & he told us to take a tip from the hotels‚ who always use thin cotton towels that dry easily.
132. WATCH OUT IN SOME OF THESE TAXIS. Don't ever step in a taxi without agreeing in advance how much it's going to cost or to make sure they have a meter that works. Also, lock your doors & be careful about hanging your arm out the window, especially with your watch on it! Don't leave valuables on the car seats near open windows either. Always check when getting out of a taxi to be sure that you haven't left anything behind. Also beware if the driver offers to take you a shortcut way & refuse, as it might be planned & his friends there ready to rob you.
133. WATCH OUT FOR CHEATING. Things are cheap in this part of the world, but they're as crooked as a dog's hind leg & because they're so poor they'll cheat you in every way they possibly can. As sweet & as kind as they are & smiling to your face, they'll cheat you if they can. So you better watch & read your meal checks carefully—& besides, they're not too good on figures, so be sure to check your figures on your purchases, meals & everything. (87)
134. LET ME WARN ALL OF YOU, WATCH OUT FOR PLANTS IN THE TROPICS! The bugs like the Tropics too & they like the plants, & the only way the plants can survive is by having a mechanism of self-defense of their own, & one of them is pure poison! There are a lot of tropical plants that if you brush against'm you're going to get a rash or blisters! You can't even lie down bare on the grass but what you're going to get up with one Hell of an itch or rash, so don't try it!
135. TRY TO AVOID EVEN TOUCHING THE PLANTS. Somebody brought me a flower & I was leery about even touching the thing because I don't know what's poisonous & what isn't, & I've had enough problems with poisonous plants in my day. I used to get poison ivy regularly every Summer when I was in Florida, & when I went to California I was thankful I got rid of poison ivy—but I didn't know they had such a thing as poison oak & I got that!
136. I WAS OUT OF SCHOOL WITH POISON OAK TWO WEEKS OF MY LAST YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL.—Almost covered with the stuff, horrible! I was covered with a mass of not just a little rash‚ not a bunch of little pimples, but my whole face & other parts of my body. When I went to the toilet out there in the woods I didn't realise I had that stuff all over my hands from fighting my way through the woods‚ & I was one mess! I couldn't even go to school for two whole weeks! I was covered with calamine lotion from head-to-foot!
137. SO WATCH OUT FOR THE PLANTS, BELOVED! We're ignorant strangers in the tropics & we don't know which is which like the natives do, so don't touch'm. don't touch any of'm, even the trees! Some of the sap can burn or raise blisters or a rash or a poison. Oleander leaves are pure poison & people have been known to get sick & die from oleander leaves, somebody chewing on a leaf, like some people have a habit of doing. (88)
138. DRIVING AIR-CONDITIONED CARS: WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING AN AIR CONDITIONER ON THE CAR, THE ENGINE GETS HOT, it's got to be a real good car & run real well & it's got to be kept running at a good clip even when you're standing still to keep the engine cool, as an air conditioner is such a load. The air conditioner works on a radiator out in front of your car radiator & they both have got to get cooled off‚ & if the air conditioner radiator is so hot that the car radiator doesn't cool enough, the car overheats & the carburetor vapor-locks & you stall & you can't even get it started for at least an hour!
139. A GOOD LITTLE TRICK TO LEARN, it doesn't matter whether you're driving a shift car or an automatic, in order to keep the engine running fast enough not to stall, you've got to keep your right foot on the accelerator‚ but they've made cars so that you also have to use your right foot for the brake. It's a safety feature so you can't put your foot on the accelerator & brake at the same time. In other words, when you want to stop you don't want to accelerate, but when you have to stop in traffic with an engine that's stalling you've got to accelerate.
140. SO YOU'VE GOT TO LEARN HOW TO BRAKE WITH YOUR LEFT FOOT & KEEP YOUR RIGHT FOOT ON THE GAS PEDAL & keep the engine running fast enough not to stall so that you don't keep having to stall & re-start, & that knocks the battery flat, so that pretty soon you can't start it. And of course, if I had a screwdriver & the time & the place & about five minutes to do it, we could have pulled over & looked in the engine & set the idling adjustment faster so that when it was stopped it would idle faster. Simple little thing, just turn a screw! (89)
141. LORD, ONLY YOU CAN PROTECT US FROM ALL THESE THINGS & BLESS & KEEP US WHEN WE'RE OUT IN THE DIRTY WORLD. Help them to be especially careful & cautious & really pray over anything that they have no control over, & keep us safely, Lord, from disease & accidents & all. Thank You, Lord, for how marvelously You have kept us! It's just miraculous‚ supernatural, Thy wonderful care, giving us strength & health & providing everything for us. TYL! (90)