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Dust dust go away

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Sahara dust is here. I thought it sounded romantic when I first moved here - dust, from the Sahara, floating across an ocean and arriving on our tiny little island. Dust that Lawrence of Arabia breathed in. Dust from the Tuaregs and camels and nomadic traders. The stuff of legend.

No, the dust arrives to clog up lungs and cisterns. It comes laden with microbes that make people sick. It fills the air and the eyes and the nose. There's actually enough Sahara dust in the Amazon delta to be measured.

I woke up today and looked out the window - I could barely see across the harbor. It was like looking through a veil or gauze curtain. Like light fog, or a heavy mist. The island is shrouded in dust. And I'm having trouble breathing.

So I checked every inhaler in every bag and by my nightstand - all expired. I replaced them with new ones. And I need to order replacement backups. I made the decision to not work outside on the mural. I'll do some paperwork that has been nagging at me to be completed. I may go to a big store and walk in the AC. I'm even driving with the AC on.

Because for me, this really is a matter of life and breath. And it's no longer romantic.
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    Depends on the year. It comes and goes through "dry season" - it can last through the hurricane season and on into December. The good part is that the dust helps prevent hurricanes from forming - and hurricanes start as weather systems coming off the west coast of Africa. Just depends on what's going on an ocean away.

    But today is particularly bad.

    Of course, there are the days when we awaken to the smell of sulfur in the air, and know that the volcano on Monserrat has blown again.
    3226 days ago
    I hope life wins out. How long does the Sahara dust infect your town?
    3226 days ago
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