I am someone who has always jumped at the chance to donate blood in the belief that it is one of the ways that I can give something that is desperately needed and it costs me very little – just some time. I have given pints of blood on a regular basis since my college days and, thus, I have lots of extra t-shirts to wear for odd jobs around the house and several “Gallon Donor” lapel pins cluttering up the drawers in my home.
Since coming to Thailand, however, donating blood has taken on a new meaning. At dusk, when the sun disappears and the temperature drops, the doors of the Guest House are thrown open to allow the cool air to enter the lobby. That is where the four “guest computers” are located with Internet accessibility for a fee (10 Baht for 12 minutes or 50 Baht an hour – less than $2 US per hour). Unfortunately, riding on the cool, gentle breeze are hordes of those tiny, blood-sucking mosquitoes of Thailand. Any portion of the body that is not covered is susceptible to their exploration and evening feasts.
As one dedicated to sharing her story with the world, I have spent my share of time at those computers at the close of the day. The consequences of that choice can be clearly seen in the photograph below. Needless to say, I am thrilled that I have finally worked out how to access the Internet from our room where no such blood-thirsty visitors are welcomed. (I count 28 bites in this photograph, which does not include the bites on the other side of my foot. My left foot is a mirror image of the right one – a matched set!)