My new MacBook Air arrived today! So slim, sleek, and tres chic. Finally, I’ll be able to work productively online. Not tonight since we’re doing Fashion Night Out events around the city, but surely this weekend.
Here are two luscious pictures of me from the trip. Ha! Shots of my left and right arm in major bumpy distress. Yuck.
This happens to me on every tropical vacation, like a ritual, without fail. The Honduran wait staff, during one of our meals, catches a glimpse of my unsightly self and immediately they identify the problem along with the cure. I hear about these salves all the time as everyone just wants to help. Try talcum powder. Did you bring Calamine lotion? I’ve got some Aquaphor.
People, please. I have tried them all. Nothing works. You know what works? Time. Once I get myself home to cool, foggy San Francisco, I’m good. But no remedy is going to help my cause.
The Hondurans assured me. “That’s prickly heat. Yeah, you got heat rash. I come tomorrow with machicacao.”
Yeah, whatever you just said. I’ll believe it when the prickles pack up their bumps and leave my body.
As promised, the young waitress hands me a big bag of leaves the following morning. “You take these leaves. Break ’em up in water. Break ’em up and scrub the leaves in the water. Then you bathe in the water and put the leaves all ’round your body.”
Our hotel room didn’t have a bath tub. Instead, I found an ice-bucket and did what she said. I shredded the leaves into tiny bits, figuring it was the juice of the leaves that mattered. I let the leaves soak for a few minutes, then I proceeded to douse myself in the solution, focusing on my arms, legs, neck, and face. Within minutes, I swear to God, the rash started to go away. Ask Dean; he was just as amazed as I was.
At dinner, I couldn’t contain my excitement, telling the staff how the leaves had healed me. They shrugged indifferently. “Yeah, the machicacao, it works. You can also make it into a tea. That helps too, but some people don’t like the taste.”
Giddy, I exclaimed, “I’m going to find this plant in America. I’ll never have rashes anymore!”
They shook their heads. “Oh no, the machicacao only here in Honduras.”
I was confident. “No, you don’t understand America. We have apothecaries and all natural boutique stores. I know I’ll find it.”
But I’ve been unsuccessful. If anyone can help me find leaves to the Machicacao plant, I will be eternally grateful!
This experience also made me a huge believer in bush medicine. I mean, these natives have cures for everything. Talking about my rash led to stories about their health problems and how their grandmas concocted teas to make them all better. I swear to God if a doctor told me I was dying of cancer, I would take the first flight to Honduras and seek out a jungle grandmother.