As I prepare for Liberia, I had a thought about my “original” grad school experience. (I am going to start calling it that as I get ready for my second attempt.) For those of you who didn’t know me 10 years ago, I suffered through about four months of grad school in Riverside, California as an Environmental Toxicology M.S./PhD candidate. My main thesis project involved insecticide research which entailed a lot of spraying carpet samples and urinalysis. I won’t bore you with all the details here, but I did have an enlightened thought about how to bring my old research techniques back to life as I made my own applicator for applying insecticide* to my clothing. (I love it when things you thought were useless come in handy once again!)

When I got ready for Madagascar it was nice enough outside to spray clothes as they were lying on my porch. Seeing as this is my current view of my back yard…

…I need to find an alternative. Unfortunately I lack access to the conveyor belt sprayer we used for applications at school, so I am going to have to make my own. It’s probably not going to be that exciting, but I do have an idea for making sure nothing gets wasted and that the area is properly ventilated. Once dry, the stuff is relatively harmless but prior to then you’re not supposed to be breathing it. I am going to be away this weekend so I will have to tackle my drawings into action when I return next week. (Plus, I have yet to pick out all the clothes I am bringing that will be sprayed.) Have a great weekend!

*For those of you who missed past posts about why I am doing this – in countries where malaria is a threat (or other diseases carried by mosquitoes) the World Health Organization suggests that in addition to medicine and topical bug spray, you should also spray clothing as well.

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