There are fires burning in Mogpog.
They are kept simmering all day and into the night, started with the skins of coconuts peeled and shredded to make tinder, reinforced with dead coconut tree trunks, branches too small to be used for anything else.
You see smoke as you stroll,smell it as you take a shortcut through a back yard with a pen full of chickens, stop to see what your Uncle Fernando has been drinking last night.
There is never a straight line here anywhere. Point A and B are connected by a wavy line that leads you through the brambles like a pirate’s map.
All family and friends here are tied on a charm bracelet wrapped safely around your wrist, and you visit them as often as possible.
Smoke from these fires keeps mosquitoes at bay.
Insects are at the bottom of the natural world, simple, basic, enduring, omnipresent. We take them into account wherever we travel.. Small, out of sight, insects live close to mankind, largely invisible till they bite.
Mosquito’s have much to do about giving pests a bad reputation.
Typhoid fever isn’t something anyone wants to dance with and keeping a fire going is a small price to pay.
Mosquito’s may be small, but they pack a big punch.