Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sand Fleas

I don't know what they look like exactly, but sand fleas are these little insects that apparently burrow into your foot and live under your skin.

The reason I am telling you this is because I had noticed a bump on my big toe for a few days now and I was freaking out about. I was worried that it was some sort of staph infection or something. I even emailed my doc Jennifer and uncle Paul about this. For a few days I've been worrying over what it was, because it didn't hurt or itch. Anyway, I was messing with the bump last night when my host brother noticed it and pointed it out to the whole family. Everyone gathered around my foot and after some portuguese-english dictionary use, it was decided that I had a sand flea. They said they come from Maputo or Beira (they don't live in Tete) and that my 'muito grande' sand flea looked like it had been in there for five days.

So, five days ago I was in Beira visiting an orphanage with Melanie and Priscila. Later that night we ended up hanging out with one of the workers there, Heather, who told us that she had just removed a sand flea from her foot and that they are common at the orphanage because of the animals and the younger kids don't take the best care of their feet.

I woke up this morning to find that the little guy in my foot was actually a little gal, because she had ripped a slit in my skin and started laying eggs in the dried blood along the toe nail. So of course, I'm freaking out that the eggs had fallen into my bed or that I'll have a family of these guys in my foot. Thankfully, my host sister gets a needle out and cuts away the skin around the flea and pulls it out.

Over the next hour the hypochondriac in me starts inspecting every bump on my body and I show every one of em to my host mom who has a hearty laugh at my expense.

Bem Vindo Mocambique, eh?

Your brother,


  1. Stephen, that sounds like my worst nightmare! I can't believe it laid eggs on you. ::Shudder::


  2. Wow, Stephen, that is something else, I hope you are well, sans sand fleas, I really enjoy reading your blog, this reminds me of my time in Central America, while working at an orphanage, we all got "chiggers" that burrowed into our skin from the mattresses we were sleeping on, we had to suffocate them with nail polish! good times...

  3. oh noooo!!!!


    i'm sorry...

  4. Oh man Stevie! That's super gross. Now that you're one of my flickr contacts, I get to see that wonderful picture every time I log in. : /

  5. that is the most disgusting thing i've ever heard!!! how big did the bump get do you think? bugs under skin is bad anytime...but to add eggs, GAG.