Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Pesticide Poisioning and Football Fever

It was an unexpected, but eventful day yesterday, that welled up all sorts of emotions, disbelief, shock, panic,worry, anger,understanding,elation, that is a lot of emotion for one day. It begun when I was happliy going through my usual morning routine of sipping a nice cup of redbush tea whilst checking emails and reading bloggs on the internet. Then I heard quite a comotion going on outside, I went to our bedroom balcony window to investigate and found one of the local farmers, with his tractor outside our front gate, with an assistant carrying a hose connected to a spray gun. As I tried to establish in broken English what they were doing, the assistant pointed at me to close my window. In a state of confusion not really knowing what was going on I did as I was told and they then proceeded to spray the palm tree that is outside our bedroom window with some horrific pesticide............................................ as the wind was blowing quite strongly and the windows in the rest of the house hadn't been closed for this unknown event, the pesticide drifted on the wind across the front of the property and down the alley at the side and in through the side bedroom window and the window for the snug.

While I stood there in utter disbelief that this had just happened with NO prior warning what so ever, the farmer and assistant proceeded to spill even more pesticide across the road, whislt they re-loaded their hose and went on their merry way down the street to the next palm tree.

Panic!!!!!! We have 4 cats, one of which already has no tail and no back right leg due to previous accidents, lives in doors and was thankfully in the spareroom on the uneffected side of the house,so I kept here where she was, but where were the others. 2 were oblivious to the whole situation asleep in the kitchen but the 3rd Mischief was no where to be seen. The mist from the pesticide filled the outside air as I went on my mission to find her, and there she was, hiding by the pump house wretching from the acrid stench that was pollouting her little lungs. I grab her and got her inside, thankfully once behind closed doors, she calmed down and began to eat, drank some water, and snuggled up on her usual mat, leaving me sick with worry as to what effect it will have on her long term.

We don't have children and our cats get all the love and devotion that we would give children if we had them, this made me wonder what on earth would I have done if this had happened and my young baby had been sleeping quietly in the fresh mornig breeze on the patio when this cloud of chemicals came flowing into it's lungs????????

After some research, it transpires that there is a plague of Palm Weevils that have recently arrived on the island and are killing palme trees everywhere.

Surely there must be an EU regulatioin somewhere that if an area is going to be sprayed residents should get prior warning in order to get our children, pets, laundry etc out of harms way????
I spent the rest of the morning trying to dilute whatever lay on the garden paths, windowsills and in the middle of the road in the hope that neighbourhood children, cats, wildlife, will not get contaminated when they go outside again, though I fear that my efforts will be in vain and in the mean time I managed to get an awful head ache and felt quite nauseaus from what I was breathing in myself.

Palm trees cost ALOT of money so I fully understand that people want the 'weevils ' exterminated, but is this really the only way? Ok the pesticide will kill the weevils but it will kill so many other things too including the local wildlife. I spins off through the entire food chain, and last night when we were sitting having our evening drink out the front watching the shooting stars, and a tiny little hedgehog came rustling through the garden I worried that it would be picking up the dead beatles that had been exterminated that morning and now it too would carry this chemical around in it's small little body, then the beautiful big resident owl appeared on the telegraph pole, watching with beady eyes this morsel that scurried beneath him, and I realised that would also end up being poisioned if it caught the hedgehog, that had eaten the beatles that had died of pesticide poisioning.
It ends up in our food chain too, so much for our ORGANIC DATE CHUTNEY that we were hoping to produce, thankfully we have not yet started our veggie patch else that would also be contaminated, but what gets me most about all of this is that we had no choice, it was just done on private land without any interaction with the residents at all. I thought I had left that sort of society in Dubai, it is not quite what I expected from an EU country. .............. But EU fever finally lifted my dispondent spirits towards the end of the evening when across the valley we hear ' goooaaal Holland'..... so we rushed inside to read the comentry of the last 20 minutes of The Nederlands Vs Urugay semi final, YES!!!! I finally got TBH interested in footy! Despite being Dutch he is not usually into the football at all, but he actually had a smile on his face at the idea that his country will play in the final of the World Cup. We don't have a Dutch flag but I have hung an orange sarong from the balcony, just incase anyone in the village wonders who we are backing, and am hoping I can persued TBH to go and watch the game on Sunday.

Family and friends I urge you to be wearing anything that you have that is Orange on Sunday.

Come on Holland!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, got the feeling: the same thing happened totally out of the blue and without the faintest warning to me while living in Dubai, it's really dreadful, fortunately nothing happened to you and your cats. I'll be back to read your interesting blog anyway. Wishing you all the best, ciao!