Happy in the Sun

Let’s be clear. I was never a sun worshiper. I burn just looking at the sun, but I can’t say that I don’t have a love for it. Summer was always the best growing up. It stretched on forever, with afternoons spent on the gorgeous and refresher South Umpqua River.

I have always been known my colleagues as the one who hides out in the shade and layers with sunscreen. It has been made abundantly clear on those occasions when I missed a spot. My worst episode came with scorched knee caps after the long boat to Bukavu.

Now, as I am back in Africa after a year of dealing with melanoma, my level of attention has increased. As one doctor explained it, my skin has simply said “enough, too much sun.”

For my two month trip I packed two bottles of 55 SPF with helioplex, two spray cans n the same, several small bottles for reapplication during the day, and several ones for the face. I also have numerous pieces of SPF clothing, including a long sleeved spf bathing suit and a sun blocking head scarf.

Luckily I have actually been blessed as well by being in Muslim locals, where wearing covering up is a must.

I figure that there are plenty of things that I do to protect myself as I travel along, and diligence with regard to the sun is just one of them. I suppose now that I think of it, the reason I started going to the dermatologist regularly for check up was due to travels to Australia. It was 15 years of annual checks before anything sinister was revealed.

I also figure that if my blog reminds just a few of you to wear your sunscreen, cover up, and get checked, that is a bonus to sharing.



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