How to cure your centipede bite

We have had a funny couple of days with every person we walk past asking why Dre’s foot is swollen / why he was only wearing one jandal (when it was so swollen that his jandal wouldn’t even fit on) or how he is feeling.  We have received advice from everyone and it has been intriguing how almost every local we have talked to has also been bitten by one of the Sumatran Giant’s and each has the ‘best’ cure that if Dre had used the swelling and pain would be gone by now.  So, the definitive list on how to cure a bite from a Sumatran Giant Centipede is this:

– kill the centipede and crush it innards and smear over your wound

– rub ‘special oil’ on the wound every hour

– walk around constantly to massage your foot

– get a knife and cut out the poison  (sounds particularly appealing)

– wrap leaves (of unknown kind?) around the wound

– get plaque off your teeth and mix it with raw chewed peanuts and smear on the wound  (also appealing!)

– enbalm the centipede in oil and spread on wound

– get water spinach and add salt to taste, then make into a powder, and put on wound

– rub lime or lemon juice into the wound

– tie string around limb so the poison doesn’t spread, and then squeeze poison out

– soak wound in salt water

– and of course, the doctor’s recommendation “you need an injection, otherwise you will always be in pain”

So there you have it, should you ever find yourself in need, the Batak people of Lake Toba can cure your centipede bite faster than you would otherwise be able to.

Be careful what you wish for

For the past few days, Dre has been saying that he wishes we were seeing more giant insects and crazy animals.  I keep reminding him that in a few days we are going into the jungle where we are sure to see plenty of creepy-crawlies.  I think he forgot to wish that when he saw a Sumatran Giant Centipede, that he would only see it, and not be biten by it!  Yesterday afternoon only a few hours after again saying it would be cool to see some giant beetles or large insects, we went up to our cottage for a few minutes, and the split second that Dre put his feet back on the floor there was one of these Sumatran Giant Centipedes about 25cm long (which apparently grow to 30-35cm and eat bats!) underneath his right foot which promptly have him a poisonous bite.  After medical consultations with some locals, who gave us some herbal medicine which smells like petrol to put on the wound every hour, and a trip to the doctor who wanted to give Dre an injection (of what, we have no idea – of course we declined),  Dre spent the night pacing the floor because if he stopped moving his foot would throb in intense pain.  His foot is still sweating profusely out the top, and the petrol stuff does seem to be working somewhat, so now apparently we just have to wait 2-3 days before it will stop throbbing.  Nothing like some drama to add excitement to life!