Tuesday, November 27, 2007

.: : . .Dehumidifier. . . .

I live in Hai'ku.

This is one of the wettest climates one can live in. We are in the jungle. We keep telling people that and they think we mean we live in trees.

Some out here do live in trees or dug into the side of a hill. But most of us, we have houses, regular homes with roofs, doors, and windows. We even have appliances. But we do live in the jungle.

I have a King bed, carpet, a gas kitchen, a back porch surrounded by green of every shade, a stream behind the house and a bathroom with two shower heads--- the house and the location are amazing.

Except it's dank. Everything is dank. In upcountry Maui, when you are on the hilltops, or perched somehow to receive sun, it all dries out in the daytime. But in Haiku, on Holokai Rd., it can rain for weeks and never get sun. We are in the valley-- better known as a gulch- where the earth resembles a digestive system, everything is decomposing.

If I leave the refrigerator open for a few minutes, water drips from the seams. Anything in the closet that doesn't get washed every week starts to get digested by tiny earthen filaments floating in from the jungle outside my windows. My favorite photographs of my birthday last year and my nieces are molding.

Yesterday, someone mentioned to me that their friend had gotten mold in their lungs. They had to move to Kihei where it's dry. My roommate Jessica works with Malik, one of the leading nutrition and Chinese medicine specialists, who told her when she moved in that she couldn't stay. As I went to bed, the smell of mold crept up from my sheets and pillows. I sprinkled an essential oil of pine on the bed and went to sleep determined to be done with this.

So today, I fixed the dryer upstairs and I bought a dehumidifier.

Everything is different.

The dehumidifier has been on since 4pm (8 hours) and I have emptied about 100 pints of water. My thumbs are bleeding from wrench and metal scratches from installing the dryer. Right now the dehumidifier is in the closet, shooting hot air through the dank clothes.

I am realizing how completely sensitive I am to my environment.

I have lived here for 11 months. I moved in when the rainy season was just ending. That is what I was told. Now, I am told that the rainy season is just beginning.

My questions are:
  • Why haven't I gotten mold in my lungs? How would I know if I did?
  • If I haven't, at what point is this all mind over matter?
  • Why have I been fine for 11 months? Am I just running the dehumidifier out of fear?
  • What else have I been neglecting?
I've looked for a dehumidifier on craigslist for 3 months, starting when my new housemates, Jen and Jessica, moved into the house upstairs, and we started a cleanse for a month. Today, I finally went to Lowes (much better than Home Depot) and purchased the remaining dryer component and the dehumidifier.

Plants sprouting mushrooms
My room has been dank for months
I live in Haiku


Eric said...

great posting. i am gonna bookmark your blog and check regularly. make it part of my daily routine. miss ya bro - stay dry

jason s said...

gabe, thanks for sharing your journey. I know that some molds are very harmful so I think its great you are getting more educated and proactive about your relationship with mold. Nature is strong and therefore gabe is strong!

jdawords said...

Very well-written, G. Good details and engaging. Not just a painter, mofos!