Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Suncream for the non-North Americans out there.

Doesn't sound like a very interesting topic to blog about, I know, but it is an oh-so important one.

I was at a party last Saturday night and found myself sitting around the bonfire talking to a woman who is in Uganda from England doing some volunteer work with an NGO out in Jinja. She seemed like a great person, and she danced like a space man (woman) on the dance floor. (You make the call.) Because I'm genuinely concerned about my fellow man (or woman in this case), and I have deep appreciation for good skin (worked for it my whole life), I recommended that, unless she really wanted to turn into a piece of leather and end up like too, too many people who work on the Nile in that hot, intense Jinja sun, she could not forget to apply sunscreen or moisturize daily. Do you know how she responded to my most valuable advice? "There are more serious problems to worry about than keeping good skin." WHOA! What kind of problems is she working to solve that she cannot take 10 seconds in the morning to smear a 500 shilling coin-sized drop of cream across her face and on her neck? Come on! Even if she were to be burdened with the responsibilty of providing all the food for the whole district of Jinja, I don't think it would come to: put sunscreen on=people are going to starve. I think she's working with some Malaria prevention program. Important, yes. But you don't have to choose between distributing mosquito nets and protecting your skin. Do you think Angelina ever misses out on sunscreen or moisturizing? In the end, the melanoma you might eventually get can kill you just as dead as the falciparum. Plus, applying lotion, especially when assisted by that someone special, just feels good.



Iwaya said...

about sunscreen, hmmm, no opinion, never used it, hope to never use it. in fact, don't use any kind of lotions or stuff like that.

onto something else: here's hoping you don't mind me linking you as Tim--the White Guy. Or do you?

kelly said...

God, I hate people with that kind of reaction to sun block... and that picture is the exact block I use here! And I use it every day I am going to be outside, all over!

So just this weekend I was on a boat for about 3 hours in the Ugandan sun (so of course I had slathered it all over) and after this brit lady (burnt to a crisp) who was on the boat came up to me and she was like, oh, how did you manage you were up top the whole time in the sun and you look so good!

I was just like "I put 30 sun block on"
and then she looked at me like I was an alien from mars and she had just never thought to do that herself!

Obviously these people have never seen old muzungus who have lived in Africa for two long and they think their skin will look good forever, no matter how much UG UV rays they get...

Kudos on your sun block use!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget you can also wear sun protective clothing... a good site is

Clothing for the entire family and yes, sunscreen also