National Geographic : 1955 Feb
After the preliminary inspection, my new friend showed me how to crack open the aero sol bombs that were to become part of daily living. Malaria is prevalent in Okinawa. To help control mosquitoes, we had to "bomb" the house every night and sleep under nets. The bombing mission completed, I was told that our next-door neighbor expected us over. It was then that I met the Neil Becks, who helped make Okinawa a delightful adventure during those first trying months. We found Mrs. Beck in the kitchen making strawberry jam on a little hot plate. In the same breath with which she said she was glad to meet us, she explained that she had several hundred strawberry plants. Heavens! Sun kist oranges in our house, and the aroma of strawberry jam here. This wasn't exactly what I had expected. Okinawa Poses Problems We sat on the Becks' screened front porch and talked of the island's hardships and how to meet them. The chief problems were mos quitoes, food shortages, the lack of cookstoves, and rats. I could face everything but the rats. I was told they were as big as cats, that all the houses were infested with them, and that they climbed in bed with people. When we finally parted for the evening, I put the children to bed and started to take a shower, but nothing came from the shower head. Then I remembered letters I had re ceived from Earl. This was a land with a limited water supply. I was face to face with a new experience-no water. Anyway, I didn't want to sleep. I felt I had to sit up and wait for the rats.