My name is Sean Kevin O’Connor, as you might be able to guess I have some Irish heritage. The Irish are famous for their ability to tan. The deep reds that the sun is able to draw out of the skin if Irishmen evoke comparisons to strawberries and fire engines.

My application of sunblock (SPF 50) seems to make little difference here in Sri Lanka. I can spend four hours at the beach under the shade, and apply sunscreen multiple times, but I will still be bruned by the end of it. I don’t understand it, but I accept it. Sri Lankan friends have a hard time grasping my perpetual battle with the sun, they don’t understand why I apply a cream every time we go to the beach. They see my red skin at the end of the day, and don’t seem to connect it with the sun.

How do you explain sunburn to someone who has never experienced it? I’ve been trying to for several months, without much success.


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