Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things That Go 'Bump' in the Night

One of the things that has taken some time getting used to here in Africa is the critters. When I first arrived, I was not into the amount of bugs at all. I even killed thirty flies in one day before realizing it was completely useless.

There are these huge centipede/millipede things, the ones that curl up when you touch them. They are about four inches long and they are everywhere. Eunice got a kick out of throwing them at us, and once I wasn’t so grossed out by them, they still made me jump when I saw them. Now, I don’t even notice them.

It was also very interesting seeing the piles of termite wings that would accumulate after a storm.

Even as I am typing this, a preying mantis flew into my hair.

The more enjoyable critters are the geckos. There is loads of little fast ones, but you see the occasional gigantic one. One of those lives in John and Carla’s house.

Carla said she doesn’t mind it because they eat the bugs, which brings me to my next critters:

Spiders. There was a spider that was living around my bed. I haven’t seen him in a while and I can’t help but think that I probably ate him while I was sleeping. Also, a couple weeks ago I was sick, and when I get sick I sleep in the bathroom. It is habit. So I was asleep on the floor and Monique and Laura came in to see how I was doing. “What is that!” Monique exclaimed. I couldn’t see it because I didn’t have my glasses on, but once I did see, I wished I hadn’t. Now generally I don’t mind spiders because they eat other critters, but this spider was about four inches long. After Laura killed it, all these ants came and drug it down. Who knows where there were going to take it, it certainly wouldn’t have fit through the hole in the wall the ants come in through, so I threw them out.

Which brings me to my next critters. Ant. We really haven’t had much of an ant problem at all. The only time they were really prevalent was when I did my community stay and they were all over the silverware and pots. Well a couple days after the huge spider incident, ants poured into our bathroom through where our hot water heater used to be. We don’t know quite what they were after, but they all seemed to be carrying these little white balls.

Speaking of things all over the walls, there are these huge moths everywhere. There used to be a plethora of gorgeous butterflies everywhere but now we are plagued with these moths. These particular moths congregated in the kitchen window to create a sort of moth graveyard (reminds of the Bone Graveyard from Lion King, which is also in Africa!).

There are also frogs everywhere- in our pool, and in our room.

We also have snakes in the pool. One of the guards actually saw a black mamba, but the only snakes I have seen have been baby snakes.

Apparently there are monkeys on the base. A couple weeks ago Eunice told us that she heard them and just recently Carla confirmed that she has actually seen them- I have not.

And now, for the saddest critter that actually went bump, this poor bird flew into our sliding glass door and died. I guess at least he won’t be bumping into anything else anymore.

Jen also shares a story of the critters here.
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