Why Roommates Are My Best Friends

What do the Tuki English-Swahili Dictionary and a mosquito net have in common?

Tuki dictionaryBed net

They are both in my first line of defence against scary insects. FYI, I do not consider mosquitoes scary. Scary is the massive (nearly 3 inches), flying cricket-thing that invaded my study session at 11:30 pm tonight. Normally I have my roommates deal with any pest problems; Leanne captured the roaches in Njawara, I called Elliot in tears over an ant invasion, and Bryce and Kent used to take care of any birds and bats in the basement. I have also resorted to neighbours (earwigs in the lawnmower) and guests (earwig in the chives I was chopping). Bonus points if I was standing on a chair or jumping up and down with a disgusted expression on my face, flapping my hands like a chicken.

Our first week in Njawara, Leanne and I were convinced there was a scorpion in our room. It had enlarged front leg-pincer things, and moved very, very fast. The first night we saw it, I ended up standing on the head of my bed laughing hysterically and screaming, when I lost my footing and fell, onto my already-tucked in mosquito net, ripping it out of the ceiling. Luckily our room was so small that Leanne could step directly from her bed (where she was hiding under her net) to mine and help me re-attach the fallen soldier. We slept soundly knowing that the “scorpion” couldn’t get into our beds. The following night when we called the boys to help dispose of our unwanted guest, we were told that it was “not a scorpion, …but somehow similar”. Read: “silly white girls, it looks nothing like a scorpion!”

Tonight I went carefully over my options: 1. use my strainer to capture the insect against the wall, slide to the floor and then somehow kill it 2. spray it with insecticide 3. sneak past it into my room and deal with it in the morning. In the end, I sprayed it, while cringing excessively (I really hate killing things!), then threw not only the big Tuki, but the smaller Kiswahili-English one as well, at the dying bug. Count: two crickets and a fly for the Tuki.

Now, safely inside my bed net, I am still twitching at any potential insect-movement, and contemplating my ability to live alone in the tropics (or anywhere!). Thankfully I have internet and texting capability: the cricket arrived in the middle of a chat with Eileen, in which I was describing my sweet new digs;

Eileen: Are you in your village???

And you have internet?????

me: yes, internet in my HOUSE!

my house is super super cute

i’m going to post pics soon on my blog

i am really really OH GOD

FLYING INSECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BIG ONE

eeek!

So, watch out everyone. Even if we’re not roommates anymore, you still have to support me when it comes to scary insects. But I’m not concerned, I know you will. And that’s part of why I love you guys so much.

Jack enjoys cooking

Just because Jack is a pest doesn't mean I should try and squish him with a book

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