Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Plague Upon Both Your Houses

As there is no retreat from the heat out here, there is also no escape from the bugs. Each new attempt seems more futile than the last, and soon you begin to adjust (or give in). First there are mosquitoes – the definitive pest. In addition to being outright bothersome, they are carriers of Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis in this area. I cover up, wearing long pants and long sleeves in sweltering temperatures, covering the rest of my exposed areas with toxic levels of insect repellent, which seems to repel mosquitoes to some degree, but invoke frenzies among local horseflies, which are almost more bothersome than the mosquitoes, the flies relentlessly swarming around my head. Moreover, the bathroom is a virtual mosquito hide-out, where they lay in wait to get their revenge on your attempts to evade them - when you are most vulnerable and have no choice but to expose those few unprotected patches on your body - which they will surely bite. When you’ve gotten over those nightmares, then there are the ants - all different colors and sizes - everywhere. On the floor, on the wall, on the bench, on the table, then you even notice one crawling out of your dinner. And yes, you keep eating it. At night come the moths. Harmless, perhaps, but hapless to continually fly into your face due to the proximity of the light (flashlight/candle) to your head (the power is out). Green-lit fireflies try to find a mate in the indiglo on my wristwatch. King-sized cockroaches rule the bathroom floor. And just when I thought I had gotten all the bugs out of my bed net, a spider hops out and makes me think again. I hope it at least eats the mosquitoes that are in here with me, too.

1 comment:

  1. In some strange way it is reassuring to hear that the biology of Grameen Bank branches and surroundings remains basically unchanged! Glad you are braving the elements in the service of learning deeply! --alex counts