Cloudy with a chance of Termites
So as of late the rains have begun. We had heard tales of the rainy season while still in training and I must say they haven’t quite yet lived up to the hype in the sense they were talked about, however they are suppose to continue on until march or April so I have a feeling that they will. The one thing that they didn’t tell us about the rainy season, although now thinking about it, it is pretty self-explanatory, is the very fast explosion of and super sized quality of life. In every way; plants, foods, and bugs. I have never seen bigger bugs in my life, sometimes, like when you are passing by them quickly on your bike they are really cool; however other times, like when sitting by yourself in your hut at night, extremely scary! On this fine Saturday night I had just finished up a long but great day, I had gone on a 65km bike ride that day, made a good dinner, and was just sitting down to eat it when I started hearing light thuds. I looked around, thinking that it was rain at first, but realized that sound wasn’t coming from outside so it could not be rain. I started to feel things bounce off me once in a while as well. It was dark, I had a candle lit but you can’t see too much outside of its ring of light, so I picked it up and began to look around for the leak or whatever was falling from my ceiling. It was soon discovered that hundreds of millions of termites were hatching in my thatched, grass, roof and dropping to the floor. For a little over the next two hours I was battling these small and disgusting bugs which were dropping from everywhere, including onto/into my head/hair. Needless to say this turned into what a friend and I joking call a ‘bi-polar’ Peace Corps day. Where you are on cloud 9, life couldn’t be better, and then a small bump in the rails totally derails you into complete devastation. Lets just say there are a lot of emotions going on here daily. The next morning I woke up to new lines of termite tunnels running up most of my walls; including one that started where my pillow ended. Yes, one had landed in my hair and crawled out and started a tunnel. Next to my pillow. I was a very close to throwing up. I battled the termites for the next month, trying to explain to my family on the compound the extent in which my termite problem had gotten. No one thought it was a big deal, as my house was quickly being taken over and my walls and starting to build on the floor. It is not a fun feeling to not feel comfortable or welcome in your own home. It makes one a bit miserable actually. However after phone calls, research, and my host parents coming into my home things started to turn around. And now I have just the imprints and holes in my walls left from the termites. However I have to keep it up with chemicals and poisons to make sure they don’t come back because they and very disgusting as well as persistent.
In more resent news. I have just gotten over malaria, which stunk. But as with most thing that cause pain as soon as you start feeling better, you seem to begin forgetting the pain. But it was painful and I will be using much more bug spray than I was before! Thank you to all of those who have sent emails, or facebook messages of support. It was really, really appreciated, because it was tough being sick by yourself. But on to happier topics I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Nkhata Bay, Malawi on lake Malawi, google it if you like, with friends here in Zambia. I am very, very excited and will be leaving next week. Also Friday marks the end of my community entry, which means that I will be able to leave my district, mine being Mkushi. I will also be able to start working! Holding meetings, programs, and workshops. This is a great step and a fun time filled with opportunity.