Friday, September 23, 2011

Creepy Crawlers

September 11th, 2011

Here in Swaziland I hadn’t encountered anything strange or unusual in the creepy crawler department.  That was until yesterday. 

To start my day I was taking down one of my lihiya that I am currently using as curtains.  As I was folding it up something flew out and scurried across the floor and around my bed.  I chased after it to see what it was and found the largest spider I have ever seen.  It was the size of my palm, with thick long legs.  It tired to seek refuge under my bed.  Wishing I could just leave and deal with it later I just stood in fear for a few minutes.  Then my adrenaline kicked in and I quickly shoved my bed over and trapped it under a bowl.  I then ran to my Babe (host dad) and made him come and kill it.  He brought a mop with and scooted it outside and them pounded it to death with the end of the mop handle.  He said it was a good thing we killed it, he thinks its poisonous.  Well great.  But he assumed it came in through the window seeking a cooler place to hide from the scorching African sun.  So just don’t leave my windows open was his suggestion.  I am going to makeshift some screens out of old mosquito nets so I wont literally bake in my tin roof hut once it gets above 100°F.

To end my night, I was sitting enjoying the setting sun with some of the men and boys on my homestead.  One got up rapidly and stomped on something.  He said it was a “wife snake,” an ncobe umfati, and it needed to be killed because it was poisonous and would kill you by the end of the day if bitten.  Awesome… not.  I haven’t quite figured out what a wife’s snake is as it was small and unidentifiable once squished.  They couldn’t explain to me better then a wife’s snake as to what it was.  I assured them I was going to die here in Africa and they just laughed and said no poisonous things are not what kill people here.  They are probably right on that one.  I don’t know if that should comfort me or if it’s a sad reminder of the great effect of HIV/AIDS here.

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