Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cockroaches, Dogs, and Scorpions, Oh My!

As you can tell from the title of this blog entry, I have come in contact with several animalitos in our house. First of all, we have a dog named Muñeco here. He came with the school and is supposed to be our guard dog. However, he is extremely friendly and we have taught him how to sit, shake, and fetch a frisbee. I really like to play with him and give him love. Who ever thought I’d be a dog person? Here’s a picture of him:
I am not sure if I mentioned the set up of our house in a previos post but I share a bathroom with one of my community mates, Bianca. This bathroom is notorious for having many critters - cockroaches being the most prevalent. Now, when I say cockroaches, I am not talking about the tiny little things that some people have in their houses in the US. These are some decently sized bugs! To show their size, this is a picture of one next to a US quarter:

In our house, we strive to be people of peace and non-violence. Therefore, we have adopted the philosophy of not killing or harming anything that cannot hurt us. For me personally, it has helped me remember how every living thing has a role in this world and how it is better to live alongside all sorts of different animals, than it is to bring them harm.

And then there’s the scorpions…

I have an immense fear of scorpions. Maybe it is rooted in horror stories or from movies I have seen, I’m not sure. While their sting does not contain deadly poison, I have heard that it causes a great deal of pain and numbness, which I would like to avoid. Needless to say, every now and then Bianca and I find a “friend” in our bathroom. Just last night, we found this one:

When I was out in El Largatillo, the community where we went for language school, I was living with a host familia and my brother and I were talking one night. He was sitting across from me and I was standing, leaning against the door to my bedroom. All of a sudden, my brother got really animated and kept telling me to move. He jumped up and came over to where I was standing, just as I saw something slide under my door. He quickly went in and killed this scorpion:

Afterwards, he told me how close it had been to my foot, only about an inch away! My heart was racing for awhile after that!
One of my very first experiences seeing a cockroach here was sometime during the first couple of weeks I was here. I was already paranoid because one of the volunteers who left in December kept telling me stories about finding them in the house. So, one morning I walked out of my bedroom and as I was closing the door, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. On the doorframe, near the hinge, was a scorpion with a cockroach in its mouth!! That was fun to experience first thing in the morning! Oh, and of course I took a picture of it.

Despite all the critters, I love being here. I have finally started going to work, although it’s just teacher meetings right now. I will write more about that next time.
Take care and know I am sending you my love.