Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yet another reason to hate Pinocchio.

Outside of the really fulfilling work in the hospital, life in Malakal is a bit difficult. I’ve lived in some tough circumstances before, so I am not a stranger to roughing it, but this is at a whole new level. We are only at the very start of the rainy season, but every morning we wake up to a city melted into a soupy mess. You literally cannot move anywhere without wading in mud up to your shins. The streets, sidewalks, lawns, everything, turns into a thick quagmire that takes hours to wade through and even longer to extricate from your footwear and clothes.

So it’s muddy, no big deal, right? The mud is annoying but tolerable. It’s the crickets I can’t handle. One day we came back from work and saw some crickets hanging outside our door. There was one in my shower. I didn’t want to kill him so I helped him out and got him to higher ground. Cute little fellow.

The next day, I went into my room and found it covered with crickets. Big crickets. The size of my pointer finger. They are thick and gnarly and their legs fly everywhere when you squash them. After a short killing spree, my room looked like a bomb went off. I crawled under my mosquito net, slightly satisfied with my work, and fell asleep.

2am. Something landed on my head. It actually made it through my net (false sense of safety). I freaked out, and threw on the lights, only to find the place (once again) covered in crickets. You have to be kidding me. Went through another killing spree.

The next day I asked my colleagues about their cricket relations, and while they had sighted a few in their room, they certainly weren’t dealing with the full frontal attack, and definitely not the air raids. Highly suspicious. They came to check out my living arrangements and we determined that the crickets were coming from the gaping hole in my ceiling, which unfortunately is aligned directly above my bed. Awesome. My colleague thought it would be a good idea to poke his head up there. He screamed and bounced off the bed. I have never seen a grown man freak out like that before! There was a whole nest of crickets, living right there in my roof. How tender.

He threw the mosquito net over his head and, like any stubborn man, tried to close off my ceiling for the better part of the hour. I did what most women would, and went to ask for a new room.


  1. You are hilarious. Oh my dear. Gui lonia a fu hindsay...are there any spiders? If so, I'm sorry I'm not there to attack them for you. I got some moths earlier this evening, but nothing compared to what you've been dealing with!

    I admire you. Because I really do hate insects.

  2. Hey, Betsy!
    It is Aunt Sue......I love your recounts of your experiences. Thank you for showing us the real world! I want to keep in touch with you. Please contact me via my E-mail: I would to hear from you. I think of you every single day and pray for yourpasitive and rewarding experience. Take great care and God bless. Aunt Sue.