A year and a half of living the Peace Corps life has not made me as tough as some of you might like to think. Yes, I have become more patient and grown up a lot during this time but there are a couple things that I have yet to overcome.
First – going to the pit toilet after dark. I know it’s the same, non-threatening place as it was in the daylight but there is something ominous about the 30 feet walk with just my headlamp to light the way. Sometimes the walk is fine but right now it is mealie meal season and those 6 foot stalks really are creepy. They rustle together and make me think of the scary movie ‘Children of the Corn’ – and I’ve never even seen it! The toilet structure is fine and even the flies are gone at night but it still has creepy shadows, weird night bugs making noise right outside, not to mention the deep dark pit beneath me. Some nights I’m completely creeped out and will actually run back. Annah caught me once and so I had to confess to her that the toilet scares me. She laughed with me but I think there’s a reason why I never see her going out there after dark.
Second – bugs. I can live peacefully with bugs if they know what their boundaries are but here, they do not. The first year was fine; my room seemed to be the safe haven away from all the nasty little critters. This year is a different story. Cockroaches have invaded and for some reason like to live around the food, which is disgusting. When I turn the oven on all the little shits run out causing me to scream a bit, break out the Doom Deadly Killing Action and strategically spray so I don’t end up poisoning my food. The worst is when I see nasty bugs crawl under my bed. That will keep me up for hours until I’m sure the threat is subdued with more Doom sprayed all around the edges and no recent sightings. Tonight I saw this disgusting thing with lots of legs come out from under my bed moving at warp speed. Thanks to my cat like reflexes I stomped on the bug before he could do any serious damage. When I picked my foot up and saw the remains, this shiver of disgust went down my spine. What if that thing had crawled into bed with me? No telling what he would have done!
I’m ok with spiders and the lizard that has now taken up residence in my room. They eat the bugs and that makes me feel a bit better. But if they come near my bed, there is no guarantee of their safety.
There is still hope that I can make some progress before I leave – 7 months and I try everyday to be brave because it never fails that I have to use the toilet after dark and the bugs don’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. Wish me luck.