Where's that Mosquito Net?

>> Thursday, October 16, 2008

In our time in Nicaragua, we have met all sorts of creatures of various sizes . But now to our list of lizards, spiders, chickens, tarantulas, beetles, ants, cockroaches, and mice, we have a new addition: a big scorpion. Sunday night we were all getting ready to go to sleep when Dora seemed particularly interested in something back by the bedroom door. Paul saw it first and, fortunately, pulled Dora away and stuck her on the bed for safety. We didn't really know the best way to kill and dispose of a scorpion, but we feel no shame in saying we took the coward's way out: we used a heck of a lot of Raid on that thing. Though Raid is designed for cockroaches and flies, we were pleased to find out that it works just as well on scorpions. We also learned that scorpions' tails uncurl when they die.

This was another creature that we wanted to kill first and photograph later, so this is it once it was already dead (its tail isn't curled anymore). We also tossed a córdoba down to help judge the size... we realize it's less than ideal because most people don't know how big a cord is, but it's about the size of a quarter.

We had hoped that by moving into a different house, all the animals whose family members have perished by our hand would be unable to track us down to get revenge; unfortunately, we seem to make small yet venomous enemies everywhere we go.


The Streets are Full II

We have been dreading October since November 1st of last year... last year it rained heavily just about every day the entire month. We missed school and wrote letters in protest, and we've been anxious about October since then, particularly since we now have a dog that doesn't take rain days from needing to go outside to use the bathroom.

Now that the month is more than half over, I feel comfortable saying that this October hasn't been as bad. Last year was a particularly bad year because Hurricane Felix seems to have hovered near Nicaragua for the whole month; this year it still rains just about every day, but it's been mostly limited to a few hours in the afternoon or raining during the night. Even though it hasn't been as bad, though, doesn't mean we're not going to complain...

Now since we've moved to a different part of town, even a relatively small amount of rain can cause quite a bit of disaster. On this side of town, Masaya slopes downward with all the water running to the Laguna de Masaya... we live two blocks from the lagoon, so quite a bit of water has accumulated by the time it gets to us: This picture is from last Sunday. I went to a counterpart's house to plan for this week's classes and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Just as we were finishing our plans, the sky turned a dark, menacing gray and I decided that it was time for me to leave. I hopped on Paul's bike to come home just as it started to sprinkle, pedaled as fast as my little legs would go, and arrived home about 5 minutes later; by that time, it was already a downpour the likes of which I've only seen a couple of times in Missouri. I unlocked the gate, brought the bike in, and grabbed the camera to take a picture: this was what our street looked like probably 10 minutes after the first raindrop fell. You can see the tiny stripe of street that remains unsubmerged, but otherwise the water comes up to the sidewalks.

A few blocks "up" from our house, there's a big interestion (with a stoplight!) that is hands down the worst area for flooding that I've ever seen. Two weeks ago I was walking from school to a pharmacy near our house to get my antibiotics for my bacterial infection (I'm all better now!). It started sprinkling as I was walking, and I very foolishly decided to stop in to my favorite store "Everything for a Dollar, More or Less" to see if they had any new dog toys for Dora. When I walked out of the store a few minutes later, the one intersection that stood between me and the pharmacy was completely flooded with water up onto the sidewalks and entering the buildings that lacked a high step up. I considered rolling up my pant legs and fording the river, but a man told me it was too dangerous and that the water would drain soon. The "Todo por un Dollar, Mas o Menos" people shepherded me back inside the store to wait out the rain, and I ended up spending an hour and 15 minutes sitting cross-legged on the floor waiting for the rain to slow enough that cars and buses were willing to drive across the intersection.

I finally got home at 4:45 and my community class begins at 5:00 across town near where we used to live. Last year Paul and I rolled our eyes at classes being cancelled due to the rain, but I have a confession to make: I cancelled class, changed into dry clothes, and had some hot chocolate while I spent the evening watching t.v.

We haven't had any official unofficial rain days at our schools yet, but if that day comes, I'll gladly sacrifice my moral high ground in order to stay high and dry myself.


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