Stevie and the Spiders


I am not afraid of the lizards in Rwanda but what does freak me out is what I like to call the “surprise factor.” I have no problem with a lizard on my wall but when it jumps out of my shoe or purse I tend to be less calm when handling the situation. I have asked Stevie, the lizard who lives in my room, to stay out of my bags and off my bed. So far he appears to understand our agreement.


Many of the spiders in my house (I have killed 17 in 3 days) have not respected the rules of my animal agreement and have sadly lost their lives as a result of this breech of trust. I also have a policy that if the spider has joints in its legs (the kind that make that disgusting crunch sound when you squish them) then they simply cannot stay in my house even if they are obeying my proximity rules. Maybe in the future I will have the courage to implement a more humane evacuation system for this type of spider (perhaps some type of catch and release program) but for the moment my shoe has been working pretty well.


I have yet to have problems with mice or other rodent type creatures but I have accumulated an obscene amount of mosquito bites. Besides the extreme annoyance of constant itching I am somewhat worried about malaria since I have so many bites so I am very diligent about taking my Mefloquine. Since I take my Mefloquine pill every Friday night my weekends are filled with crazy dreams and sometimes a small increase in irrational anxiety (for example a small panic attack due to the inability to locate a pen.) Our PC doctor told us that a former volunteer once described Mefloquine as “a free trip to the movies each night” since the dreams are so incredibly vivid and I have found this to be very true. This is a really fun experience when the dreams are happy but incredibly stressful with scary dreams. After two years of dreaming with Mefloquine sleeping back home will be rather boring!

Hope that everyone back home is enjoying the Christmas season- I am sad to miss my first Colorado Christmas ever but am excited to experience a traditional Rwandan Christmas!




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