Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Critters of India

On arrival, we got settled into our new home, started unpacking and promptly found a little friend in the bathroom. Cohen named him Hopper.  He stayed with us for about four days, always hanging out on the toilet tank and then one afternoon, Cohen came and got me saying, "There's a frog that got out of the bathroom." He pointed to the leg of a kitchen chair and I saw my opportunity. I grabbed the chair, took it outside and flung Hopper as far as I could. ; ). 

We also have many geckos that live with us. They vary in size, but the biggest ones are about 4 inches long. They really gross me out when I see them skittering across the walls. Luckily they normally stay in the window wells or behind furniture. Once, there was a gecko on our bed.  Ick! But thank goodness that rarely happens.

Another thing that has only happened once, and hopefully will never happen again, is a scorpion being in our house! One evening while I was over at the Volunteer Hostel, Liberty found a scorpion behind her violin case. Lon was called in and he killed it, but that really frieked me out!i did not expect to ever see one in our house.

One day Avery caught this tiny little gecko in her hands. If they were all this little, they really wouldn't bother me. It is the big ones I find repulsive.  Most of them are about four inches long and just yesterday morning, there was one on the shelf when I went to grab my toothbrush. I screamed as it skittered behind the shelving unit. Yuck. I don't think I will ever really get used to them, especially when they startle me.

This little guy is almost cute...

On our third day, we had a monkey hanging out in the mango tree right by our house. Then one time when Lon and I came back from being at the school, he was sitting on our steps enjoying some leftover banana from our garbage. He just stared at us and when we tried to shoo him away, he simply raised his eyebrows a little. 

As we stood there waiting for him to move, we thought he bore an uncanny resemblance to George W. Bush....just sayin'.

We also have ducks and kittens that live in our courtyard. They completely avoid us and quickly move off the path when they see us coming.

This is our courtyard that also has a swing....

There are also two dogs that live on campus...Manikum and Chief. We aren't allowed to pet them, but you can often find Chief curled up on the floor of the administrative office. And one day, Lon and I went out for a run on the road heading south towards the next village and Manikum decided to join us. 

The monsoon season is just beginning and we are really noticing an increase in the number of little bugs and beetles in our house and particularly at our door at night when our outdoor light is on. We are beginning a nightly ritual where I sweep up the bug carcasses and Camry stands nearby to step on any live ones. If you had told me that I would get used to the constant presence of bugs and creatures in my house, I would have thought you were crazy, but let me tell you....the jungle always wins. 

It would take constant vigilant effort to keep our house completely bug free and I just don't have the time. But the up side is that the jungle teaches you to not procrastinate. If you make a peanut butter and honey sandwich and don't completely rinse the knife, but instead leave it sitting on the counter (which my kids did all the time in the U.S.) within less than five minutes, the counter and knife will be swarming with ants...even if there were no ants visible when you started. I am happy to say that we are all getting better at this. We are learning to clean up EVERY LAST CRUMB because if we don't, they will come. You also have to clean up every last bug that you kill, because if not, within five or ten minutes the ants will be swarming and trying to carry it off. 

I know it sounds crazy, but it is life here...and we are learning to live it. One day and a couple hundred bugs at a time!

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