The bugs here have been quite an adventure. I am getting used to them, but last week and my first week here there were a number of critter-led escapades that probably took 10 years off my life. No joke.
So the cockroaches have taken the most getting used to, because they are huge and nasty and fast and brown and crunchy and won't die. Even after getting stomped on multiple times. Going back to our rooms and turning on the light is always a cringe-worthy activity because you never know if a cockroach (or a family) is in the middle of your floor, and since I am always barefoot that is kind of frightening. And you just have to hope they aren't clinging to the door as you open it because since it is dark, you will have no idea until the light is on and you realize your face was mere inches away... AHHHH (and definitely happened). So Week 1, I was getting some stuff off the windowsill by my and Aimee's bunk, and suddenly a cockroach ran along the top bunk board about 3 inches from my head!!! It moved so fast and was so nasty that without even thinking I started screaming! According to my roommates, I screamed bloody murder and was shaking and they all ran over and girls down the hall came running to see what was up. I just moved aside and Aimee took a shoe at it which involved trying to find it (it ran under the top bunk.. mine!!), scrape it off onto the floor, flick it with a broom out the door (lots of screaming), and then bash it with a tennis shoe at least 6 times till it stops twitching. And then flick it even further down the porch so we won't walk on it with our bare feet in the dark sometime. Ew. But as life goes, they are becoming a normal occurrence. Not too normal, but definitely a few a week (that we see. I don't even want to know what we don't see).
A few days after the cockroach scare of my life, our room got a another wonderful surprise: ANTS. And not just any ants, fire ants that are really tiny and thus super hard to kill. They infested the windowsill and come out of the floor behind me and Aimee's bunk (joy. Thank goodness I am on the top), and then crawl across the wall to our table (desk) and crawl around all of our stuff there. And my laptop... last week they completely took over and were crawling out of the keys and up the screen and for the whole week I was killing them and watching them continually crawl out of the keyboard. The only solution for the room (literally all of the girls rooms got them) was to spray them with Lysol or bleach, which kills them instantly and for those who are disgusted and lazy (that would be us), just leave the dead ants stuck to the wall after you spray. Sorry if that was a gross description. But it's true, and we only learned later that the pheromones of the dead ones attract more, hence why we kept having the problem. Some girls a couple rooms down had a MASSIVE infestation and they had a mass ant grave and seriously killed and cleaned them all. Last weekend we finally cleaned up the mess and bleached excessively, so we only have sporadic (ok still regular) ants now. Just not quite in the same quantities as before.
Other common sights: lizards. Hermit crabs trying to crawl in the rooms. Gnat armies crawling on our sheets (after this one I decided to at least TRY to tuck in my mosquito netting, which doesn't ever stay around my bunk. At least it looks somewhat protective). Spiders (and spider bites). I just about walked into a hairy spider the other night as I was Skyping Kyla and just about had a heart attack. Ahhk.
So on a slightly related topic.. injuries... the number is growing. I didn't notice bug bites for the first 2 weeks, but now they are out in full force. I have quite a few bites, and one on my face which is not fun. Aimee has a spider bite that is super hot to touch and that's not fun. Charlie has some skin disease that after a week the doctor had to come out to look at, and now he has serious medicine for it: it started as a rash-ish, and then was open scabs, and now he can't really be outside (because of the medicine). He has to wear full length rash guards and today when we were practicing IDing in the field for our coral test on Thursday, he started feeling dizzy and had to go back to the boat. So that's not too fun. They say another week and he might be better. Also, on Friday nights one of the professors takes students out to help with his elasmobranch (shark) research, which consists of going out in the boat from 7 to midnight-ish and catching sharks and then doing some research/tagging? on them. Not exactly sure, I'm going out this Friday so I will know for sure! Anyway, last week one girl was standing in the water and a jellyfish wrapped around/between her legs and so she had to be driven back early and had white burn lines around her thighs where the tentacles were. Hers was pretty bad, but when the group came back at the end of the night someone else had gotten stung as well! By the next day the bandages were off and it seemed to have mostly healed (no huge scars.. just little scratches). We're keeping the student affairs manager busy with the first aid!
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.