Friday, June 24, 2011

Triplets, and I Missed ‘Em

Three new lambs at our house, shortly after birth
When I got home today, I discovered I’d just missed an exciting event: the birth of triplet lambs. Apparently, they were a bit tangled up, so the vet was called in. In any case, they’re doing fine. They were still a bit wobbly on their feet when I got home and snapped this picture.


Can't Stop Itchin' 'Em

I know the picture's blurry, but I think you can still make out
the constellation of bites on my forearm.
The critter that PCVs worry most about here is scorpions. They have a mythical virulence. But you learn to check your shoes before you put them on and shake out loose clothing or towels before using them. I have yet to see a scorpion.

Flies abound, but they don’t seem as big or bad as the ones in the U.S. I’ve made my peace with the flies.

But there is another bug that just appeared that plagues me. Last week I was at a regional meeting. A PCV from way up in the mountains showed up with bites all over his arms. “What is it?” we asked. He said he didn’t know, but he was getting bit all over his arms and legs. Just to make him feel better, we began to speculate: Was it bedbugs? Fleas? Lice?

Then I came home. And suddenly I was getting bit, too: arms, legs, ears. I had no idea what was after me, but the bites sure do itch. My host mom occasionally slapped my hands away while I was scratching, as if I were a child. But that didn’t help. What I’ve discovered – to paraphrase Shakespeare – is that a noseeum by any other name (baa’ut, in this case) still itches the same. It’s maddening. I asked my host family how long they stick around. “All summer!” they said.

So I went into Kalaa today to the pharmacy in search of 2 things: some anti-itch preparation, which I found, and insect repellent, which I also found and which has the wonderful name, Repulsiya – sounds like a spell right out of Harry Potter. We’ll see. If it fails, my only hope, I guess, is to make peace with these critters, too. What do you think are the chances of that?


Other News

Me, on the front steps of my new house.
I got my “Autorisation” this week so that I can work in the schools here. That’s another one of the bureaucratic hurdles out of the way. Now I can focus on creating lesson plans during the summer to get ready for the fall school year.

But the big news is that Peace Corps finally approved the house I found. We went through it last Saturday and made a punch list of things that needed to be fixed. Top on the list? Screens! Next on the list: fix the front step. I will gain access to it on the 26th and move in on July 1. I’ll tell you more about it and show pictures soon.

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