Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Bug's Life

No shortage of bugs here. Back home we don’t tolerate any bugs in our lives. If we find one in our home we must drive it from existence. We will go to all ends of the earth to get rid of the ant hill that’s beginning to form outside the walls of our house. Here in Ghana, ants are considered clean bugs. You’d rather have an ant than some of the other critters that walk the halls. Sure, some bite, but for the most part, they are just a bunch of busy little animals going about their own business.

Here people just look at bugs as something that you coexist with. You don’t eradicate the species from your home because it would never be possible. The mosquitoes take their turns. The one’s carrying yellow fever fly around during the day and the ones carrying malaria fly around at night. Personally, I think they overlap a bit from what I’ve seen going on here.

Kathleen and I sat down for a nice breakfast at a resort here in Ghana. It was a 3’ square table. We sat beside each other in one adjacent corner and left the far two sides open. After sitting for a minute we realized we were not alone. There were about 100 little spider or mite type things running around in crazy circles in the far corner, probably lapping up something sweet from the night before. So we asked the waiter to take care of our little problem and all he did was take a paper napkin and swipe it across the table and said, “There you go.” We were happy. But then over a period of about 5 minutes, one by one they started showing up and before long there was a full chorus of the little guys again. We decided they needed to eat too, so we each kept to our corner and they to theirs and we all had a good breakfast.

We moved around a lot from night to night and came back to one place where I noticed three little sawdust piles neatly lined up under the runner on the bed frame. I didn’t have a clue but Kathleen thought they were termites. Wes sided with her, so we had termites gnawing on our bed while we were gone. Most of the bed frames are made of mahogany here. Termites love mahogany. At another place, I’m laying in bed at night with my head on my pillow, and I hear something digging almost like a little minnie power drill. I lift up my head and the sound goes away. I press my head down again and I can hear it again. I press down harder into my pillow and the sound is just resonating now. Cool. Termites!

When you wake up in the morning you get to see all the bugs you killed during the night. So you either swatted in your sleep, or just rolled over on them and squished them in the process. And then of course, when you go to bed at night you want to make sure the bed is at least starting clean. You lift up the sheet and sweep out the dead bugs from the day along with the odd live bug before you crawl under the sheets. For the most part, you just pretend they are not there.

We had it pretty nice here as far as bugs goes. I’ve hear worst stories from others that have visited Africa.


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