Saturday, June 25, 2016

Crazy creatures in the "bathroom"

Living in the village in Malawi, I actually don't have a bathroom. I have an outdoor latrine and an outdoor bathing area. They are on different sides of the yard from each other. Both structures are made of brick with a tin roof.

Everytime I go to use the bafa (that's Chichewa for bathing area), I do a quick snake check now. That's because a few months ago when I went to go take my bucket bath, I heard a weird noise. But I hear lots of weird noises in there, so I wasn't too worried. Until I saw something kinda big moving in the corner. After retrieving my flashlight and shining it into the corner, I found the source of the noise-- a snake, weaving back and forth, with it's hood out like a cobra! I told my neighbors, and they promptly assembled a crowd of 20 and got their machetes to kill it. They're good like that. The kids had a grand old time putting it's body on a stick and scaring each other with it.

And that's not the only thing I have seen in the bafa. Over these past two years, I have seen all all of the following in the chim (latrine), bafa or both, at one time or another:

cobra-looking snake
cave cricket

army ants
flat spiders
blister beetles
giant snails
large black millipedes
probably over a dozen different species of ants
giant cockroaches

carpenter beetles
at least five different species of flies

the face of one of the little neighbor boys, through the needlessly large window in the bafa, once he realized I was in there (this only happened once, right after I moved in)

Try peeing with this thing staring at you. It's a blister beetle. Locally they call it something in Chichewa that translates as "The Urinator" because it pees on you and causes blisters to form on the skin

I am not going to miss sharing my "bathroom" with flora and fauna, that's for sure. Indoor plumbing was definitely one of humanity's more convenient inventions. But a latrine is pretty nice to have in a drought.

No comments:

Post a Comment