There’s that really cool side of traveling, like where you see palm trees and rain forests, crazy cool architecture and exotic clothing, and then there’s the other side…
Last night one of the girls in our volunteer house, Katy, was mopping and picked up the rug by the door. A tarantula dropped out and started jumping up the wall. I don’t really know how big it was… I could see it, so I guess pretty big. Maybe about palm-sized. That is the third tarantula sighting in our house in the time I have been here, but my first!
The cockroaches are pretty large here as well, like half the size of my palm, and we have innumerable kinds of ants and beetles. Recently a couple of people have come down with Dengue, so I have been careful to wear bug repellent.
My roommates both have lice. They just found out yesterday and are trying desperately to get rid of them. They work in the toddler house with kids with lice crawling all over them all the time, so I am hoping that I am less likely to get it than them since I work in the baby house, and none of the babies have it that I know of. I am a little afraid I will get it from one of my roommates, but honestly, if it happens, it happens!
Tonight at dinner Katy asked Emily and I , the other volunteers at the baby house, if we normally ate the beans. We have been, of course. Beans, rice, tortillas and vegitable soup are the main diet here, excepting breakfast which is oatmeal. Katy went on to inform us that she has seen a couple of the girls pulling bugs out of the beans. Emily and I had both had rocks and dirt in ours, but we hadn’t noticed bugs. As we began to eat dinner, one of the girls spooned out her beans onto her tortilla and picked out several bugs before rolling it up into a Burrito.
They told me that they keep the beans in a large can in the kitchen and so bugs probably crawl in all the time. It was a little harder for me to stomach the beans tonight knowing that I was almost definitely eating a few insects. Of course, I have been eating them all along and have been fine and not even tasted them (thank goodness). Also, I’m sure I need the protein!
At the end of the meal, the girls on the opposite side of the table began to laugh uncontrollably. All of us at our end couldn’t figure out what was going on. They were laughing at a girl named Vanessa who is usually fairly quiet and really sweet. Finally, she turned to us, laughing a little too. She held out a bug that she had fished out of her bowl. She showed it to each of us in turn, and then without hesitation put it in her mouth and ate it. At this point, the Honduran girl in charge of the house was laughing so hard that she fell off her chair. I think the funniest thing was how unexpected it all was, and how Vanessa kept such a straight face as we all stared in disbelief and shock!:D
Poop, snott, bugs, and drewl are all common parts of our vocabulary at the baby house, and we often find ourselves discussing them even on break. There is a point where your mind gets desensitized from the fact that such things are normally considered gross and aren’t usual topics of conversation in the US.