A moment in my life: Cockroaches

So many entertaining things happen in my life in Swaziland. These are the moments I will want to remember because they make me laugh, and they show insight into my daily routine. These moments are often hard to photograph and usually last only a minute or two. I will start sharing them with you in this occasional series. 
Insects really like my hut. 

I do not understand how my family of flies lived through my recent, extended absence, but they did. 

There are plenty of ants that enjoy visiting to eat crumbs I did not know were on the ground. 

The most annoying, though, are the cockroaches. They are not frequent daytime visitors. But they do like my company at night. I can’t really say how many visit at this time of day because I am asleep. 

Except for the night one was crawling on me. 

Yes, you read that right. I woke up to feeling something crawling on me, and it was a cockroach. 

I thrashed in my sheets, trying to escape the insect. I nearly tore down my bed net, trying to get out of bed. 

I took a few deep breathes and found my headlamp and glasses. I collected my broom and a flip flop. 

I found the cockroach cowering in my bed. It took two tries to remove it, but I finally caught it with a cup and a piece of paper. Usually I let my insect intruders live, but not this time. I let out a nice whack with my flip flop and returned to bed. 

Of course, it took two hours to calm down enough to fall asleep. 

I had run out of data, as well, so I couldn’t let anyone know what was happening. Fortunately, I woke that morning to a gift of data from one of my friends checking in on me, since he hadn’t heard from me for 12+ hours. (Thanks, Deacon!)

His message said: Either you ran out of data or the insects finally got you. 

I was able to respond with: Both! I woke up to a cockroach crawling on me. 

Finally, I returned home this week to four dead cockroaches covered in ants. From now on, I am tucking in my bed net and hope that the cockroach parties in my hut stay out of my bed. 

This entry was posted in A moment in my life, Africa, Peace Corps, Swaziland and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A moment in my life: Cockroaches

  1. Jenny says:

    Yikes! I don’t think I would have been that calm dealing with so many different insects. You’re a trooper, Alison.

  2. Nancy says:

    I had a cockroach war in Peace Corps Chad. I had a Peace Corps roommate who didn’t want to use chemical poisons. It took a while, but I won. The turning tide was when I woke up in the middle of the night with a cockroach on my face. The next day we found their lair, blocked the exit and sprayed away. “Winning the war” meant that I still had plenty of cockroaches but in manageable numbers. I took great delight in, after that, each night flipping an errant cockroach onto his back and letting the ants carry him away, piece by piece. It amazes me how Peace Corps stories can remain so similar over the decades. Keep up the good work — it is worth it all. Proud of you.

  3. Nicole says:

    Eesh!! I’m so sorry Sisi. I came home to a bug graveyard. I hate the bugs here

  4. Nicole says:

    Eesh I hate the bugs here. I came home to a bug graveyard. Be safe!

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