Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stepstool of Doom and a Cinnamon Tree

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stepstool of Doom and a Cinnamon Tree

Dear Everyone,

My handkerchiefs molded. My headscarves molded too. I wore my red headscarf to church last week because it smelled only slightly musty and matched my dress. I carried my purple handkerchief even though it clashed because my red one had little black mold specks. Then Sunday night I found green and white fuzzy mold growing up the side of one of my skirts. It could be worse, I reminded myself. The Esalas returned from Accra to moldy beds. I dumped my moldy clothes on the bathroom floor to deal with in the morning (when Wasila Who Does Laundry comes).

Now, I know I shouldn’t just grab stuff up off the floor—and especially not laundry, and especially not off the bathroom floor. I know I should shake each piece out carefully before committing myself to holding it. Monday morning, I scooped up the whole pile of moldy clothes from my bathroom floor, and a small mouse dropped right out of my arms. Traumatic for both of us I’m sure. I thought he was a toad at first, and he also seemed somewhat stunned. Unfortunately for him, I recovered first. My bathroom stepstool was handy and seemed serviceable (nice surface area, you know?), so I pressed it into service as a bludgeon and beat Small Mouse to death. Again, traumatic for both of us. This is the first mouse I have killed without the aid of a mousetrap and/or Nathan. It is perhaps also the first creature I have killed that had an endoskeleton. Although I have come up with many suitable adjectives to relate this experience—descriptive writing makes you feel like you’re there, you know—I will spare you the details except to say that he did not go easily (it took four hits—far more than I’d anticipated) and he did not go cleanly. Fortunately, I have a lot of bleach.

This week’s Mouse Count, then, is 5: two caught in conventional traps and three I bludgeoned to death with my Stepstool of Doom (Small Mouse, of course, and then two more Tuesday evening).

This week’s Spider Count is 100. No kidding. It was 101, but I happened to catch sight of the spider living in my toilet and have deemed him too scary to live there. So I sprayed him with poison. Then yesterday I saw him still alive and sprayed him again. So we’ll see.

The last animal death I have to report is that of White Chicken, who made a very fine pot pie. I believe Black Chicken has been spared thus far because the few young she has left are still depending on her for maternal guidance. Oy. But I feel her time is near.

On a happier note, I’m pleased to report one need not be present to win. David Valerie’s Husband was able to extend my stay in Ghana by three months, at the end of which I will be traveling back to America for a happy visit there of approximately 2 months. Because of this happy development, the Esalas and I were delighted to travel from Accra back to Nasuan at a respectable but not overly taxing pace that included stops to rest and recreate.

We stopped at . . . a garden that has a name I forget, which I think of as the Zoo for Trees. This Tree Zoo had many trees from all over the world, though, naturally, they weren’t fenced. My favorite was the cinnamon tree because we got to eat some of the bark. It tasted like cinnamon, naturally, with a consistency of tree bark.

I think that might be all I have for today. Under two pages; shocking, I know. But it rains in Nasuan, so I’m writing this letter in Nalerigu with hopes of sending it out today. I have big plans to paint my little house this week (the inside), but hopefully that will not provide fodder for a more exciting email next time.

I think I’ve already hit on What I’ve Learned, but just in case I wasn’t clear, here’s a recap:

1. Cinnamon comes from trees.

2. One need not be present to win.

3. Mice take about four hits.

Suggested Prayer Topics are

1. Travel in general, as most people are usually going somewhere and the roads do not always handle rain sufficiently.

2. Health in general, especially Sarah in her pregnancy and everyone at risk for malaria (so, really, everyone).

3. And a cat.


1 comment:

Ruthie said...

Can I just tell you...

I've never met you in my life, but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your tidbits which are far from bitty. I'm on my way to Africa very soon, and if all turns out the way we (LBT and
I and hopefully the Lord) have planned, then I may see you in February on my way to Nigeria! Blessings!