We’ve now been here for two weeks, and a couple of things have happened. Any adjustment is difficult, but ours has been made a bit more so by a series of misfortunes visited upon us. You could call it bad luck. I call it jungle living.
It’s the rainy season here, but as no one has tired of telling us, ‘it’s not usually this rainy.’ This biblical deluge is special, just for us. Yesterday morning brought the first glimpse of sky, albeit small, since we arrived. My mother deemed this event text-worthy: ‘Is that blue sky I see?’ She’s a make-lemonade person.
All the mud has made our trips to the hospital a real adventure! I would feel intrepid if I could stop feeling moldy. Baby A has had a strange, panic-inducing virus for a week which finally resulted in a blood test to rule out infection and parasites. The doctors and lab technicians were lovely, patient, and knowledgeable, and nothing lifts the spirits like cheap drugs. I also enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere; during our results consultation, a large dog popped in to say hello. He wasn’t a stray because he had a collar, but no one seemed to know to whom he belonged or from whence he came. So he wandered unimpeded towards gynecology, no doubt to peep.
While bad weather and poor health are not unique to Central America, the zompopo is. What is the zompopo? Why, it is a giant flying ant. And it has made its home in my skirt.
Here is a picture of one:
In the early morning hours a few days ago, I grabbed a bamboo cotton skirt off the desk in our bedroom and shook it out. A mushroom cloud of wing’ed hell emerged. Giant ants sprayed onto the floor and bed, and my hands, legs, and face. Their queen emerged on horseback (according to Wikipedia, for her ‘nuptial flight’ – horrible) and foretold of death and destruction as her minions scattered in all directions. It was some seriously Old Testament shit. I had no choice to but to empty a can of Raid into our bedroom. In such a situation, poison > infestation. I learned that insect mass death appeals to me, but, oh, the writhing… They haven’t been seen since, so either the toxins are still circulating or they only liked the material of that particular skirt, which I quickly shoved into a trash bag with ant corpses still clinging to it. I don’t know if bamboo is in their diet because I’m not an antomologist, but it’s not worth the risk. A valuable lesson was learned that day: one must inspect before dressing in the land of primordial beasties.
Here’s a close-up:
Also, G is battling a dodgy tummy and there was another earthquake this morning. This time I was awake, craddling our whimpering dachshund, and was thus able to experience the full range of earthquake-attendant emotions.
This afternoon I went grocery shopping. I am a rock.
Plague. Flood. Illness. Natural disaster. Fortunately, tomorrow we head across the lake to the Hotel Atitlán and comparative luxury. The gardens are spectacular, so expect photos if there is a break in the rain. Otherwise, expect one of me in a bathrobe.