Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bugs of many varieties, and fires

As you can tell from this post title, we’ve had a few challenges of late. There has been a serious case of the flu going around--due in part, it would seem, to the erratic fluctuation in our temperatures. We had a few days in a row of over +40C weather last week, then overnight cooler weather moved in and sent our daytime high’s plummeting to the low +20’s. This shift is not terribly noteworthy compared to other places with more drastic changes, I realize, and it would be even less of a deal here if we had better climactic control in our work and home environments. But with limited electricity and no air cond’s or heaters, we don’t. Therefore, we suffer the extremes. And with a high degree of predictability, the flu strikes when our thermometer's mercury column starts bouncing around. Our prayer requests during daily devotions went something like this one day last week:
“Pray for me, I have a cough and chest pain.”
“Me too, and I have headache.”
“I’m very congested, and coughing, and so are my kids at home.”
“I have a headache as well, and am coughing.”

Needless to say, we’ve gone through a tremendous amount of Tylenol (paracetamol) lately. And even though the sudden cooler temperatures may have facilitated the spread of the flu, we did rather enjoy a break from the oven-like heat for a few days. Today, my thermometer outside reads +39C, so I guess it’s back into the oven again.

These hotter days and nights have ushered in another type of bug as well, or shall I say, a large variety and quantity of other types of bugs! That’s what defines our spring. First, there are the fires. Then, the weather heats up and that seems to beckon every imaginable and unimaginable bug out of hibernation. Some of the bugs are interesting, while others are downright hideous.
This is not a's a stick bug that Dwight brought inside the other night to show me. When he tried to pick him up to put him outside again, the bug promptly flipped over on his back (as shown here in the picture), stiffened up and played dead. We had a good laugh over that one. Oh, suuuuure you’re dead! Stiff too:) We’re always fascinated by stick bugs. Other bugs, well, not so much.

This, is an annoying bug. Obviously that’s not his official name, but he and his weird relatives are far too numerous for my liking. They’re all attracted to light, which means that at night they fly at our window panes, bang into them and can make a fair bit of noise. (I try to check every day and make sure our screens are shut as tight as possible to help keep these unwelcome guests out.) If they do get inside, which is often the case, they fly and land willy-nilly everywhere and in our food or our hair. The ones that prefer higher flying go “bump, bump, bump” against the ceiling until they finally fall from exhaustion. In the morning, the floors always look like a war zone. And this season has only just begun. It will get worse. Much worse.

And speaking of bugs, remember the computer virus I blogged about not long ago?
This is the very computer whose inside parts I displayed on this blog for the whole world to see. It was a very sick machine at the time, barely operational, but I’m happy to say that it is now is back up and running. Well, there are still some minor issues with internet connectivity (very frustrating especially for Kim), but otherwise it’s back and providing a vital service as Kim works on preparing year-end report cards for students at the mission school.
I took this picture of the sun setting the other afternoon (my sunset shots must now number in the hundreds), but I cropped this one so you could see the spire of smoke to the left. This is a bush fire. Although our boundaries were declared to be “fire hazard free” (since they’ve all been burned clear), it seems that’s not quite the case. There’s no accounting for those who actually cross over the boundary and light a match to the dry grass within. Why would someone do that? We’re not sure, but witnesses say the local “homem maluco” (crazy man) is to blame. He does strange things from time to time. Today he lit a fire near the cattle pen, so we had to pull staff from their respective jobs to go fire fighting during the hottest part of the day. This doesn’t make for high productivity, but then, that’s how things go some days.

Rick and Raimundo returning with drinking water to the site of the fire where staff beat out the flames over their lunch hour.
Well, I better run for now. This post is quite lengthy. And besides, I better make sure all my screens are closed tight!

PS: For those who have long awaited this shot…the trusses are finally up!


Penny said...

I really love your bug photos. I've been contemplating how to write a missions lesson focusing on your bugs but have yet to figure out how the bugs will point the kids to God and interest them in missions. Any ideas?? I'm totally serious! Hope you're having a wonderful day, Penny

Russoft said...

cool stuff mom.

A cold went around the University last week and the week before. Jon was coughing and sneezing all over the place. I got away scott free -- no cold!

Amanda said...

wow, the house is looking great! the stick bug thing made me laugh all over again.. haha