Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Roof, Bug Stories, Other News and A Snake

I’m starting this post with a picture of the roof on our house because it is SUCH a momentous occasion! We were just getting the foundation walls up on this site about year ago, so although progress hasn’t been lightning-fast (life’s just too busy with the other top 20 work priorities), it’s nice to see things coming together. We here all agree…NOW it feels like a house! In fact, I’m tempted to have a celebratory “sleep-over” now that the roof is up. Notice I said “tempted”. The layers of cement dust, mounds of wood shavings, and free-and-easy access to all manner of creepy crawlies right now will undoubtedly help me resist that temptation. It’s not a home quite yet.

Dwight and Rick just getting started with the tiles.

Roof assembly line.
And speaking of home, apparently the one I live in now is quite appealing to some rather curious folk.

The other night while I was turning lights off before going to bed, I came across this fellow on the front room floor. We’d had the doors open for awhile that evening to cool the house down and he must have taken that as an open invitation to come inside. The frog and I just looked at each other for few moments. I was thinking of how to get him out of my house. He was probably thinking that I was much too large a bug to eat. I didn’t have a box handy to capture him in so decided to fling a towel over him to trap him, then I could scoop him up and put him outside. It must have been a funny sight—him leaping from pillar to post while my towel trailed him, always landing on bare concrete. Finally, with one of his escape moves, he headed toward the door so it seemed logical that I use the towel to herd him rather than net him! It worked very well, I’m glad to say, and he hopped quite happily outside again.

The next species to try to make my home his own was this cicada.
I was listening to music last night, trying to unwind from the day’s activities, and he decided to come perch on my lap. Actually, that would make a cicada’s landing seem well planned. Usually they slam into things. This one was no different. The room was dark at the time and he was drawn like a magnet to the light on my laptop’s screen. He missed the screen, but when I heard the "thump" of a big bug landing on the couch beside me, I knew exactly what it was. Then he got bold and crawled ON me then looked at me for awhile before flying off again. Very clumsily. God definitely has a sense of humour.

And last but not least on the homes theme is this odd sight. I grabbed this garden shovel yesterday, which is stored on a shelf on the veranda, and along came this cap too. The clump of mud between them is a mud-wasp nest.

See all these little mud balls? This is what the whole thing is made of. What an amazing amount of work that little wasp went to in order to build its house (maybe even more work than went into ours)! Pulling the nest off the cap revealed many hollow sections where wasp larvae were at different stages of development.
Cool, huh? So that’s your science lesson for the week :P This is what used to make home schooling fun.

The little boy who was burned last week got to come home after a week in hospital. I know the family is happy to be together again. Here is his older brother, arms full of toys, on his way to visit the hospital earlier in the week.
Other news:

A load of stone being delivered to begin construction on the training centre—one of those other top 20 priorities. This stone was crushed by hand by monitors and pastors with our church leadership program so they could earn money to help pay for their studies and help support their families. Now that is hard work!

Kim putting hard copies of chapters from the health manual I’m working on back into electronic format (after the loss of my laptop in September). Kim’s motto for the week: Type Til You Drop (…then have some ice cream).

Celestino translating a Newborn Assessment guide for the socorristas to use. We had to be real creative with some words so they would be understood in the local context, like “skin turgor” became “strong meat” and “flaky skin” became “skin like a shedding snake”☺. Yeah, you know you’re in the African bush when your descriptions are better understood when they refer to snake characteristics!

This is the last paragraph so I’ll close with a short snake story:

This morning while Raimundo and Dwight were walking down the path to our house, Dwight spotted a Twig Snake. It was very near the path, but Raimundo was on a mission and didn’t seem to take note of the snake at all. Dwight called to him, “Raimundo! Watch out! Didn’t you see the snake?? You nearly stepped on it!” To which a very surprised Raimundo swung around and responded, “Aaaaaayyyy! Yes, but I thought it was a twig!” Yikes.

I better run for now. Have a good weekend and whatever you do, keep a close eye on the twigs in your path!


Russoft said...

Glad to hear the burned kid pulled through. Cool to see the house with it's roof finished!

Amanda said...

Wow, the house looks great!
also, VERY CUTE little froggie!

Luke said...

that's scary about the Twig Snake! :O