on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Getting Ready

In IICD Massachusetts on January 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I’ve been in the library studying Portuguese for the past two hours, and I just can’t shake the image of tarantulas feasting on my sleeping body.
I will explain.
Last night, after watching Hostel (which is another story altogether), a group of us (girls only) headed up to the lodge for a candid discussion of what it would be like to be a female in Angola or Mozambique. Three volunteers just returned from their posts in Mozambique and we sat around the fireplace snacking and listening to their cautionary tales. I have made a list of things to watch out for in Mozambique.

SOJOURNER’S FEAR LIST:
1) Poisonous snakes (referred to in Portuguese as cobras- not helpful)
2) Tarantulas (yes- Mozambique is literally home to giant hairy tarantulas that enter our huts through the cracks between the mud walls and the thatched roof).
3) Poisonous spiders (Not only do I apparently have to fear tarantulas, there are a host of poisonous and deadly spiders just waiting to feast on my sleeping body).
4) Scorpions (If a scorpion bites you, you’ve got a few hours to get to the hospital or else…)
5) Centipedes (Apparently centipedes like to hide out in peoples socks)
6) Flying cockroaches (Not only do they fly, but they are enormous, the size of birds)
7) Getting into a chappa accident (Chappas are large vans aka. public buses, that are overcrowded and in terrible condition. Chappa accidents are very common as the drivers apparently soar at astronomical speeds. A few Development Instructors have been injured. We just got news this morning that one of the Project Leaders in Angola was killed when she flew through the windshield of one of these lovely vehicles.)

That is my fear list. Those of you that know me, know how crazy I get when I see a regular sized roach/spider/centipede.
For the next six months, I will be facing my fears head on, literally.
eeeeehhhhhhhhhh…

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