A very sad note that has been attributed to the increasing heat are the increasing deaths. There are a lot of people, both the elderly and the young and healthy that have been dying in the past couple weeks. There have been three funerals just in the past two weeks here in La Fuente. That doesn’t include surrounding communities where other tragedies have happened. My host grandma lost a son, only 42 years old and in perfect health, to a heart attack. I have been spending a lot of time with her lately just sitting and letting her tell stories about her son. I can’t imagine what that feels like.
With the heat also comes hot wind, and the hot wind is bringing more and more dust. Almost everyone around me, including myself, has some time of upper respiratory infection: runny nose, cough, congestion… definitely from breathing in all the nasty dust. You can’t escape the dust it is EVERYWHERE. When I leave for a couple of days I always return to a nice coating of dust on all of my things. It always take me a couple hours to clean and sweep it all up… which is kind of fruitless since the next strong wind will just bring it back in. I am starting to get an idea of what it must have been like to live in the dust bowl…. seriously its everywhere.
Not only does my house get bathed in dust, but there are lots of little creatures that like to come on in with the dust. After being gone for a long weekend I returned to discover several creatures that had decided my house was now theirs… not ok. I found and immediately killed a couple baby scorpions, which by the way sting way worse than big ones because they can’t regulate their venom, I also discovered two ENORMOUS centipedes. These weren’t normal either, they were terrifying and huge with pinchers. I dashed them to pieces with my machete, but not before my poor kitty became prey to one that clung to his face by an evil little claw. I am sure that stung quite a bit! The worst of all however was the tarantula leg I found sitting on my table. I believe it was the same feeling as when one finds half of a worm in an apple, the leg of a tarantula means one of two things. The rest was eaten and only the leg was left, or the leg was left in the process of escaping from being eaten. I wanted to believe the latter……several hours after this discovery I somehow looked up above my kitchen door while leaving and low and behold.. the grand tarantula just hanging out in the corner. I don’t care if their mouths are supposedly too small to bite us or whatever, it was freaky and enormously frightening. I don’t mind spiders that much, but it was a MONSTER. I screamed and ran out of the kitchen and pondered what to do. What then commenced was a battle between me with a broom and a huge spider with creepy legs that didn’t want to die. I will not go into details, I will just say it was horrible. But at the end of the night I was still standing and he was in about 10 pieces. I wanted to make sure he didn’t come back.
I have so many encounters with creepy creatures. I have now recieved my second official scorpion sting though! I should get a badge. We were building an improved oven in the community next to mine and I grabbed a brick to put it in place. I thought I had got a piece of metal shoved through my palm, nope, just a baby scorpion. Yes, they do sting hard. Not fun… only numbness after that. Despite the scorpion sting the oven building went really well. They are ovens made from similar materials to the stoves with a barrel to cook the food in! They work really well. I just gave a presentation in another community on how to build them to a group of ladies who are trying to get organized to build one together. With an oven like that they can start up little cooking businesses!
All the donations have come in for the stove project! I can’t wait to start! I am waiting for Peace Corp Washington to send me the check so we can go get the materials and start pumpin out those stoves! The ladies are getting excited as well. We have started working on the tree nursery too. We are in the process of collecting seeds. We have a good plot where NO pigs can eat the trees. Pigs are so so so annoying and eat EVERYTHING. Here’s a genius idea: put them in a pig pen. I want to thank everyone SOOO much that has helped me make this project possible! The ladies and I are very very grateful indeed! Continual updates and photos of the process will follow!
Easter is almost here! I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and spends good quality time with the family. I will be thinking of you all!