The Elephant Cloud


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Wild Kingdom

January 2nd, 2010 by · 8 Comments · Africa, Tanzania

My mother told me once if you kill a spider it will rain. Well, it hasn’t stopped raining in weeks and I’m not about to curb my appetite. Just moments ago, a hairy one scurried into the bathroom so I captured it and tossed it in the toilet. It took 10 freaking minutes until it stopped swimming, I took notes the entire time.  And earlier today it was the bottom of my shoe. This morning I found two scary ones on my bed, one stuck in the netting, one climbing up the outside. Lord, let it rain!

Chapters from The East African Species of Insects can be found living in our home. As if a crusade to save the bugs has been resurrected in my flat; unfortunately the spiders think of it as an all you can eat buffet.
‘Our house in New Hampshire was winterized, warm air stayed in, bugs stayed out,’ observes Jay as he sweeps a family of little black ants and a few beetles flipped on their backs back under the closed door, closed being relative as a quarter inch gap is the norm.

The bathroom climate house the millipedes, worms and crickets. Hundreds of little black crickets everywhere, for reasons unknown they love the toilet paper rolls. Singing into the night, rubbing hind legs together, the entire population is invited over for choir. God forbid the need arises to get up in the middle of the night for a wee, a crunchy experience underfoot.

My favorite are the Kamikaze beetles, suited in brown armor helmets, they take off wings spread and buzz around the room, over your head and then zzzzzzzzz… CRASH, into the wall. Within seconds he is off again zzzzzzzzzzzz….CRASH! My research shows they can tolerate up to seven head on crashes.

At night, the lovely praying mantis make their debut, devouring their share of unsightly bugs. We welcomed them as guests, until two days later  a hundred tiny offspring were stuck to the walls of our kitchen, observing their new environment. Tonight the mosquitoes are hungry, sitting under my netting before bed, three mosquitoes hover overhead, craving my blood and feeling the heat, but the netted barrier is too much and I let them starve.

But not all is arthropoda on the home front, this morning two dozen parakeets landed under our rafters and sang us into the morning…


  • January 16th, 2010 by Becca

    Oh dear! You are brave souls. I’m not sure how I’d fare with all those bugs and critters. I might need some time to mentally prepare for co-existing with them. My hats are off to ya!

  • January 16th, 2010 by Karly Porter

    OMG!!!! ur sooooo brave my sista….. mad props to u! miss u much….. Hi Jay….. Ur brave too…. lol

  • January 12th, 2010 by Darlene Nastansky

    We are great, safe and sound… but this is our home and we can’t leave yet… besides you get used to it, the bugs I mean…
    Missing everyone, me

  • January 12th, 2010 by mom

    Oh Darlene, I can’t believe I am hearing all of this. they are so ugly and scary
    Please tell me your bite is okay. Can you leave that area??
    I know you guys are taking care of yourself, but I am so scared.
    What else can a mother do.
    Love and praying for you. Tell me you are okay.

  • January 6th, 2010 by carol/ aunt

    I’m glad I’m reading about your adventures from the perspective of my home. Keep taking
    your anti-malarial drugs!

  • January 6th, 2010 by Dianne / Mom

    You need to import some lizards into the hut, they’ll eat all those creepy crawly things. I assume these insects are not poisonous but are just “bugging” you. Don’t the mosquitoes carry all kinds of diseases?

  • January 6th, 2010 by Joni Kabana

    Aiieeeeeeeeeee. I wish I had not seen these photos or read these words. Yikes!

  • January 6th, 2010 by Mat

    As one who has an innate terror of things that scuttle, buzz, crawl and creep, I really could NOT be where you are! Terrifying…

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