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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Creepy crawly critters

This week has been filled with bugs of all sorts.  They have been at my house and in my classroom.  The ones in my house aren’t quite as bad because I get a large book or a shoe and throw it at them before I can psych myself out.  The ones in my classroom are a little more challenging as with them come 19 screaming 1st graders.  For some reason, the screams throw me off and I become jittery.  I’ve also come to realize that I really despise cockroaches.  Wednesday was particularly bad as we had 4 large ones scurry across our classroom at various times during the day.  There’s nothing like 19 little ones completely engaged and focused on what you’re learning (ok, completely engaged in my mind) and having the moment shattered by a pest.  It would’ve been easier to push the roaches out of my thoughts and still count it as a successful day of learning if it hadn’t been for the incident in the last hour.  As we were completing a science experiment, one of my students yelled, “centipede!” I didn’t even look over because in my mind, a little centipede isn’t worth a glance.  I told them not to worry and we kept our scientist hats on, so to speak.  However, the centipede crawled its way between backpacks and out again and screams returned as it made its way toward us.  I then looked over to see the biggest centipede I’ve seen in my life.  I had no idea these things even existed!  It was longer than my hand and wider.  It had long black legs and pinchers up by its head.  It definitely warranted the screams it provoked and frankly, I wanted to chime in.  However; being the teacher, I had to remain calm and composed.  I moved my class to the opposite corner of the classroom and refusing to take on the large centipede, I called for someone to come help.  One of the gardeners came in with a broom and tried smashing it, but this thing just kept on crawling (I should say slithering as its movement resembled that of a snake).  He swept it out of the classroom (literally) and I tried to calm down my students.  I found out later that these are very hard to kill and that they are in fact poisonous, to the point that they can kill a child.  I was unsuccessful at calming down my students and had to count the last thirty minutes of school as a wash.  The following day was much less eventful in the area of critters and for that, I am thankful.   I’m hoping that is the only poisonous centipede I’ll encounter.  Malawi will indeed toughen me up in many ways, including the area of creepy crawlers!

This is a picture taken by Danie who works at the ABC Clinic.  She found it in her house one morning.  


  1. Wow, it has been way too long since I have caught up with your blog! First, I would have screamed right along with the kids, no matter if I was the teacher or not, I absolutely have a huge fear of centipedes or any other kind of "pedes", they just give me the willies. Loved hearing about your running group, I am so impressed that you put yourself out there in so many ways and accept all kinds of different experiences. I am proud and impressed. How did you find out about that group? How is the unrest going? Are the demonstrations continuing? Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Plus, thank you for reminding me how precious life is and how grateful I truly am for the people in my life and how humble I feel for all the blessings in my life. It was good to "catch up" with what you are doing. Love all your pictures. Miss seeing and talking to you in person. Hope we can chat on facebook soon or maybe even skype. Thanks for your wonderful heart and friendship!

  2. okay, so i have to admit i was feeling alright with you being so far away, and with the threat of malaria and other things. but this story has me a little more worried about my sweet daughter. i know i have to trust, and it is not my job to protect you, but there is so much more to be worried about than i ever imagined! i am praying for you daily, and love your courage and great attitude!

  3. Oh gracious Miss Christy!!!! I'm with you on the cockroaches. But as horrible as they are, that centipede story is astounding!!!!! You are a brave woman.

    My stories from my time in Japan that I want to share with you.....nothing compared to poisonous centipedes. You may get a kick out of these:

    Love you!!