13 April 2011

The Local Wild Life

As a continent, Africa is best known for it's wild life.  Lions, zebras, rhinos, ostriches, hippos, gazelles . . . apart from tigers, if there's an exotic animal to be had, it lives in Africa!  Here in Niger there are places not far from Niamey that have wild giraffes, and I'm told that down near the border with Benin one can even find elephants.

But here in Galmi we have donkeys.  And camels.  And scorpions.  And Husbands of the Scorpion.  And nocturnal ants.  And . . . .


So this morning as I was changing from what I wore to work to what I wear in the OR I discovered a new species that makes it's home in Galmi.

Because of the nature of the work I do in the OR I wear wellies (rain boots) to keep my feet from getting yucked all over.  I keep them just outside of my locker in the changing room, as I have hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating) on the bottoms of my feet (and my palms . . . and the back of my legs . . . yes, it's gross) and I have to leave them to dry out.  Most days I hold them upside down and knock them together, on the off chance that something managed to get inside during the night.

I've never had anything come out, so today I was in a bit of a rush and I thought 'eh, what's the point?'  As my mother would say: famous last words!

I put on my right boot.  Nothing.

I put on the left and felt a little tickle on the arch of my foot.  I ripped the boot off so quickly I thought my foot might come off with it.

In that first fraction of a second that the black and white polka-dotted wellie lay sideways and lifeless on floor, I thought to myself 'Great!  Now I'm having tactile hallucinations.  I'm going cra--'

And like a horse out of the gate came a matchbox-car sized cockroach!

It raced across the floor and I jumped up on the bench and began laughing in fear.  For the next half hour I had phantom sensations of those long antlers tickling my arch.

That's it!  Next time I'm praying not only for an ocean view, but for 'where there is no creepy-crawlie!'

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