Last night, as I was laying in bed, I heard a cockroach fly onto the top of my mosquito net so I quickly turned on my head lamp to locate the culprit. Indeed, he was right above me sitting on my net. I decided to flick it off so it would find its fate in my cat's mouth once it hits the floor. 1,2,3… flick! And then the most horrifying noise. I swear it screamed (turns out every website says they "hiss"). It made this awful sound and I was so mortified because the sound didn't stop when it hit the ground. I called my best friend here to complain and soon enough my cat either killed it or it ran outside… sweet dreams!
Then, this morning I roll out of bed around 7 am, after ignoring the rooster that has been beckoning me to greet the new day since 4:45 am. I give my kitty milk and turn to my cupboards to find ingredients for pancakes. Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, milk, oil…. I begin pulling things out and immediately decide today is an apple cinnamon pancake kind of day. Yum!
I open the flour and add the necessary amount into a plastic bowl and stare in utter disgust. Maggots. Yup, maggots in my flour. If only this was the first time this had happened! A few weeks ago, I found maggots in my flour when I was making cupcakes for a friend and all my co-workers said, "oh, boitshepo. They are food bugs!" No one else seemed concerned that I had maggots. With the first maggot sighting, I dumped my flour & bought new flour just a few days back. Turns out this one was maggot infested too… yikes. So much for pancakes!
I decide that today is a good day to do some deep cleaning, as it wasn't too hot in the morning. Another pleasant surprise… four dead cockroaches and one dead camel spider under my bed. REALLY!? I'm unwillingly sleeping with these creatures under my bed. Oh and don't forget the scorpion in the guest bed room.No thank you…Oh and three more cockroaches dead in my shoes in my closet. Fun fact: once a cockroach flips upside down, it can't turn itself over again so it dies… right there in my shoes (or under my bed… or in my bathtub… or my living room… or … or..)
OK… enough bugs. My little sisters from next door come over to color. Gao is nine years old & lovessssss coloring more than anything in the world. Ayanda is a baby who just turned one in September. I go about my cleaning and let them color at my dining room table. Not five minutes later I hear, "Uh… boitshepo!! " What do you know? Ayanda peed on my chair. So - on to my next cleaning task!
As Gao is helping me wash out the cushion on my chair, Ayanda is standing in my kitchen. She became quiet (which is a red flag for anyone who has spent time with kids) so I go inside to check on her, and there she is walking toward the door to greet me… with poop all over her shoes. After peeing on my chair, she decided pooping on my floor and walking in it would be a nice way to apologize.
Oh life… what else? This is a typical day for me. The absurdities are always creeping in somehow, and with an ounce of optimism, I'm usually able to grin and bear it. :o) I head out for my evening run to clear my mind & I'm reminded of all the beauty behind the bugs and feces I deal with on a daily basis. As the sun is going down, I'm greeted by warm smiles and people waving. I hear my name being called as I run down the roads throughout my village and I stop to check on a few of my good friends. Their children run around wearing my sunglasses, giggle and twirl in their princess dresses, and give me the Botswana "handshake" when I leave. Each interruption of my run brings a smile to my face and warms my soul…
And at the very end of my run, I come across one of my girls I used to coach at the Junior Secondary School. Despite the sweat pouring down my face, she embraces me with open arms and says, "Boitshepo! I hate when we're not in school. I miss you!" We proceed to walk hand in hand down the road (which is very normal around here) while she confides in me about her greatest struggles in life. She asks me to help her talk to her father about the dangers of alcohol and thanks me for teaching her to make good life decisions. As we walk past bar after bar on the way home, she tells me about her dream to become a nurse and the support she is giving to her older sister who is experiencing teenage pregnancy first hand.
This young girl who held my hand as I walked her home was unknowingly holding my heart as well. At such a young age, she is providing unconditional love and support to her elder siblings and parents and offering wisdom far beyond her years. She claims I helped her, but I think I simply empowered her to help herself. My heart was filled with joy as I dropped her off at home and continued running…
Maggots, cockroaches, scorpions, camel spiders, scorching heat, countless bug bites.. Whatever the complaint may be for the moment, I know that the good will always outweigh the bad. Every bit of discomfort is easily overlooked f I can make a difference in the life of just one person.
Love & Light,