Do you know the feeling of relaxing on your comfy sofa, in a beautifully decorated air-conditioned room, watching 220 channels of T.V., perhaps eating some Doritos, or peanut butter M&Ms? Well, that is NOT the feeling that I had today living in Haiti!
Today was the culmination of gross. 3 weeks ago we began having power trouble with our inverter and city power. It got to the point where we spent nights at a time without electricity, the kids having to use flashlights just to find the toilet. Then the disgusting smell began. What the heck was that smell! Oh, it was coming from the batteries being charged by our inverter! I asked our Residence Director if the smell was normal, and he said, “yea, it happens when the batteries get too hot.” I said, “Call the electrician and make sure that the smell is ok, and won’t harm us!” He called the electrician, and we were given the OK.
Finally, after 3 weeks of electrical problems the electrician came today, but not until 5:00 PM. Fortunately we were occupied the entire morning and afternoon with nothing less than a cockroach infestation! I had started to see a cockroach here and there, not alive, but dead, 2-3 times a week. They would pop up dead in the kitchen, outside near the generator, even in my bedroom. Then our cook said, hey, it looks like those cockroaches keep getting into the vegetables I put in the cupboard. Hmmm. So, I quickly purchased a can of something made in China to kill cockroaches, and started spraying the entire cupboards. That’s when the war began. They went left, they went right, they flew in the air! 2 inch cockroaches, trying to escape the napalm I was laying on them. They could outrun the gas, but they couldn’t outrun my foot! Together we must have killed at least 30 large cockroaches, the others hiding within the cupboards. I purchased roach motels, more gas, liquid-gel roach killer: everything I could to win this war. I promise you, that at 1:00 this morning, I will be sneaking up on those roaches, with a can of spray in my hand, with a promise of death.
Not to be out done, the smell was back, coming from the batteries of course! Thankfully the electrician was available, so he came down and checked, saying that the smell was, “definitely not coming from the batteries.” What! Then we tracked the smell, from the batteries, to the back of our refrigerator! Wouldn’t you know it a mouse had been crapping for at least 4 days in the water retention tray in the back of the fridge! It was the most disgusting thing I had seen that day, well, other than the 30 cockroaches we killed in the morning! The electrician took apart the whole fridge, we cleaned the tray, put it back together, and stepped back to ponder the day.
I honestly thought that we lived in a clean house! The bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen are cleaned daily! The walls, windows, and doors are cleaned weekly! We keep our food covered, we clean up after ourselves right after we eat, all dishes are done right away, and yet! And yet we live, apparently in filth! But, I will not lose this war! I will fight every cockroach and mouse that lives in this house until it is dead, and we have won! Now, that rat, the one the size of a grown man’s shoe that I saw the other day; well, that might just have to wait.