Archive for January, 2009

snake slaying

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I was biking home the other day when I noticed several men standing in a ditch with sticks and an excited crowd of women and children at a safe distance.  I stopped to ask what was going on and was told there was a snake hiding in the ditch. 

I watched as the men poked at a hole under a footpath that crossed the ditch. Suddenly they jumped back and then starting swinging their sticks with incredible force.  I couldn’t see the snake until they lifted the dead mangled serpant up with the stick and the crowd started cheering.   After everyone was sure I had a good look, a young man threw the snake into the nearby riverbed.  The snake was only about 3 feet long and was white and grey.  I was told it was very dangerous. 

I was not happy at all to see a snake so close to my house in the city.  I was also disturbed that the snake was so small.  The images in my mind of African snakes have been 10 feet pythons, not skinny little things that could get through door cracks.  I don’t doubt they are dangerous.  In training we asked what to do if we got bit by a snake; do we usea tourniquet to slow the spread of venom,  how could we get to a hopsital on time, or what could we do? The response was, “Don’t get bit by a snake”. 

Happy New Years

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I’m  a little late, but anyway, here is wishing you a very happy 2009 and that you have ”iron health”.

The phone connection has been bad in Sokode lately.  I haven’t been able to send or recieve text messages, and 4 out of 5 calls don’t go through.  I’m coming to understand what is like for the volunteers who live in villages without any phone connection at all.

Classes are starting again this week so I’m getting back into the swing of working after my vacation with mom.