Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cockroaches, slugs, and other bugs - A Missionary Life

"Don't eat the cockroach!" That is not a normal "mom phrase". I think that is one of those phrases that a missionary mom says once or maybe twice. Miss K was not quite two years old. She is was in the kitchen in our flat in Asia. I had my hands in a bowl mixing something for dinner. I look down and she is playing with a cockroach and so I say, "don't eat the cockroach." That was all I could do until I washed my hands and moved her and got rid of the cockroach.

I have decided that somewhere there is a list of things that missionaries have to experience. It not normally given as part of the orientation to the organisation or the orientation to the field but it is there. You begin to do things or experience things and other missionaries nod, they know what you are talking about. It is a bit like the bucket list for missionaries. Things like how many bugs in your house or not understanding the person in the market and ending up with 10 pounds of bananas. When you experience those things you know it is just one of the things you experience.

On the top of the list is dealing with bugs. Asia has cockroaches, termites, and mosquitos. Africa has mosquitos and other bugs. I don't know about South America. I am sure they have bugs as well. Somehow I thought moving to England I would be able to skip the bug experience. What bugs do they have in England? And then I moved here. I learned what they have in England.

They have slugs. Miss K one day asked me how many slugs are in England. I think my answer might have been, "too many."

Cockroaches, slugs and other bugs - A Missionary Life

It would be fine if the slugs just stayed in the garden. Wait a second, no even there they cause problems eating various plants. I think they are responsible for the death of my marigolds. I planted nice marigolds with leaves and flowers and within a few weeks nothing was left.

The slugs do not stay in the garden. They wander into the kitchen. They are smart in the sense that they come in after 10:30 at night and leave before I get up in the morning. So if it weren't for the slime trail that they would leave on the kitchen floor or the times that someone goes into the kitchen at night during slug visiting hours, we might not know they came in. There was one that did not leave before daylight but that might have been that he crawled up the tile wall.

Cockroaches, Slugs and other Bugs - A Missionary Life

I have tried salt. I have tried slug pellets. I tried cedar wood essential oil in the water when I wash the floor. I told Miss K that I put cedar wood oil in the water because I had heard that slugs didn't like that. She told me, "slugs can't talk." And if they could talk, we would have a long discussion about where they are allowed. Now I am just trying to coexist. If they are out of the kitchen before down in the morning, I will pretend that I don't have slugs in the kitchen.

Cockroaches, Slugs, and other bugs - A Missionary Life

I can tick the bugs off my list of experiences. Just another thing that you face living and working overseas, bugs you didn't have at home. (I guess we had slugs when I lived in Seattle.)

who loves living life where God has called her and her family and but has not learned to share the kitchen. This was written to be a fun light bit about living and working overseas.

PS - I think all these photos were taken one morning as Miss K and I delivered newspapers. Yes, that is how many slugs we see on a rainy morning.

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  1. I grew up in Austria. We had slugs. We would bury empty yogurt containers in the ground and fill them with beer. The slugs would crawl in and drown (or pass out drunk?). I hated having to remove the beer-slug filled containers. ��

    And yes, we also had slugs in WA. And I also had too many lovely Marigolds devoured by them. And took walks after the rain and saw too many. And had them crawl all through my kitchen at night when we lived in a basement apartment with windows that were at ground level outside.

    I certainly share your distaste for the things.

    1. I think I tried the beer but maybe that was the ammonia in yogurt cups to try to keep the cat away from using the garden as his litter box. In a way I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has dealt with slugs in the kitchen. Do you have slugs where you are now?



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