The Joys of Lights Out

When the power goes out in my town, I’m either extremely angry or I just roll my eyes. Two days ago, lights kept going off and on for the majority of the day. I gave up trying to watch my movie and decided to just settle into bed to read. No sooner do I lay down, and POOF, lights out. I reach for my headlamp and turn it on. Like magic a giant evil palm sized spider is chilling on the wall near my feet. I scream for the boy in the house to come and exterminate. He brings my broken broom, which NEVER works for killing the suckers. Does he kill it? No. It escapes. So the dad comes in to help look for it, because I yelled from the safety of the middle of the courtyard “You’re not leaving that room until you kill it! And for real this time. I know when you are lying!” So then the little girl goes in to look too.

Remember, power is still out and they are searching for this fast, big ass spider by the light of their cell phones and my headlamp. It is pitch black outside and the only light is the lantern they have and the stars. (I rarely see the moon in Ghana.) So the little girl comes back over towards us, but she isn’t the most graceful of creatures. In fact she trips more often than she actually walks. So, naturally a tiny little 4 year old walking down my gigantic mario brothers steps in the dark isn’t going to bode well. She falls flat on her face and the wailing begins. She gets up and comes over to wail right next to my ear, because heaven knows I love the sound of children crying. Then I look and I see in her hands something dark and in the other a cell phone. Then I realize. THOSE ARE MY CELL PHONES. What on earth is she doing with my cell phones? So, there is a raging lunatic of a spider terrorizing my house while my Ghanaian dad and little brother search high and low for the beast. The 4 year old is crying bloody murder right next to me holding my cell phones. I grab them from her in the dark and my stomach drops. One of them is broken.


Like the Hulk, I can feel myself turning green, growing in size, and getting very very angry. RAWR. My eyes are starting to cross and I can feel myself at the breaking point. I look at the phone in the light and realize the back just popped off. Oh, no big deal. Just pop it back on. Ohhh that girl was lucky, because the family was ready to feed her to the dogs. No, really they called the dogs over. I still want to know why she went in my room and why she grabbed my phones. Oh well, whatever. Alls well that ends well.

Meanwhile back in my room, my dad and brother have begun an epic quest to kill all the bugs in my house. They busted out their spray and started exterminating my rooms. I’m sitting outside shooting the breeze with my sisters, being as sarcastic and sassy as I get. They are making fun of me because I don’t sweep very often and that’s why I get spiders. I tell them that I am just making a very loving environment for spiders. I give them a great living space for a while and when they decide to make their way into my bedroom. THAT’S IT. I end their lives before they have to die from starvation or old age. Really, I’m doing them a service. My family is dying laughing.

Eventually lights come back on, but I’ve experienced the bug spray in this country before. So I sit outside for 30 minutes while my fans work their magic. I talk to my family about all sorts of things, like we usually do. We discuss politics and why Romney lost. That was a fun conversation! We discuss why Obama is loved by Africans. We discuss our guard dogs and why they are so good at their jobs. I give those little suckers my leftover chicken bones every lunch and they still won’t let me pet them, get close to them, or even smile at them. They are highly effective. As I sit there admiring the stars and enjoying the company of my family, I feel a sharp pain in my thigh.

OW. What the? I look down and there is a nasty looking ant waltzing away from the scene. Little sucker came up and bit me right on the back of my thigh almost on my butt. So I gracefully say good night and run back to my bug spray infested room. I run for my hydrocortizone cream and lay it on thick. Ow, ow, ow! The bite was a small bump, but now it is a giant red swollen mass throbbing with pain. Little shit was in cahoots with the spiders in my room. Luckily I had taken a benadryl earlier in the night to help me sleep (stupid mefloquine) so it was already helping with the swelling. I lay in bed with my leg propped up and shooting pain courses through my leg every 30 seconds. The pain was so bad that every time it would appear my leg would spasm and kick out. I’m sure I looked like I was going insane(r). Luckily I was able to fall asleep and the next morning you couldn’t even see where he bit me. I mean I was angry at the sucker last night, but I was even angrier when I noticed the welt had all but disappeared. What, you leave without saying goodbye? What is your problem? Is this a one-night stand? Gah. Don’t even leave a number.

So I wake up early to sweep my room (because my family threatened to clean it for me – no way Jose.) and I notice that the bug spray has done its job well. In the corners of my room I notice lots of little bugs and spiders happily dead, with their feet up ready to enjoy the afterlife. Oh sweet joys of light out!


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