You can tell I’m feeling more at home here now (now, that is, that I am getting ready to leave): this week I’ve been poisoning rats in my roof-space and not writing about it here.
Since the rains have finally come, we are getting beetles and termites. Last year the small brown beetles that look like peanuts, flew in their hundreds while I was teaching classes and students and staff were quietly picking them off each other as we got on with the lesson. A few weeks after that I awoke one morning to find piles of large lace-like wings under the security lamps on the walls of the college and I couldn’t figure out who had left them there.
Then, when I was at the language training in Makueni, we were infested with 1cm long termites with 2.5cm long wings in the hotel. The locals were catching them out of the air and putting them in a jar to take back and cook. They tried to gross me out by eating them raw and offering them to me.
“Yes,” I said in my long-suffering voice, “I know you want to eat them, and no, I’m not going to join you thankyou”.
This time the rains are late and we were bombarded by both kids of Dudu at the same time. I had to sweep piles of small beetles away from my front door and Jackson was picking large termites out of my teapot.
Meanwhile we are listening to footsteps on the cieling.
“I think that’s a rat”, said Jackson.
“I think its a large lizard”
“No, I’ts a rat, lizards dont have such clear footsteps”
I sighed and got out my Fuko-Kil and some bread to lob up through the hatch.
My rat poison has an expiry date of October 2005. What happens if rats eat expired poison? Do they get better?