massacre in musha!

on the morning of july 18th, i stepped out my front door only to find thousands of dead bodies strewn across the porch, piled on window sills, littering the drainage ditch running around the house to the back door, where still more splayed arms, legs, and wings blanketed the yard.

wings?  yes, for those of you skittish types back home i will cut to the chase – our humble abode was the site of a less gruesome kind of massacre than africa is unfortunately famous for – a massacre of bees.  despite a bees’ nest in the eaves being a traditional sign of good luck for a house’s new inhabitants, i gleefully swept up the carcases from the porch assuming (wrongfully) that this was the end of a bitter nuisance. the dramas that led to this grand extermination are comical and worth recounting.

we’ve had a growing population of these troublemakers nesting in our eaves for several months now, with itchy bee-stings becoming more or less standard fare.  after a long stressful day what a relief it is to come home and step on a bee, let me tell you.  as dusk starts to settle, they fly in under the doors and swirl around the overhead light for an hour or so before hitting exhaustion and dying on the living room floor. (amanda jokes that they’ve accomplished their ultimate goal in life – having reached the inside of the mazungus’ house they can die in peace.)  until recently this was the worst of it – enter house, buzz around light, die, be swept up the next morning with twenty or so cousins.

but the day before the massacre, their mood became more hostile.  i was in the house cutting vegetables for a soup while amanda, who’d had a particularly rough day as it was, went out back to start up the charcoal stove.  suddenly she came plowing into the kitchen screaming, laughing, and swatting at bees with a plywood board, crying that she’d been stung on the rear end.  i scooted away from the action asap and watched from afar as she suffered five more battle wounds, hooting and howling and grabbing and cursing and swatting the whole time.  then she stormed out of the house in her boxers and straight into the director’s office, burst open the door on a meeting and shouted ‘we have bees!’

now we’ve been politely asking him to do something about the bees for weeks, but amanda was at the end of her tether (understandably) and accompanied him all of twenty yards to the school kitchen where they apparently keep a huge jug and  exterminator kit handy for just such emergencies.  why he hadn’t done anything before (‘i had completely forgotten’) is not a question we bother asking any more.

so two poor guys from the kitchen came and killed the bees and i swept them up and a week later they’re already back, stronger and meaner than ever and at this rate it’ll be christmas before we can sit in the backyard again.  on a side note, my whole arm was swollen up and amanda was actually ill from the stings.  one of those vso training challenges?


~ by aliciawolcott on July 25, 2007.

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