Animals, Kenya

The Rains Have Come

The rains have started to fall in Tala. As far as I can tell, this has two major ramifications:

  1. Farmers will grow food this season (rains were sporadic last season)
  2. Lots of animals will crawl into my house

Let it be known: I come in peace, but if you scare the shit out of me I might kill you. Especially at night. Visitors I’ve had in the past year and a half:

  • Scorpions: 5
  • Snakes: 2.5 (one was technically in the pit latrine in my backyard, so that’s half ;)
  • Spiders: 6


The threat is real: just last Friday night I was chillin’ on the computer and I found a pretty big tarantula crouching in a corner. I rolled a soccer ball towards it to no avail. After putting some nice metal on I was pumped up enough to get serious. I tried to sweep it out with my African broom (sticks tied together) but it hit the wall by my front door and ran back towards me. It wasn’t moving particularly fast… but ugh! I must have yelled a few times in the process, maybe something like, “Ahh!” or “Kwenda huko!” (go over there), because the night watchmen came over to see who I was talking to. I attempted to explain, in Swahili, what had happened and then we spotted the spider running in the grass. Nicholas killed it with a big squiiiiish. We made some jokes and that was that. Lala salama (“sleep peacefully”).

I remember there was a time I was excited by the rains. It was a funny time in my life in Tala where I deluded myself into thinking that I wanted to be a farmer. That didn’t last long, but I still remember the feeling I had when the rains finally arrived. I was so stoked to see my little cabbages and corn stalks sprouting. That feeling is gone, and while I’m happy now for all the farmers and hungry people in Kenya, I’m scared what the rains might bring into my house.

The implications of this are far reaching. Now I leave lights on in rooms when I’m not there (I’ve walked down the dark hallway to the bathroom several times only to notice a funny shadow on the floor on the third trip by, a big surprise when you turn the light on!). I constantly check the floors, corners of rooms, etc before I enter a room. I even check the foot of my bed and under my pillow every night before bed. In the morning when I pull the curtains sometimes geckos drop out. Ugh! This is life away from the city, where the beast has yet to be tamed/scared deeper into the wilderness!

4 Comments

  1. That WAS a good weekend when I was there. I seriously don’t remember ANY snakes, scorpions or tarantulas… I guess I was the exception. :)

  2. tash

    wow Alan what life threatening events you go through everyday haha. I can imagine you fighting with the tarantulas wish i was there to see you,would have been entertaining….So how do you camp in the rain if in your house your sacred imagine at the camping grounds think twice bro about that trip Nairobi is very rainy now

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