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Dealing with insects (aka Therapy with Simpson)

Mar 16 • 3491 views • 10 Comments on Dealing with insects (aka Therapy with Simpson) Africa, Travel, Uganda, Volunteering

Am getting the upper hand over the mosquitoes. Score is 2:1 to them but I’m fighting back. Last night however, I came eye to eye with a medium sized Unmentionable at the back of my food cupboard. We had the obligatory game of Chase-Me-Charlie and the little fu**er scarpered.

Was kind of mentally prepared for An Encounter as I had found a very small dead cockroach earlier. THANK GOD I’m not alone in the house so have lots and lots of moral support! Such an encounter, when I was just coming to terms with mosquitoes, mosquito nets and candlelight would have sent me under just a day or two ago. I really can’t imagine how I’d have coped without Simpson (the gate boy and personal demi-god). If I had the money for his uni fees I would hand it over right now.


Talking of Simpson, this afternoon’s story is just too funny not to relate but if you feel anything like I do about roaches, skip this bit….

So, this morning I asked Eva (our house girl) and Simpson whether we could empty and fumigate the kitchen cupboard (Thomas, I really really feel for you having to clean out your mum’s cupboards back home in St Lucia!) and then I said:

“Simpson, look here’s a dead one.”

He laughed, “that’s not very big. You’re frightened of that?”

“No, the one I saw was a lot bigger.” I drew a shape about 1.5 cm and he laughed again.

“That’s nothing” he said.

I recoiled (as he cradled it in his palm and looked at it).

“But it’s ALL those legs, why do they have so many?” I asked.

“So you don’t like spiders then?”

“Actually I don’t mind them. Look Simpson, put it on the ground outside and let me have a proper look at it, I need to get used to these things…”

Then he asked “you want to see where there are very very many?”


“Look”, he said, and he lifted up the drain cover in the yard.

O MY GOD. It was like something out of a horror film.

As the light hit them, the whole lot ran, there must have been 30 or more, all colours and sizes of ‘don’t ask me what’ insects. I was too busy screaming to take it all in.

As Simpson held the drain cover open, tiny little Eva poured a tub of Doom powder down the drain and into the outlet pipe and I could see ‘things’ trying to climb out. An enormous shiny brown cockroach 2 inches long (MY WORST NIGHTMARE, give me mice, snakes, rats or ants any time!) climbed out and escaped!

And came scuttling down the alley towards me!

O god.

I ducked back into the kitchen as it was Doomed by my heroes Simpson and Eva.

Sophie came flying out of the office when she heard me screaming and we all laughed and laughed at this crazy mzungu.

Moral of the story:

I have to say this was a good team-building exercise, it has drawn everyone together laughing at me!! It’s taken me a few days to put this event behind me and relive it onscreen but it was such high drama I can see the funny side now.

*An Unmentionable is a COCKROACH.

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10 Responses to Dealing with insects (aka Therapy with Simpson)

  1. lizziema says:

    OOOHHHH sheeeeeeeettttttttttttttttt! Can we stay at the Sheraton please? Well done that you are still there and an very grateful to get your latest email saying you are well and happy! Further words fail for the what may be down in drains…….

  2. lizziema says:

    Good morning to you Charlie. I don’t think your above blog is quite clear whether Simpson was holding a spider or a roach,, but when he opened the drain were you looking mostly at spiders? I need to know! I know roaches as well but….Last night woke at 4am and sleep eluded me for thinking of your drains. Now quite traumatised!!!!!!! So how are you?!

  3. contact says:

    Sounds like you are having a technicolour experience!! Will enjoy following your exploits and living the challenge vicariously though your blog.
    Keep happy. Keep safe
    xxx Mark Ant Louis & Daisy

  4. Charlie says:

    Dear Ma
    Apologies for the lack of sleep!
    O dear, I did put a warning on that story now didn’t I?
    Will you sleep better if I say there were spiders down the drain ? Or the other??!
    But note: the drain cover is tightly closed now and there’s a big steel back door between that and the house. So they ain’t getting in!
    Told a local the above story last night and she said to get the place fumigated, so we will.
    As for staying at the Sheraton, youre welcome!! but by the time you get here we will have sorted all these issues out.

  5. lizziema says:

    I still have a lurid picture in my mind about your drain but I will be a brave girl. I guess there must be spiders. Roaches I can cope with in moderation. Just watched a prog about Ethiopia
    where they slept out at night in 40 degrees, too hot for tents and there were scorpions everywhere. That was with Kate Humble, fascinating with the volcanoes and eventually part of Africa may split away from the main part of the continent

  6. Charlie says:

    Lots of volcanoes here too, in fact there are many ‘crater lakes’ out west, devoid of any life. These are one of the few places we’rerecommended to swim as the tiny snail that gives you Bilharzia (chronic diarrhoea) can’t cling to the steep sides of the lake (unlike Lake Victoria for example, where you can easily get a dose). Your Medical Fact for the Day!

  7. […] Mosquitoes and ‘roaches – hell, but they do their own relentless thing all the year round! […]

  8. […] is pretty crap but no big bug scares […]

  9. […] scream / jump up and down in the air / want to s**t myself? (If you don’t know what I mean, read Dealing with insects). Yet grasshoppers are quite a delicacy in Uganda. Last week, we experienced a biblical moment as […]

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