So, Sunday night I go to bed without the earplugs… maybe I was feeling guilty. I shouldn’t have, because what I need to worry about sentiring at night is rats in my dresser moving my clothes around and pulling things from one drawer into the other. I’ve found rat turds in my drawers all along, but actually hearing them in there was new. Obviously this was not an ideal situation, but I didn’t know what to do at 3 a.m. so I shoved in my trusty neon orange tapones (interestingly, also the word for a traffic jam) and went back to an unrestful sleep.
The phrase in Spanish for “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed” is “Me levanté con el pie izquierda.” IMAGINATE! Obviously I had to get dressed Monday morning so inspecting the damage could only be put off for so long, plus I had somewhere to be. I figured my clothes would be out of ordered, and even perhaps with a few new holes, but I didn’t think I’d pull open the top drawer and find the damn rat STILL THERE. Well, we surprised each other. I squealed, and she ran out the back of the drawer into the safety of the rest of the dresser. I gingerly pulled the top drawer, full of my freshly hand-washed underwear (humph!), and dumped the whole thing out on my cement floor. To my extreme dismay, I heard squeaking. I used the handle of my escoba to fling my panties off the pile one by one. I heard myself let out one of those long, slow, crescendo-ing cries of alarm as I came upon a little, wiggling, pink, furless, newborn baby ratoncito furrowing about in my skivvies.
BEELINE to the neighbor’s house, because I sure as shit don’t want to deal with this. And plus, mom is still hiding in the dresser. So my vecina mandars her 14 year old son over to help me. He whips out my machete (yes, I have a machete, although I feel much less safe with it in my hands than when it’s it the sheath), scoops squealing baby onto the tip (please, please Daivin, don’t poke it and make it bleed it’s baby rat blood on my underwear…) and flings it out the door for the chickens or opossums or whatever to snack on. Then I made him pull out all the rest of the drawers, hopefully finding and getting rid of the mama rat. We found her, but she ran away before he could put down the drawer and arm himself with the machete again.
I just spent 900 pesos (almost 30 dollars, a significant portion of my monthly stipend) on poison… rat poison, cockroach poison, ant traps, Raid spray, and half a Saturday cleaning and placing all this toxic goo. So aside from being totally grossed out (I had the willies all day) I was annoyed that this happened after so much time and financial investment. It was like they were laughing at me.
Well anyways, I really did have somewhere to be and how I was half an hour behind schedule so I had to hurry up and get going, and then my 9 am meeting to weigh sugar (as Claudette calls it) was a mess—literally, the KitchenAid mixer with 2 pounds of melted cocoa butter, 3 pounds of sugar and a pound of pure cacao paste was already turned on when they plugged it in and the whole gloppy mess fell all over the ceramic tile floor (in another entry I will blog about the lovely sanitation resources of our beautiful chocolatera). When we remade the mixture, the women ran it through a machine made for grinding cacao (to make the granulated sugar not feel so grainy, instead of paying for powdered sugar) and sprayed liquid milk chocolate all over themselves, the floor, the walls, the machine and anything else around (I, miraculously, escaped).
Ugh. Jo’s rat story still wins: I make no claims to be able to beat arriving to site to a bed invested by a family of rats, but I now have my own to share. Is it a rite of passage? Something to bond over, or just to laugh at (my mom and Cheryl sure got a good kick out of it yesterday…)?
In other news, the busted part of my toenail (Cheryl also thought that was funny… are we noticing a pattern here?) fell off and I’m on the mend. I handed out the last of the Actas de Nacimiento today, just in time for school registration (a convenient coincidence for me). I thought I had scabies but it seems to have cleared up without taking the medicine, so I’m thinking it was something else, which is good. Other than weighing sugar and passing out birth certificates, I haven’t been doing that much work, but I’ve definitely been busy. Mango season is just about over, but avocado season is off to a delicious, Omega-3-y start. I ate almost two whole ones today… that weight I’ve lost is going to be reappearing de una vez.
Oh yeah, and it’s been H-O-T. How am I going to survive the summer, and is my family ever going to forgive me for letting them come visit me in the hottest month of the year?