Housecleaning (Part II)

by Diane Brady

Do you remember the sweeping of bugs, the washing of dishes and clothes, the routines I so easily accepted in the tropics? Well, friends, one of those chores took a drastic turn Saturday night, and while fellow volunteers were probably raising a green Belikin beer bottle embossed with a Mayan ruin, I was raising a tall green Suretox can decorated with a giant roach. But it wasn’t the roaches I did battle with that night; it was the termites – thousands of them swarming out of the hot walls and ceiling, dropping onto the floor; they were everywhere – under the table I use for a desk, in the bedroom, storage room, living room and kitchen. For more than an hour it was man against insect, and I felt outnumbered but determined to hold my ground. We have all retreated now, but the battle rages on in more subtle ways; while the termites hide in my wooden home, waiting for another opportunity to horrify me, I am waiting, too, for my landlord to fumigate the crawl space with a chemical more powerful than what I sprayed that night. And so, please keep me in your thoughts and pray that I win this war long before the ceiling falls or the house collapses, on another hot Saturday night in Paradise.


Diane Brady, author of Housecleaning, is a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Belize, C.A.