Hannah L Stone

this is where I write the light

Flashback Friday: Cockroaches

In the Center of Attention post I mentioned perhaps doing flashbacks later on.  Well that bounced around in my head and came up with the idea of having Flashback Fridays.  They won’t be in any sort of order and they won’t all be about or from Kenya.  Why I’ve decided to start with this one, I’m not sure, but here we go!

Flashback Friday: Cockroaches

I do not like cockroaches.  I live in the Pacific North West so I’ve never really had all that much experience with said cockroaches, thank goodness.  But they are one of those things that even if you’ve never seen one in person, you know you don’t like them.  I think my first experience with them was the summer I was working at a camp in Hawaii with my friend Andrea and it was there that I learned that when one kills a cockroach they make this horrible (and yet somehow slightly satisfying) popping sound.

In my little house in Kenya there were lots of cockroaches.  It’s not like they were everywhere all the time, they were just everywhere all the time!


We were blessed enough to have a little refrigerator in our house because we had one electric plug and some times you’d find them in there.  So aggravating.

One night I woke up to Jo (my roommate) flipping on the light to our room and standing at the foot of my bed doubled over and moaning.  I asked if she was ok.  No answer.  I started to untuck my mosquito net and get out of bed so I could see what was happening.  Then there was the constant whacking sound of a shoe on the concrete floor and Jo started to cry.  The trauma?  A cockroach had been in her ear.  It’s amazing she was able to get it out so quickly.  We slept with earplugs for like a month after that.

One afternoon I came home from teaching lessons and was looking for a snack to eat.  While doing so a cockroach started climbing up my leg.  I flicked it off.  A few moments later I felt that same sensation.  This time, with much more dramatic flare, I ripped my skirt off and gave it a good shaking out.  Then much more calmly and civilized put it back on and found a cracker to eat.

And then there is the Pièce de résistance cockroach story.  (although, maybe that title belongs to a cockroach being in Jo’s ear).  It was quite typical to clean the kitchen and then give a good spraying of DOOM around the door and window and up toward the ceiling where it was just wood beams and corrugated metal sheets.  So that is what we did and in doing so a mother load was discovered.  At first a few dead ones dropped down from a hole in the wall up toward the ceiling and Jo and I looked at each other with an expression of Ewww on our faces.  Then Jo very nearly sprayed the entire canister into that hole in the wall and cockroaches literally rained down.  I’m serious it was a stream of cockroaches raining down.  It was disgusting.  At least most of them were dead already, but they were every where.  The majority landed, of all places, in our dish rack, which yes, was full of freshly washed dishes.  So we boiled water and washed them again, this time with lots and lots of bleach!

Of the many things I miss about Kenya; cockroaches are no where near that list.

Hope you enjoyed the first Flashback Friday.  Next week I’ll try to stay away from cockroaches.  And since those are pretty much all my cockroach stories, I think we are safe.

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