September 13, 2008

After some emails from friends I’ve learned that my entries as of late have a serious tone. I figured that would have to be corrected as I am not a particularly serious person, nor is typical day to day life in Sri Lanka particularly serious.

I’ve decided to dedicate this entry to a few outstandingly absurd incidents with my home stay family and cockroaches. Now, going to a tropical climate I had to know bugs would be a part of life, however, I chose to pretend that didn’t include roaches. Then on my first night with my home stay family I entered the kitchen and a cockroach scampered in front of me. I screamed, loudly. My host mother came running in as I came running out.     She asked what was wrong and I in typical irrational American girl fashion explained my life threatening fear of the cockroach. She said, “Ok, ok!” and quickly found some spray and killed it.
Normally, I would have assumed that everyone killed cockroaches, however my host family is Buddhist so I had to ask, “Amma (mother) isn’t that bad for your karma?” She answered earnestly, “Yes but I have to take care of you so its ok if I get a little bad karma.” We both laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and I never saw another cockroach so I went back to believing they didn’t exist.  The yesterday my Amma had been out shopping all day so we got home at the same time. Before she let me enter my room she rushed in examining the floors and walls. When I asked what she was doing she said, “Everyday before you come home from school I have to check and make sure there are no cockroaches.”  Later that night I came down and when we retold the story to my host father he ran into the kitchen and came out with an enormous industrial sized bottle with a picture of a dead cockroach on it and holding it proudly he proclaimed, “Yes! I am the cockroach killer!”

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