November 9, 2008



noticed a reoccurring theme in my entries of dogs and insects and what not.
After this past week or so of creature mishaps I have to say that the rest of
my time in Sri Lanka has been virtually creature mishap free, well minus my
host mother getting bitten, that was pretty bad.


guess I can start with the newest addition to our family, this cat, notice I
didn't say kitten, indicating clearly that my host family and I chose not to
learn our lesson about adopting full grown animals after my host mother was
bitten. Though, I can't really say we adopted this cat I'm not sure where it
came from but one day it was outside the door crying we feed it and now it
spends every night and morning at our house, I have no idea where it goes
during the day. The cat won't eat anything it doesn't kill which is awesome
because it kills everything that grosses me out like giant spiders and
cockroaches. The cat now has taken to breaking into the house. The roof is made
of wooden planks covered with tin. The cat slithers its body in between the
wood and the tin and then keeps finding holes big enough to leap through. I
find it entertaining but my host parents seem displeased with the cat. There
not that displeased though because they too appreciate its service of killing


the other day when I was leaving to meet the lady I'm doing my independent
study on, it's a cool independent study I'll write about that later, the cat
was engaged in hand to hand combat with a lizard. If the cat wasn't enough I
had been warned that I was about to encounter some very vicious dogs. The woman
that I'm doing my independent study on had invited me over, insisting though
that I came on a day that her husband would be there to control the dogs.
Rosemarie who works at the ISLE center had warned me never to touch Jean in
front of the dogs otherwise I would be in trouble. I made my way to the gate
where I was greeted by two of the angriest looking lab mixes I had ever seen.
One of her daughters wrestled them into the house, then came back to get me.
She told me to sit still in the chair and then her mother accompanied by the
dogs would come out.


mother and I have a slight addiction to the Dog Whisperer so I kind of knew how
to act. I sat really still and refused to speak or look at the two dogs as they
rushed at me barking. I could feel their breath on me but I did my best to stay
calm while finding it hard to forget the damage one bite did to my host mother.
The women I'm doing my project on is a very gentle lady who could be heard in
the background scolding the dogs by saying, "Oh really, that’s enough now,
that is very, very bad behavior." Her husband came in and jostled the dogs
and eventually they must have decided that I was boring and they lay down at
her feet. She then turned to me saying, "I hope they didn't scare you. Not
so long ago we had a BBC reporter here who just left and refused to do the
interview." I had to laugh because she seemed totally in the dark as to
why the BBC reporter left.

following night I'm eating my dinner when my host father said awkwardly,
"Michelle don't get excited."

could not figure out what he was talking about as he repeated his sentiment
this time staring at the wall. I look at the wall and screamed on the top of my
lungs running to hide behind a chair. A giant spider was on the wall, it wasn't
a tarantula but it was as big as one.

host father shook his head and said, "Really they are harmless

problem is that everyone in Sri Lanka declares everything harmless without
discrimination. They go as far as to describe bomb blasts as harmless so I was
not buying that this spider was harmless.

host mother popped in, apparently she was reading my skepticism because she
said, "It’s true very harmless only the spiders with hair are bad the rest
are harmless."

said that I would rather find Osama Bin Laden in my room then that spider. That
may have been an exaggeration but at the time it seemed the logical way to
stress the dire nature of the situation.

host father said regretfully, "Poor fellow," then he smacked it with
the broom. I screamed as the dead spider fell from the ceiling. They laughed at
me and then searched my room for fear that I would actually have a heart attack
if there was a giant spider in there. I probably would, but at home I used to
be scared of tiny spiders and now I only scream when I see ones the size of my
hand so that’s a step in the right direction, right?

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