Gizzard, liver, skin, heart, what is this new body part?

Here are a few food-related tidbits from the last week or so:

Last week, Grandpa hands me a kabob as I walk in the door from class. I can’t immediately identify the meat, but you never can here, so I just eat it. I am thoroughly enjoying my afternoon snack when Grandpa asks,

“So, do you like your gizzard on a stick?”

“Yes, Grandpa. Yes I do.”

Shoot.

Then, a couple of days ago, I meet Grandpa at a little pub named Jerry’s and he says he’ll buy me kabobs again. Usually they’re chicken or beef, and I even enjoyed the gizzard, so I’m not worried. Well, this time they’re liver. I gave it a good shot and finished it all, but man, liver just does not taste good. I was sick all night. No more kabobs from Grandpa.

As it turns out, they also serve cow skin in a lot of the soup here as a sort of delicacy, and I usually just give it to my host sister, who loves the stuff, or hide it under the rest of my food and pretend I ate it (I’ve tried, I really, really have, but I just can’t chew it!) The other day, the butcher forgot to shave the cow skin before he sold it to Grandma. So, I had hairy cow hide soup. It was just like biting into the side of a cow as it stands there, mooing at you. Try it sometime.

Finally, last night, as I was eating what I thought were bits of beef in my stew with rice, I came across what I’m pretty positive was a heart (it looked very similar to the cat heart I had to dissect in high school anatomy, but smaller.) I’m now guessing I was eating bush rabbit for dinner. Don’t worry though, I gave the heart to the cat.

On a somewhat related note, I learned at the orphanage that they don’t have a tooth fairy in Ghana. Instead, when a child loses a tooth, you throw it at the ceiling/on the roof, then play a drum and have the child dance around so that her/his new tooth will come. I like that much better than the tooth fairy, and I think that’s what my children will be doing when they lose their teeth.

Investing in the experience (aka seizing my adventures)

Ten weeks down, ten to go. The time is flying, and I’m realizing how strange it is that daily life in Ghana terrified me only 7 or 8 weeks ago, and now I feel fully adjusted and comfortable with everyday activities like transportation, purchasing food, and conversing with my host family. Life in Ghana is, well, normal.

The thought of this “normalcy” kind of got me down at first; it was discomforting to realize that there aren’t too many surprises on a daily basis any more; where are all my adventures? I realized after a while that I have to go out and seize my adventures if I’m going to have them, and so I’ve decided that instead of just coasting the rest of the way through my time here, that I’m going to try to break out of my box even more and dig deeply to invest in the experience.

So here’s to the adventure. We’ll see how feeding monkeys in the wild, bathing in Ghana’s largest waterfall, and climbing the country’s tallest peak all go this weekend. Wish me luck!

Basket-weaving lessons

Yes, it’s true. I have started taking basket-weaving lessons from a nice lady outside of campus, and I LOVE IT! My friend Brittney and I took a tro-tro to the bus stop the lady instructed us to over the phone, where we met her adorable son Dominick. He led us on a 10-minute walk through windy lanes and narrow alleys busy with people and animals, and we came out of the tangle to a fantastic view overlooking half of Accra in the afternoon sun, glimpsed through the rocky alley right before we entered the woman’s courtyard. It was straight out of National Geographic; I’ll have to bring my camera next time. Brittney happened to have her camera with her, and Dominick managed to capture a photo of the two of us surrounded by the dozen little girls that swarmed us and held our hands on the walk back to the station after our lesson. (I’ll be stealing a copy of it, don’t you worry.) Tomorrow I’ll be going back to continue work on my basket, which I am making in a lovely gold and green pattern. It’s so therapeutic to be doing something with my hands!

Update: As you can see, I have finished my first basket and documented the view of the neighborhood. My grandmother was so proud of my basket she kissed me.

“He already has a wife!”

Sara: (walking into roadside shop) “Good afternoon. How much for this bread?”

Man: “Fifty peshwas. Are you American?”

Sara: “Aane (yes).” *hands money to elderly lady who goes to get change*

Man: “Oh, you will marry me! You will be my wife.”

Sara: “Daabi, dabbi, dabbi (no no no). I cannot marry you.”

Man: “Yes you can, you will get me a visa.”

Sara: “I can’t get you a visa.”

Man: “Yes, you will!”

Sara: “No, I won’t.”

*Enter woman from behind shop counter, who has been listening to entire interaction while elderly woman gets Sara her change*

Woman: “You can’t marry him!”

Sara: “Don’t worry, I know, I won’t marry him.”

Woman: “He already has a wife! He’s married to me!”

Sara: “Okay, alright, I won’t marry him.”

Woman: “We have three children!!!”

Sara: “Okay, yes, well, bye bye now.” *takes bread and change and leaves*

Woman: “Okay, bye bye!” *smiling and waving*

NEXT DAY –

Sara: (entering shop again, this time for water)

Woman: “Hello darling! How are you!”

Warmest, friendliest wife-who’s-husband-tried-to-marry-me, ever.

Independence Day and the Tears of Lucifer

It was another culturally stimulating day on Sunday.

Carolyn and I left the house at 6:15 in the morning to catch a tro-tro downtown to Independence Square for Ghana’s Independence Day Parade. We got good seats and enjoyed watching 2000 schoolchildren from about 30 different government schools in the area march through the square in a manner which reminded me a bit too much of Nazi Germany, but I got over it. After the children marched in, they stood there at attention for long periods of time while other ceremonial stuff went on, and about 30 minutes in, the kids started dropping like flies. I know I watched at least 20 children go down from the heat and locking their knees, and that was only on our side of the square. It made me kind of sick to watch so many collapsing, but the people in charge of the parade were on top of it, running out with stretchers every time, stripping the kids of their shoes (apparently to cool them off faster) and getting them into the shade. Later on in the parade we saw the President of Ghana being escorted in by a troop of policemen on horseback. He supposedly gave a speech, but the sound system wasn’t working so we didn’t hear any of it.

On the opposite end of the day, I left the house at 6:15 in the evening (this time unaccompanied by Carolyn) to watch a play on campus with Lauren. Our American friend Brittney was stage manager for the production, and our Ghanaian friend Michael was the director, so we went to support them, but weren’t expecting much entertainment. We were both very pleasantly surprised!

“The Tears of Lucifer,” as the play was entitled, was a drama about Lucifer’s son Kenta, who is sent to earth by his father to let loose all kinds of sins on the enemy, the Christians. Lucifer is the King of the Universe and lives in a giant anthill (I thought this was highly amusing, since there are giant anthills all over Legon, some 7 or 8 feet high,) and he promises Kenta 2/3 of the anthill kingdom if he succeeds in his mission. We watched interesting, surprising, even comical enactments of Kenta unleashing anger, malice, armed robbery, drunkenness, and even fornication on the people of earth, with a lot of detail you wouldn’t see or hear in any play at WSU (I’ll leave out the details here.) Eventually Kenta falls in love with a woman on earth who is killed by a robber Kenta provokes, and so after that he decides he’s going to leave his wicked ways and become a Christian. A charismatic church scene ensues, in which Kenta tries to join in worshiping God, but the horn on his head gives him away to the Christians and he is beaten in the name of Jesus and thrown out of the church. Kenta later dies from his beatings under a cross while praying to God, and the church people are condemned for rejecting him. Lucifer tries to welcome his son back into hell, but Kenta refuses. As for whether or not Kenta is accepted by God and goes to heaven, no one knows…

The fun thing about plays in Ghana is that the audience participates with the actors, shouting out responses to happenings on stage, which made the play even funnier at times. The actors did a great job, the set was really good, and the music and lighting did a lot for the whole experience. All in all, congrats to the University of Ghana Theater Department. They put on a really good show!

Field trip, anyone?

This Saturday, I went on one of the most nerve-wracking, ultimately rewarding field trips of my life. Courtney and I had planned a day trip for the kids at the orphanage to go to the University of Ghana campus to play soccer on one of the fields. Jackie, another CIEE student, offered to come along and help herd children, which was ultimately more helpful than we ever could have anticipated.

During the week, we work with about 5-10 children at Hope Community. On Saturday, there were 32 children waiting to come on the field trip with us. I had thought the youngest we would have was 6 years old; oh no, we had 3-year-olds. Jackie and I had chartered one tro-tro to take the kids to campus, thinking we’d only have 15-20 kids at most. So yes, we did indeed cram 32 children and 5 adults in one tro-tro. And yes, I was praying fervently the ENTIRE ride. Courtney and Jackie took a separate tro-tro and met us there a little later, but I rode in the front seat with the driver, along with the two staff members from the orphanage that came along to help. Add the tro-tro mate and all the kids, and it was packed. Like, kids were triple-stacked packed. I could tell the driver was nervous; he was driving very slowly and very carefully, very much unlike a tro-tro driver. Pastor Ashley came out on the balcony from the second floor of the orphanage before we left and yelled at him in Twi, probably telling him to keep his kids safe and bring them all back in one piece. He also yelled at all of us adults to make darn sure we counted the kids before we came back.

We got to campus and bought two large bags of water sachets (drinking water comes in plastic sacks here), which the kids consumed very quickly. Courtney had also brought cookies for them, and I bought FanIce and FanYogo at a mart on the way (Ghanaian ice cream, also served in plastic sacks.) The kids proceeded to the soccer pitch, where they began to play and popped the ball within the first 10 minutes (not their fault, it was overfilled with air.) Oh well, they just kept playing.

We spent a fabulous afternoon out in the sun, rolling about and giving piggyback rides and generally enjoying the children. Around 4:00 we packed them all back on a tro-tro with the orphanage staff and sent them on their way, and the three of us oburunis made our way home from campus. If there is any reason why I am in Ghana, I am convinced it is for afternoons like this.

Need for Speed, Lion King, Indiana Jones, and baby sea turtles

This weekend my friend Lauren and I took a road trip to the western region of Ghana. The main attraction we were after was a village built on stilts in the middle of a lake, but that turned out to be the least of our adventures.

First, we got up at 3:30 am Friday morning to get a ride from Lauren’s host brother’s friend to the bus station. If you have ever played the video game Need for Speed, well, we lived it. This guy was a crazy driver, speeding like a madman through the back streets of Accra, in the dark (it’s only 4:30 in the morning), and nearly killing countless pedestrians on the way (yes, there are pedestrians in Ghana at 4:30 in the morning.) Lauren calculated the km/hour and figured out we topped out at over 110 miles/hour at a few points. We each said a prayer of thanks when we got out of the car, and gladly hopped on the 4-hour bus to Takoradi, which did not go 110 miles/hour.

Once we reached Takoradi we took a 2-hour taxi ride to Bayin, a lovely little village right on the ocean where Lauren had made reservations for us in a nice hut, this time with wooden floors and walls and even a bathroom. Best part of the hut: it had a shower. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this weekend I took my first shower in 6 weeks. Actually, I took four of them. It was heaven on earth.

The beach itself was stunning, with a forest of palm trees and lots of sand and beautiful landscaping. There is even a sea turtle conservation project run by the people we rented our hut from, which we will get to later.

Saturday morning we got up and decided to make our way to the stilted village, which we knew was just a little ways inland. Turns out that, since it’s the dry season, it’s a significant distance inland, and we had to hike about 40 minutes through the grasslands with our guide before reaching the water. I was a little afraid Simba was going to jump out at us, but it was really fun getting to see a different side of Ghana, one that I had pictured more before coming here (it looked like it was right out of Lion King.) Once we made it to the edge of the water we waded through for a little bit with our shoes held above our heads, climbed in a canoe, and were paddled through the jungle and out onto the lake. It was a beautiful, beautiful ride.

The stilted village itself was rather disappointing. Again, it’s the dry season, so the lake is only at half capacity, meaning the village was mostly just on stilts over the garbage-strewn ground. All that I could focus on was the extreme poverty the people live in there; it was very uncomfortable to just walk through their desolation and then leave again.

We made it back to Bayin to discover we had acquired fantastic sunburns. Thus the rest of the day we stayed out of the sun, read books, took naps, and just enjoyed the chance to rest. Lauren even found a coconut on the ground that we managed to cut open with my pocket knife (after about 45 minutes) and we congratulated ourselves as we drank the 5 drops of coconut milk out of it.

Sunday morning we were awoken by a knock on the door from Patrick, the director of the huts and the turtle conservation program. “We’ve had a turtle hatching this morning,” he said, “and we’re releasing them into the ocean in five minutes if you want to come watch.” Lauren and I threw on some clothes and of course hurried down to the beach with the other hut guests to witness three dozen newly hatched baby sea turtles released out of the box over their nest and into the sand, where they flapped their flippers and flopped over the beach into the sea. They were small and black and completely adorable, about as big as the palm of your hand, and it took about 20 minutes before they all made it into the ocean. I didn’t get to go to church that Sunday, but it was quite a way to worship as I watched the little dudes struggle toward the sea and finally make it to their destination.

After breakfast we proceeded to take a cheaper way back to Takoradi by catching a tro-tro to a village about 45 minutes away, where we were told we could take another tro-tro back to town. If you have ever been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, well, we lived that too. The tro-tro was packed with 20 people as we blazed down a red dirt track (you couldn’t really call it a road) through the jungle, then along the beach, then back through the jungle, over a rickety bridge, through countless villages, almost crashing into a herd of cattle on the way. Amazingly enough we made it without incident, although our tro-tro into town ended up breaking down after we got on it. No problem though; tro-tro drivers are very helpful in Ghana, so our driver hailed a couple of half-full tro-tro’s down, they consolidated their passengers, and they put us on the newly empty functioning one, paying the new driver to take us the rest of the way to town. One thing Ghana has down: public transportation.

So all in all, a fantastic weekend. We had more adventures than we could have anticipated, but again, it’s always and adventure.

Support for Hope Community

For all of you offering support for the children at Hope Community, may I express my profound thanks to you on their behalf! As it stands, we have already raised enough funds to cover the fees for all 15 children. However, if you would still like to support them further, send your donation to my parents at the address below, and they will forward it on to me here.

Mark and Mona Hein

4335 Canyon View Place

Wenatchee, WA  98801

Again, many, many thanks!

Progress!

Today I went with Courtney and Pastor Ashley, the director of Hope Community Orphanage, to the National Health Insurance Authority Office in Accra. There we met with one of the main guys in the health insurance office and explained to him the project that Courtney and I want to undertake: to register 15 orphans for lifetime health coverage by the time the semester ends. He gave us his full support, and told us where we could find the district office near the orphanage where we can begin the actual process with a social worker there. He says it will be faster and simpler to go through our district office than through the national one, but that we should write him a formal letter of introduction for our project so that if the district office isn’t on top of things, he can wave the letter at them and make them hurry it up. So, CIEE and the Aya Center are writing the letter this week, Pastor Ashley is tracking down the exact location of the district office, and Courtney and I are going to take the kids to get passport pictures  for their records. It feels so good to be productive!

The only thing is, we’re needing to raise about $150 to pay for the kids’ one-time premiums for the health care scheme. So if you’d like to help out and get a Ghanaian orphan lifetime health care coverage, let me know!

Hitting the wall – culture shock, and what I’m learning from it

We have all hit the wall.

It seems to be the collective agreement among the American students on my program that the infamous “honeymoon” stage is over (although I never felt like I was on a honeymoon, by any means) and the down-and-dirty work of fully adjusting to life in Ghana is kind of kicking us all in the butt.  For me, communicating with my family has changed drastically now that I have a Ghanaian sister living in the house; figuring out family roles and relationships has become even more challenging. The war on cockroaches continues (I think I killed #6 last night?) and my shower drain is clogged with my oburuni hair, which has created a fantastic scum pond that smells to high heaven and in which I have to stand to bathe. Even daily transportation, which has been my favorite part of Ghana, has been getting frustrating when the traffic and the smog and the dust and the heat just won’t let up.

And yet Ghana continues to reveal her beauty to me in new and wonderful ways everyday, too. I appreciate the red dirt roads, the thick trees, the vibrancy of the marketplace, the colors of the fabrics, the birds that look like they’re straight out of Lion King, and the warmth of the people. I have started making friends with the neighborhood shopkeepers and families, and they refer to me as “Sister Sara.” I have gotten to know my way around town very well, and I’ve started receiving mail from home (thank you to all of you!) Even though there are new challenges and frustrations every day, I know that it’s part of the process and that I am learning incredible patience, perseverance, and non-verbal communication skills. (It’s amazing how much is communicated without words here! Maybe it’s the same in the States and I just don’t notice it.) All in all, I’m seeing what people have meant when they’ve told me Ghanaians highly value other human beings on a very fundamental level. Even when I am treated rudely and overcharged and snubbed for being a foreigner, those occasions are in the minority and I have been welcomed and blessed by so many others here.

May the journey continue, as we all work to knock down the wall.

I have a new sister!

I came home yesterday to find I have a new host sister at home. Carolyn is 18 years old, and would technically be my host second cousin, but who needs technicalities? She is staying with my host grandparents in the room next to mine until September, when she will begin her university education studying French. She has already been so nice and helped me wash and iron my clothes and work on my Twi homework. I am so happy to have another person to spend my time here with!

Classes

Classes at the University of Ghana are finally in full swing. I am taking three courses through my program with CIEE, and three through the University of Ghana directly.

My CIEE courses are as follows:

1. Twi language class (a seven-week long course that I’m now half done with)

2. Sociological Foundations for Development (a class on development in countries like Ghana)

3. Internship-for-credit at Hope Community Orphanage

My University of Ghana courses are as follows:

1. Issues in Africa’s International Relations (Political Science)

2. Colonialism and African Response (History)

3. African Drumming (Music)

My history and poli sci classes are lecture-style with about 75 people and 200 people in class, respectively. History goes very slowly, but poli sci almost goes too quickly, because we are expected to copy down the professor’s lecture verbatim. I’m anxious to have my laptop fixed so I can type out the notes instead of scribbling them down! African drumming is a practical class where we are learning the basics of the main African drums and their roles in traditional West African music. It is a class meant especially for foreign students, and there are about 25 of us in the class.

Twi meets three times per week, drumming meets twice per week, and every other class meets only once per week for two hours. I have a one-hour tutorial for history each week too, and a two-hour tutorial for poli sci, but we haven’t met for that one yet. I am still waiting for my readings to be compiled for history and poli sci as well, since the way they do it here is to make copies of the different relevant chapters of different books for the semester and sell them as workbooks. Sure saves money on textbooks!

The Return of the Roaches

I opened my wardrobe this morning when I woke up and a roach crawled out of my clothes. I killed it with my shoe, and the guts are still all over the floor. It wasn’t as fast as the others, probably because I used insecticide in my room on Friday and poisoned it unknowingly, but I think I’m getting better at killing them too. However my false sense of security has shattered; I had thought the devils had been eradicated. We battle on!

A hut on the beach

This weekend I took my first trip out of Accra and visited the ocean at Ado Foah, a little village where the Volta River meets the Atlantic. A group of us took a two-hour trotro ride from the capital to the village, and then took a motorized canoe ride on the river to a beach camp situated about a half-mile away from the estuary. On one side of us was the river, and then right on the other side was the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful, a white sandy beach with coconut trees, hammocks, and huts made of palm branches. We rented out a group huts for the equivilant of $5 per person per night, and I slept in a hut on the beach listening to the waves. It was paradise. The next day was spent riding the waves, walking to “the point,” where the river meets the sea, and getting very tan.

I had sand in everything when I came back, but it was completely worth it. I even ate my first sugarcane on the ride back, much to the delight of the children watching my struggles. You have to peel the stalk with your teeth, and it’s very difficult and sticky, and then you bite off chunks of sugarcane with your teeth and chew the juices out and spit it out. The lady next to me on the trotro almost fell out of her seat laughing at me and the other Americans attempting to eat the sweet stuff. I guess we were pretty good entertainment.

A bucket and a flashlight

Last night, I took the first bath of my life with only a bucket and a flashlight. I shower with a bucket everyday, as there is no actual shower in my house, so that’s no big deal. However the power was out yesterday, so when the sun set at 6:00 PM I got to take my evening bath with my battery-powered “light stick” and my bucket of water. I love Africa! I truly, truly do.

Job assignment(s) at Hope Community Orphanage

Today I went to determine the location and meet the manager of Hope Community Orphanage. I had to take two trotros to get there, but it’ll be cheap travel.

While there, I met Pastor Ashley, the head of the orphanage, and learned that I will be:

1. Teaching/coaching kids in English, math, and computer skills before/after school (sometimes school is in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon),

2. Taking them on trips on the weekends and planning activities to help boost their self-image, show them they matter, etc,

3. Collecting clothing and mosquito nets from the other CIEE students to donate at the end of the semester (we won’t need them anymore), AND

4. Working on a project with the Ghanaian social services branch of the government to get 14 of the kids in the national health care system.

The way it was explained to me, when the health care system was set up, they didn’t consider the orphans in Ghana, because to get on the program your parents have to register you, and these kids don’t have parents. I guess some of the kids have been registered to have the government pay for their healthcare, but each registration only lasts one year and then they have to renew it, and it’s a very long and tedious process. The government recently changed the system so that you don’t have to renew it every year, and so we’ll be trying to get these 14 kids on the long-term plan. Courtney (the other CIEE student working with me at the orphanage) and I will be getting official letters from the Aya Center (through which this internship is coordinated) and Hope Community Orphanage telling the Ghanaian government that we’re registering these kids as a project we’re undertaking as foreign students, and apparently that will be the ticket to getting through the government red tape and actually getting this done. If the orphanage were to try to tackle this by themselves Pastor Ashley says they’d never get through, but since Courtney and I are undertaking it, we’re hoping to complete the process by the end of the semester. Courtney and I will meet with the pastor on Friday to finalize details and figure out a schedule, and then we’ll be on our way next week.

I think it’s going to be a busy semester after all.

The food and the people

I think I have finally adjusted to the food here in Ghana, as much as I’m going to at least. Eating “sausage and eggs” for breakfast (which consists of hot-dog-like meat, scrambled eggs, tomato paste, and fried onions) with a side of starch (yams or plantains) and a cup of piping hot tea no longer bothers my stomach in the mornings. Thankfully I’ve started getting fruit for breakfast on some mornings;  my bowl of banana and papaya this morning with my bread and tea was much easier to handle. That’s probably one of  my favorite things about Ghana at this point… the fresh tropical juices and fruits everywhere.

Lunchtime is on my own, which means I usually just get a pineapple cut up for me at a stand on the street or get “pancakes” (thick crepes with Nutella – yum!) at the campus café. It’s always blazing hot during lunchtime too, so it’s really good to eat light.

I’m still adjusting to all the bones and other unidentified body parts in my meat during dinnertime. You never know what you’re really eating, since everything is in “soup” or “stew”, which pretty much means a tomato-based sauce. Meat, sauce, and rice/yams/plantains make up every evening meal. One thing about living with a host family is that they  feed you mammoth portions; I’ve figured out they’re scared that if we Americans don’t go home bigger than we came then people will think they didn’t feed us. It’s a real concern of theirs, but my grandparents have been good about  it and even made it a game where they will clap for me and congratulate me every time I finish everything on my plate. It’s like a daily challenge, and I’m winning more and more!

Speaking of my grandparents, I’m really loving living with them. They are so protective and caring, as if I am their real flesh-and-blood granddaughter. At times this has been a bit frustrating, like when I want to spend the evening with other students but am not allowed to go out because I need my rest, or will get lost, etc. But all in all, I appreciate it more than they will ever know. The young man who rents out a room on their property, Morgan, was bothering  me a bit the other day, wanting me to let him in the gate after hours, and Grandpa told him off royally and was very protective of me. I am very safe and well taken care of, and as Grandpa said, he will not let me “go astray” while I am here.

The other Ghanaians I have met here are as mixed as any group of Americans you could come up with. I’ve met friendly young men at the pub who’ve offered to buy me drinks (I have politely declined); taxi drivers that chat with you and those that don’t talk at all, some who give you a fair deal and some who try to rip you off; children who smile and yell and wave and follow you around; women who beam when you ask the names of their babies slung on their backs; and many people who stare at you as you walk by but try to ignore you as they would anyone else. Grandpa has coached me from Day One not to trust people, and to only make friends with people who already know my friends, and to keep my social contacts to other university students. He is convinced that anyone else will look for “friendship” only to take advantage, and I do know that other Americans have already been approached with requests for U.S. Visas and connections to get them into the states.  It’s for this reason I’m very anxious for classes to really get started, so I can start meeting other well-meaning students and get to know Ghana through them. The only classes I’ve had have been with all foreign students like me, although I must admit I’m loving them all. African drumming is my favorite; I can’t wait to come back home and show off my skills!

The cockroach saga continues…

Last night Grandpa and I spayed my room for cockroaches. I thought the stuff was supposed to kill the things immediately, as the fumes almost killed me, but apparently not.

This morning I was laying in bed, halfway between sleep and wakefulness, when I felt something drop into my hair. I screamed, jumped up, and saw a small dark something crawling slowly through my sheets. I shoved my glasses onto my face, grabbed a shoe, and destroyed Cockroach #2 in my bed.

My first thought was that the roach spray must have aggravated the enemies into directly attacking me in my sleep, but I was empowered my victory over their stealth. Grandpa later informed me that the spray only poisons the devils, and then they crawl out to find a place to die (like in my hair.) Lucky for me the thing was already maimed and easy to squish, on a suicidal mission I was happy to end.

Now the question is… how many more are there? I was surprisingly undisturbed by the incident this morning, but would still prefer to avoid any more encounters. Whatever happens, my war cry is this: Bring it on, roaches, bring it on.