by Jordyn Voss
One of the things that scared my family most in my coming to Brazil was the mosquitoes. I was told that they were an easily manageable problem, and not to worry about them. Those were lies.
Now, this is a bit of an exaggeration. The mosquitoes in Santa Catarina carry none of the terrifying diseases for which Brazil has recently become famous. This does not stop them from being the sneakiest mosquitoes ever to cross my path. They bite through my shirts, my jeans, and even as of late, my socks. They bite through my fluffy socks. My legs are covered in bites and the evidence of my totally failed attempts not to scratch them. I have had to wear sandals for the last three days because my Achilles heel cannot take any more abuse and yet I forget to wear mosquito spray nearly every day. I suppose it is an adequate punishment for my inability to get up for my volunteer apprenticeship at a more reasonable time (when I wouldn’t be rushing out the door to get there before my shift is supposed to start). To top it all off, according to my host mom I have a slight allergy to mosquitoes, making the bites itch just a little stronger and a little longer than they normally do. Fantastic.
Mosquitoes, despite being horribly inconvenient, are old news compared to the variety of bugs and animals that have found their way into my room (and occasionally, my bed).
The first time I saw a cockroach I spent at least fifteen minutes freaking out on Snapchat, ten building up the courage to smack it with my shoe, and five taking deep breaths as I maintained pressure on its lifeless body. That was a “stretch zone” moment to say the least.
Bizarre insects aren’t my only visitors. Yesterday, a tiny gecko had crawled into my bed while I was sleeping and decided that it was a good time to say goodbye to this cruel world. Either that, or I crushed it. That was an upsetting morning.
With all of my new friends, I had a new problem. What was I to do with this growing pile of carcasses? It was just as horrifying as it sounds. The most logical conclusion led me to open my window and unceremoniously drop whatever had crawled into my room that day out of my window (held with a napkin, of course).
At this rate, I expect them to create a makeshift-porch right outside my window by Christmas.
Despite my disturbing plight of insect bodies, I am finding living in my area beyond worth it. Yesterday I woke up to toucans outside my bedroom window. The view is straight out of my dreams and it is certainly something for which to bare the invaders. I can deal with it if it means I get to wake up to a wonderful language, a gorgeous view, and an amazing family every morning.