Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Mouse Story at Last

Well yesterday we unpacked our final suitcases into our new house here in Coch. Today we sent the boys out to the deposito (storage building) to bring in the suitcases so we can pack them again. We're off to the Annual Bolivian Spiritual Life Conference out at the Carachipampa Christian School. It's only about 20 minutes from our house, but we are required to stay at the school for the duration of the conference, so we packed up yet again. We will be staying through Sunday. We were able to get all of mine and Joe's stuff in a suitcase along with all the four girls' things. The six boys shared another suitcase. But we had to have 3 or 4 more suitcases to hold our 12 sets of sheets, 12 blankets (it's cold here at night), towels, 14 pillows (yes, I need two and so does Joe) and 2 small electric heaters. So, it feels like we're moving all over again. :)

Now on to the mouse story that so many of you have been waiting for. I hope it meets your expectations. A couple of days after we landed here in Bolivia we heard a mouse stirring around in our apartment. I've already let the cat out of the bag here and told you it was a mouse but actually it sounded like a rat. Literally. We thought it was a LARGE rat. It sounded like someone was doing work with a chainsaw in our kitchen. I said perhaps it was even a raccoon if such a thing lives here. We first heard it at night in the kitchen area. Then the next morning we awoke to find that the door that connects our kitchen with the next apartment was eaten away at the bottom. We weren't sure if the varmint was trying to get in or out. We cleaned up all the wooden shavings that looked like a beaver had been for a visit and tried to forget about it. We asked the guest house hostess if she had any mouse traps, she kinda looked at us funny like no one ever asked for one before. For the next couple of nights we heard the same beaver. It sounded as if he were building a serious dam in our kitchen and every morning we would clean up the shavings in the floor. The door was getting shorter by the day. I figured it must be a tall creature to reach the bottom of the door as it shrunk. A couple of nights later Joe decided this was it. He was going to hunt it down and kill the beast. It didn't seem to be in its usual spot in the kitchen and we were trying to track it down by the gnawing sounds rattling our house. It proved to have cricket ancestry as whenever we would get close, the noise would stop and he would wait for us to move on before he started again. Finally we went to bed. We heard it chomping away again and Joe got up to check it out one last time. He came back to the room with a concerned look on his face that I usually only see when someone needs to go to the ER to get stitches. He said, and I quote, "We have a problem." I knew it was a problem since the statement was accompanied by the look. I tried to prepare myself for the worst. Yet I still wasn't prepared for what he said next. "The rat (at the time we thought it was a rat) is not in the kitchen. It is in the girls' room and it is gnawing to get OUT." YIKES! That night the older boys were out and so we had also let Josh and David sleep in the room with the girls. They were sleeping on the FLOOR as were Joy and Patience. Joe looked around for a weapon. It just so happened that the only weapon besides a knife he could find was his shoe. He quickly disregarded the idea of the knife. Too messy and too difficult. He grabbed the shoe and jerked open the kids' room door. Of course the rat was too shrewd to fall for the ole 'I'm gonna smack you with the shoe trick' and quickly hid before the door was even fully opened. Joe carried sleeping David, Josh, Joy and Patience to our room and began the search. He went through everything their room...their closet, their dirty clothes, everything. He didn't find the varmint. So then my faithful, loving, night-watchman husband sat out on a stake out. He sat on a chair outside of the girls' room with the shoe cocked for an hour and a half just waiting for the beast to show it's ugly face. Mind you, the stake out didn't start until after 1:00 a.m. What a guy! He truly is our protector. Well after about 90 minutes of waiting the tiny, little creature poked his head out and quickly scurried down the hall. He was too fast and Joe missed with the shoe. We only believed that something so tiny could cause such a racket and make such a mess because we have children. The mouse continued to plague us for the rest of our six weeks in the guest house with lots of noise and even more mess. No matter how hard we tried, we never could get the Carl Lewis-like creature. But God indeed has a sense of humor because on the day we were moving into our new house, Joe opened the apartment door and the mouse ran outside.

As a post log to this story: Joe woke up with a pulled back the morning after picking up 4 sleeping children from the floor and carrying them to our room . Thankfully here in Bolivia he could get muscle relaxers over the counter from our neighborhood pharmacy! He's much better now and much more relaxed. :)

We'll I'm off to bed. We're sleeping on mattresses on the floor in a classroom of the school. Actually we have 2 classrooms for our family. Joe and I and the girls are in the 4th grade classroom and all 6 boys are in the 3rd grade classroom. Joe has just informed me that one of our twin mattresses on the floor feels like a bean bag chair and the other is as hard as a two by four. He's letting me choose which I would hate the least. Oh, what joy, now let me see....


Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you. I've been checking in regularly and wondering how moving was going. Never a dull moment, it seems.

I had a terrible mouse encounter when I was in the Philippines. I was having a bad dream and awoke to the feeling of a mouse running across me in the bed. I was paralysed! I reported it to the hotel and the next day the set fly paper in my room. Not a pretty sight when the mouse is stuck to the paper, but I got better sleep there after.

Do they sell fly paper in Coch?

Becky P

Scott said...

Please include information on how we can attempt to send care packages to you. I know that it can be expensive, and they will only get there some of the time, but it would be fun to send something and read about it later if it arrives.

D&P said...

Just read last two blogs. It is so refreshing to hear in this way
all about your lives. I have others say how they wish other missionaries would do this as it helps us in the states to understand about your lives. We are praying for Josh. Let us know how he is doing and also how everyone else is doing.


Anonymous said...

Hello! Just read your story about the mouse. It was funny. My Pastors wife has decided not to do the radiation treatment for her cancer. It comes with to may risks.
I am praying for you all. Keep in touch.
Jamie Campbell