October 11, 2006

The creepy-crawlies

This part of Mexico is isolated, but beautiful. It forms the southern end of the Sonoran Desert, and is fairly biologically rich – at least in insects, arachnids, and all things creepy crawly. Yuck. (Speaking of yuck, Natalie just killed a small, weird bug running on the table next to her laptop). We have seen five scorpions, three tarantulas (which Natalie now thinks are sort of cute since Brady educated her that they are completely harmless), two centipedes, one black widow spider, hundreds of cockroaches (whose only saving grace is that they were the inspiration for the song “La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar”), and THOUSANDS of crickets, most of them dead from the fumigant they spray at school. For the past several weeks, every day when we walk into school there are hundreds of dead crickets strewn in the hallways and the rooms. If they didn’t fumigate, the crickets would be running the place by now. (Just killed another bug). Natalie gets mad grrrl props for putting up with all these bugs.

We had a run-in with a scorpion recently. The scorpions tend to come out in the evening, to feed probably. Two Friday nights ago, we were watching a DVD on our laptop, and the dogs were sleeping on the floor. Suddenly, the dogs were up and moving around, so Brady looked over at them just in time to see a scorpion next to Osito’s nose, and then Osito shaking his head and running away from the scorpion with his tail between his legs. So, we thought, ‘Oh no, Osito got stung by a scorpion and now he’s going to die.’ We have heard that scorpions are more deadly to dogs than to people. So we called the vet (great vet; takes calls 24/7), drove like mad to San Carlos (neighboring town, 15 minutes away), and prayed all the way that these were not Osito’s last minutes on Earth. The vet checked him out, listened to Brady explain to him in Spanish what happened, and then gave him an antihistamine shot. The vet bill was only $30, which is pretty cheap – except, oh wait, we’re only making $4 an hour teaching. Osito is fine. If he was bit, it did not seem to bother him much, although over the years we have deduced that Osito has a high tolerance for pain. It’s probably from all the weed he smoked in his puppyhood. Just kidding. Osito just says no to drugs.

Which brings us to our next thought: Con boca cerrada, no entra moscas. In English: With a closed mouth, no flies can enter. This is Brady’s new favorite Spanish saying. Natalie has a feeling her Dad will like it too. ;-)

We are starting to feel settled here. Natalie is still teaching part time. She is also freelance reporting in the afternoons, from home. Soon she will also be tutoring the director’s son in writing, and potentially teaching English to adults.

Brady is really hitting his stride with the eighth graders, and they talk about him all the time. The parents are also very pleased. The 11th graders continue to be a great challenge, though. The director of the school said to Natalie last Tuesday that Brady will go straight to heaven for putting up with those 11th graders every day, and Natalie said yes, the school is lucky to have him because he doesn’t quit, unlike Natalie, who quit on the 10th graders after only nine days. Life is short, after all. And those high schoolers shave years off your life every day.

The middle schoolers apparently also shave years off your life, because some good friends we have made – a couple from Canada – WERE teaching English to middle schoolers at another private school in town, but quit on Monday because the kids are SO terrible. Bryan said he was like a glorified bouncer in class and couldn’t teach anything. And they’re both experienced teachers. Bryan is also a musician – a very good guitarist – and has started making money playing gigs around town, and Donna, being Italian, is going to sell lasagnas to restaurants and grocery stores around town. No joke. She already has orders. We’re so happy they’re staying, at least for a little while longer. They, plus the beaches, are the highlight of our weekends.

La Presidenta Blondie wants you to know that it's still very hot here, but the heat is beginning to break and become bearable.

Brady’s parents just left yesterday after visiting for a few days, so we’ll have to update the blog very soon with info and pics about their visit.


Anonymous said...

Dear Natalie and Brady,

Glad to hear that things are settling down down there. We really enjoy the posts and Blondie will have our vote for any American office when you all return. We missed you all at the wedding, it was pretty big though and we probably talked to each person for an average of 1 minute. However it was nice. It was a rainy day but the rain stopped about 3 hours before the ceremony (so we decided to have it outside). The rain then started pouring down about 10 minutes before the ceremony and continued until right after it was finished, everyone involved got soaked and Sara's dress has a nice brown ring around the bottom. Besides that everything was great, we had a bonfire that was started with a flaming arrow (kind of) and 5 gallons of white gas and kerosene - what a perfect way to finish a wedding. And the best part, our parents secret honeymoon is to Costa Rica, should be fun. Well, we miss you and hope that you all and the dogs manage to keep dodging all of the scorpions.

Randy and Sara

Michael said...

This is WAY better than reality TV... You guys could be a show. SHOULD be a show. Brady and Natalie - The Show. An adventurous young couple leave the comforts of home and move to Mexico to teach, unexpectedly becoming entemologists along the way. Too cool. Stay well and don't forget to check your shoes...