Pests – Aug. 20, 2012

Yesterday I got my first confirmation that the pests were beginning to move into the house!

(Not enough photos to post today)

I went to remove yesterday’s towel from the towel rack, and found a cockroach clinging to the far side of it.  It dropped to the floor, and I quickly stomped on it in my slippers.  Cockroaches make a nice “pop” when you step on them properly.

This morning, I noticed a small black speck on my foot, and when I went to investigate it, it disappeared.  It was a flea!  Last week, the dogs were kept in the house a couple of times while they repaired the back wall.  They apparently left some fleas in my house.

At 7:30, I went out to feed and water the dogs, and just as I was filling the water bowl, I noticed a couple of fleas on my white socks.  I quickly brushed them off, but then decided not to stick around and pet the dogs as I usually do.  I had noticed that the dogs had been constantly scratching, and surmised that they had a few ticks as well.  Today, I got confirmation of that.  So, now we will give the dogs a flea treatment, spray a flea treatment on the yard, and  fumigate the house.

I bought a can of Baygon today, and I’m going to use my scuba tank and regulator for an air supply.  Tuesday, I have to shut all the windows, and then spray until each room is full of insect killer.  I will then leave the house and go to work.  By the time I get home, the nasty pests should be dead.

Speaking of pests, there seems to be a great number of stray dogs roaming the island.  Tonight when I went to the supermarket, there was a dog waiting at the front door.  I don’t know if he had lost his master, or was hoping for a handout.  They are not very mangy critters, but seem to be well-bred dogs that are just loose.

Bonaire also has a multitude of donkeys that freely roam the island.  A couple days ago, I saw a donkey at the back of the Wannadive Shop, tearing apart the garbage bags.  When I have been out driving at night, I often see them at the edges of the roadway, grazing. I sometimes hear them braying in the night.

Apparently some time ago, when the slaves on Bonaire were emancipated… so were all the donkeys!  Now, on Bonaire, you cannot cage or tie up a donkey.

The goats seem to be at about the same number as when my family lived here, and they also freely roam the island.  A herd of them went through the studio site a few days ago.  Most goats actually belong to somebody, but I’m not sure how that works.

Some of the nice creatures are the parakeets that you often see flying around, with their peculiar screech.  I’ve never had my camera in hand when they land in a tree, but they do seem to be very plentiful.  When I used to live on Bonaire, we had one as a pet that had become entangled in a barbwire fence when it was young.  While it was missing one toe, it had a rather impressive vocabulary.  We called him Shadrack, and he would repeat his entire vocabulary every morning as soon as the sun came up.

I’ve also seen a lot of little yellow and black sugarbirds, a few orange and black troepials (orioles), and a great many grey mockingbirds.

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This morning at the office, I worked on removing our test documents from the website in order to get it ready for a public launch.  Many of the pages were filled with test-test, and so on.  I also briefly chatted with Benjamin at head office, and he said that his boss is back from holidays today, and so they will begin to address some of the fixes that are needed.

At noon, I ate a few sandwiches that I had brought with me while I drove into town to see if I could get some surgical scissors to cut fishing line with.  You may have noticed the last photo in yesterday’s album was with Jay holding a whole ball of fishing line which he had removed from the reef.  The scissors come with a nice Velcro holder, which I want to get as well.  Unfortunately, the dive shop I went to didn’t have them.  Next, I went to the Yellow Submarine Dive Shop, but they didn’t have them either.  They referred me to a retail store in the downtown area.  But then the lady stopped herself, and said, “Wait a minute.  They’re on siesta now until 1:30.”  So much for that idea.

Next, I went to the Macho Rental Shop for scooters, to price them for my sister, Joanna.  It seems that if you rent for more than three days, it works out to $18.50 a day for a single-seat scooter.  My concern is whether helmets will be available, as they are not mandatory on Bonaire.  I’m not sure I would like to drive a scooter without a helmet.

After lunch, I went back to sorting photos.  I found a great many duplicate photos, which helped speed up the process somewhat.  I have also found a way of renaming and tagging them in batches, which again speeds things up.

Just as I was going home, I received an email from RTM Brazil, Radio Trans Mundial.  This is TWR’s ministry partner in Brazil.  They answered my inquiry about listener stories, and supplied me with many stories from TWR listeners.  I now have a whole lot of them to choose from!  I ran them through the Google Translator, and saved them into a Word document.  This will be a great help.  I wrote them a response, translated it into Portuguese, and sent it back to them.  It seems their office has over 20 people working in it, so they can be a good resource for us.

Earlier in the day, I felt somewhat tired, and grabbed a second coffee.  Apparently I overdid it on the weekend.  But when quitting time came, I forgot it was five o’clock and worked past it a bit as I was “in the groove.”

As usual, I drove the seaside road on the way home, doing about 30 kilometres the whole way.  I never tire of watching the activity in the ocean.  There are always people snorkelling, swimming, sailing little boats, and people generally just congregating by the seaside.  I again noticed how many Dutch people are here now.

Then it was time to feed the dogs, get some groceries, and head out for supper.  Tonight I ate at the Rumba Café, which is two doors down from the Zee Zicht Restaurant of years ago.  It is amazing that the restaurant is still in business, after all these years, but I didn’t like the special they were offering.  The various restaurants compete for customers by putting little billboards on the sidewalk, advertising the special of the day.  They are quite good, and very reasonable.

After supper, I wandered down the boulevard towards the old fish market.  It is now used as a produce-selling stand for the Venezuelan banana boats.  As I dictate this blog, I’m sitting on the seaside-facing steps, about four feet from the water’s edge.  While I’ve been here, two huge tugs docked to my left, followed a few minutes later by a pilot boat.  My guess is that they brought in yet another super tanker from Venezuela.

There is a series of smaller docks down the coast, and I’ve noticed security guards stationed at various buildings, docks, and condos.  Even Jay’s condo has a security guard.

While there were a few no-see-ums nipping at my legs while I was at the restaurant, the mosquitoes don’t seem to bother me at the water’s edge.

I decided not to go diving today as Jay was unavailable, and my right knee is still bothering me a little bit.

Despite my blog from Saturday, I do occasionally stay above water for more than 24 hours!

Now I’ll go back to reading the book about my namesake, Sir John A. Macdonald, called “Nation Builder.”

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