18 January 2013

Rat Trap

Written 12 January 2013 on an iPhone at 1:30 AM.

I recently downloaded a new blogger editor for my new iPhone. My attempts to be technologically savvy have been fruitful for the most part. However, my setting for these attempts could not be more rustic. As I write I am huddled in my bed. I think I set a new personal record for the fastest I've ever woken up. I'm slightly confused by my rush into consciousness so I new some background first.

In early November I received a phone call from my friend Glenn. Unbeknown to me, a grad student at Tulane needed some last minute field techs or her American Redstart project in Jamaica. The work would consist of two weeks worth of Redstart color-band resighting in the jungle and nearby citrus plantations. Yesterday marked my halfway point here in Westmoreland in the island western interior. So far it has been incredible. The mountains and birds are beautiful, but their social context makes it hard. We are staying in a beautiful farm house, but all around us are shacks and dilapidated Jamaican towns. It makes the island a land of extremes. There is so little infrastructure in many regards, with extremely potholed roads and lack of waste services, but we have fallen into he Jamaican way quickly. Our shower water possesses a fish, our home is protected y semi-feral dogs that are some of the nicest dogs I've ever met, and the woods are surrounded by some of the worst Rick infested pastures I've ever seen. I commonly remove thousands of ticks from my clothes daily, an occurrence so horrifyingly astounding it must be seen to be believed.

Which brings me to why I am writing this in the middle I the night. My sound sleeping was interrupted all too recently by a rat landing on my pillow next to my head. Needless to say, I immediately pulled my covers over my head as I heard it scramble not far from my face. I can't find it now, but I know it's out there. I have some coffee as a gift in my room, but think I need to work on rat proofing my room at night from now on. I have no idea it there are fleas or anything in my bed now and, for lack of a better term, am thoroughly sketched out.

Hopefully I'll be able to sleep again.

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