Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Bats Here are Freaking Huge

I've had some inquiries about the wildlife here in Togo, mainly those along the lines of "Hey, gotten eaten by any lions yet?" The best way to address the question of wild mega-fauna in Togo is to say "there is none." There might be a few elephants or deer in the shrinking national parks, but in daily life I am infinitely more concerned with stepping in pig crap than I am dodging a wildebeest.
That being said, while I was in Nampoch for my post visit during stage, I watched, and subsequantly smashed, a scorpion trundling along my bedroom wall. Some of my friends have seen snakes at night; the only ones I've encountered have been road-kill. I am fine with that. There are spiders, and they are huge, and, if they are in my house, they meet my broom. Cockroaches, thus far, haven't been much of a problem for me, but they are definitely around. The last time I saw a cockroach-like beetle in my house I gassed it with enough insecticide to give generations of the lizards in my ceiling cancer.
Lizards are ubiqitious. There are big ones, small ones, striped ones, ones with blue tails, multi-colored ones, drab ones, and so forth. Gheckos, chameleons, ones that look like iguanas . . . Around dusk, which lasts for about 20 minutes here, the bats come out of the trees. I mention them only because they are big and I like to watch them. There was the one time I was taking a night shower and a small one flew in to join me and we danced. It was fun.

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