Thursday, March 27, 2008

a snake in the window

In 1980, my parents joined the Nukak tribal church-planting team in Colombia. Because the Nukak were still rather hostile to outsiders, the missionaries decided to build houses in the middle of a small lake for security. The house on the left was our house for 5 years. I have all kinds of memories from our time at the lake, but during my Grandad's funeral a few weeks ago for some reason I was thinking about the time there was a snake in the window.

My grandparents went to visit us one time there, so before they came, we went over to the small floating house (the one on the right) to get it ready since it had been vacant for a while. We discovered that the house was full of bats! That was pretty exciting, getting all those bats out from under the bed, bats flying everywhere trying to find the windows. I think there was a bit of screaming by us girls....once we got the bats out, we started to air the bed and were rather surprised to find a small anaconda curled up under one of the pillows. It had several lumps in its belly, so I guess it was helping to lower the bat population...I think we just threw it out the window.

Once my grandparents arrived, they didn't feel comfortable sleeping over in that house by themselves, so I stayed over there with them. One night, I was brushing my teeth at the kitchen sink and gradually realized that I was looking at another anaconda stretched out across the windowsill! It was brown and blended right in with the wood, making it very hard to see. My Grandad got a paddle from one of the canoes and killed it. They were so amazed that both my grandparents had brushed their teeth before I did and never even noticed the snake right there in the window!
I don't remember a whole lot more from their visit, but I'm sure it had a huge impact on them! I remember him retelling that story so many times. :) I'm so glad that they were able to visit us there in Colombia, since that way they related a little more to where and how we lived.

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