On Tuesday, the day before Erica and I would be leaving to put on our first-ever National Science Fair, the first words I heard upon waking were Erica's, "You have got to be kidding me." The second thing I heard in my semi-conscious haze was a low buzzing noise. And thus began Tuesday's adventures, or as I like to think of it, the first omen telling us to go home.
We found a small swarm of bees congregating on our windowsill, and since Erica's allergic to bee stings, I started a small fire in our living room to smoke out the suckers. Once they dispersed and began moving more slowly, I gave them a good dousing of insect killer and kept it up until just a few strays remained. Not the most humane solution, but what else could we do? There aren't a whole lot of extermination services in the area; as a matter of fact, there are exactly zero. Thirty minutes later, reeking of a toxic combination of smoke and hazardous chemicals, with smoke-induced tears streaming down my face, I thought I could claim victory as mine, but it was not so. Within the hour, we saw a new regiment of bees entering one by one through the metal roof of our excellently-constructed [sarcasm] home. Going outside to investigate, we saw a much larger host of bees congregating on our roof, presumably building a nest there. For the next hour and a half, the dull, growing buzz grated on my nerves until they were whittled to a fragile switch, which is always a good way to start five hours of teaching [more sarcasm]. Erica and her school director hunted down a beekeeper, but he didn't make it to our house until we'd already left for Science Fair. Our empregada Luisa informed us that the bees had already moved out by the time the beekeeper came today, but we won't really know for sure until returning home on Monday. Our backup plans are either to stay at the nearby Millennium Village (a quiet neighborhood lacking shrill banshee children) or book it out of Chibuto and bum around the beaches for the next several weeks. It almost certainly won't come to that, but it's nice to have a battle plan. Flight.