Friday, November 21, 2014

Tale of the Lizard--George's Post

This morning (Friday, November 21st) Carole and I joined the four other missionaries in our district (all of us attend the Zingwangwa Branch) for a service project at the home of the Chikapas. The Chikapas are building a traditional home-made brick home high on the flanks of Mount Soche, one of the taller peaks that dominate the Blantyre landscape. Here are two photos of the group beginning the climb up the slopes to get to the Chikaps' building site. The climb was steep and winding. Their site is among the last (meaning highest) sites on the mountain. Our primary task was moving bricks from piles around the site closer to the partially-constructed home. This we accomplished by working as a human assembly line. Most of the time I was first in line, pulling bricks off piles, and starting them on their way to the home. I was cautious when reaching down in the pile--not wanting to have any unpleasant surprises. I have already heard too many stories about black mambas. Here is one of the piles we moved. There were no unpleasant surprises until close to the project's end. Grabbing one of the last bricks, I found a lizard clinging to the underside. Not wanting to spook Carole, who was next to me in the assembly line, I tried to scrape it off by sliding that brick against another. The lizard losts its tail in the process. The tail, separate from the body, wiggled convulsively on the ground for 20 seconds. The last we saw of the tail-less lizard was its running under my pant leg. For a moment we thought it possible the lizard had slipped up my pant leg. But after padding down my pants, I thought this was unlikely. Here is a shot of Mount Soche. When I pulled off my pants at home for a quick shower, I spotted a tail-less lizard scurrying over the top of the bed. So the dear fellow had hitched a ride home with me from the Chikapas. He is somewhere in the house now. Perhaps he will help thin the apartment of mosquitos.