It’s amazing that less than a week ago I was halfway around the world…sweating. Now, in the midst of a Polar Vortex, I find myself thinking back to all that we experienced over the almost year we spent in Southeast Asia. And I find myself either sipping coffee or hot chocolate while I do it in order to avoid hypothermia. (I’m not one for hyperbole)
We were able to share with some of our friends last night about just a few of our experiences in Cambodia. However, I never got to some of the things I will NOT miss there.
Oh, we talked about insects, but they were concerned mainly with how many we actually ingested. (The crickets aren’t that bad…really…and might be awesome with a good movie). I was just thinking about how the bugs were just a nuisance. We slept under mosquito nets to keep the blood-suckers at bay, otherwise we would surely look like the plagued Egyptians covered with boil like sores (again, no hyperbole). Even with that pretty adequate protection, we had critters that would make their way inside the barrier. It seemed that Angie was always washing bedding due to the tiniest ants that would find their way in between the sheets. We wouldn’t see them, but usually in the morning there would be small bite marks indicating their passage.
I would most often notice them at the dinner table. We had a large wooden table that seemed to house hundreds of these tiny insects inside it’s cracks and crevices. Many times we would be eating dinner and I would notice a speck of an ant scurrying across a napkin or piece of silverware. Looking harder, I would see the trail of insects busily moving around all the obstacles we would have placed in their way.
The floors of our home in Phnom Penh were tile. Everything was tile. If a crumb of food happened to go unnoticed by those who swept the floor, the next morning we would see hundreds of these tiny ants doing their best to carry, ingest, or transport said crumb. The size of these ants were smaller than the head of a straight pin. They were super tiny. And they were amazing.
I was most amazed as I would sweep them out to the second floor balcony, thinking the entire time, “God created these little boogers just to be swept away by me in this specific time and place”. (Okay, so sometimes I get a little carried away with that whole sovereignty thing…but that’s just how my mind works).
I won’t miss them. They may miss us (with our crumbs and all). Those little biting pests were just another experience in a land I grew to love. They didn’t deter my desire to be there or cause us serious problems, but they were part of the experience. And I’m glad it’s cold here…it gives me assurance that no little ant can stand a chance against Jack Frost.