Fathers and sons should have many bonding moments. If possible they should involve some kind of messiness, disassembly/construction, and in the best of situations a wee bit of killin'. Both boys helped in the field planting technique we learned this week (more about that in the next post). They came with our Community Development Team again this week. And they visited a local farm with our class. All of these activities checked appropriate boxes in father son development and shared moments. Heck, if they are paying attention (most of the time they are—I quiz them frequently) they might grow up to be farmers without having to take a class.
That third component, knowing my short list isn't comprehensive, needs to be visited often and with great revelry. Now a wee bit of killin' can be the equivalent busting something big down to tiny little bitses. In fact if the something big is technology based and has been a great source of frustration it might even be more satisfying to beat it till the plastic returns to granular form. Which if you've seen the above pics brings us to Xander and my work duty Friday morning.
As mentioned in previous posts the spiders here are exactly as you would expect jungle spiders to be: large, black, and terrifying. We haven't photographed them up to this point because we didn't bring enough smelling salts to revive Zoe from the fainting she would succumb to in sheer fear of their appearance. I'm not sure if you can make out the traffic safety stripe across the back of specimen on the upper left. That stripe is required by the state as it is on all vehicles over two metric tons. I don't have fancy back stories for all the spiders we encountered cause me and the boy were too busy just killin'em.
Did we create unbalance in the ecosystem? Did we needlessly eliminate God's natural mosquito exterminator? Could we have relocated each of those nine reason-for-sleeping-with-the-lights-on to another hospitable environment? (One more) Did we explore all the options possible to live in harmony with the spiders, like distributing hazmat suits? And of course Zoe's solution, "so what if we burn down the dining hall? Dining by starlight sounds delightful."
Armed with a brush nailed to a pole, I knocked them down and Xander stomped on them. Nine, we got nine. That's 72 legs, 72 eyes, mandibles, thoraxes, abdomens, etc. I have to tell you it was satisfying the first few times but as we knocked them down from their perch they proved to be less than formidable foes. Superior acrobats in their own webs but less than pedestrian on the ground, all back end and no scurry. In fact the final kill in the last pic on the bottom right practically fell off and lied still till Xander ended it. We collected lots of webs and scraped off more egg sacks than we could count and for a few minutes before breakfast a new day dawned in our open air dining hall.
As for all the unanswerable questions, unnecessary. By Saturday just as many new spiders filled in where the previous ones were vacated. Like teeth on a shark or workers from a temp agency as soon as a space is available there'll be another to fill in. We keep killing them, but I have a feeling Zoe's solution will prevail someday, hopefully after the rainy season ends.
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