I was going through some old files in my computer today and I found some things I wrote when I was working out in remote communities. When I first started it was all new and exciting and I used to take my laptop along and document everything I saw. This one was about a small community where I went for the first time, which was in total about 5 ½ hours from civilization.
The day I arrived in the community the people staying in the cabins where we were had found a baby king brown snake (very poisonous) in the communal kitchen. Then when they got up in the morning of the day we arrived they found another baby snake stuck on a sticky paper outside their cabin door. There was a large gap under all the cabin doors so it was good the snake got into the sticky stuff or he might have been in their cabin with them.
So I was worried about going to bed that night but had fortified the gap under the door with towels and a small thrown rug by the bed. This is what I wrote about the event:
Well I made it through the night quite safely but I admit I didn’t get a lot of sleep. When I got ready for bed I saw movement on the wall and there was a huge spider, counting the legs, the size of a small teacup. It was what they call a huntsman and is supposed to be harmless. But who wants a spider that big walking across your face in the night.
I took one look and said, “no way are you staying in the same room with me tonight.” I hit it with my towel and it fell to the floor and ran under the bed. Great, now it is right under my bed. So I moved the bed and the spider ran up the wall again. I hit it with the towel again and it fell into the trash can. I grabbed the trash can and tossed the whole thing outside. I have a real problem with spiders; they scare me worse than snakes!
When they refurbished the old building to make the rooms we were staying in they had very limited funds so they painted the windows because paint is cheaper than curtains. Which is fine but when you shut the light out at night it is absolute darkness. You wait for your eyes to adjust but there is no way they can adjust to absolute blackness. With the rugs and towels across the doors to keep out the crawlies there is no source of light. With the thoughts of snakes and spiders there is no way I am sleeping in pitch black. There were a lot of small beetles from the rain the day before in the room and one of them walking on me in total darkness would not have created an ugly scene. So I slept with the reading light on. It was a very long night.
I know I sound like a pansy but it gets worse! It is a funny thing but as you get older you seem to think more about illness especially with snakes everywhere. Anyway I’m lying in bed thinking about the trip out to this community. It is 2 hours further than the one I live in during the week. The one I live in is 3 ½ hours from the only town. So I’m doing the math and thinking, “I’m 5 ½ hours from the nearest town … hmmm, what if something happens to me?” They do have a small clinic here and could maybe take care of snake bite but what about heart attacks. Yeah I know where is my faith at this point?
I thought of all the different things people have happen to them, even people younger than me and here I am so many miles from anything. The thought created a very strange feeling of unease. On my behalf I have to say I quit thinking and started praying and got rid of all the silly thoughts.
As I write this I’m thinking of when I lived in Montana. I worked for an outfitter and rode a horse two days into the absolute wilderness where even a helicopter can’t reach you. I was the camp cook. I never thought about anything that could happen to me except maybe being eaten by a grizzly bear. That was nearly 20 years ago so the older you get the more you think about accidents and death.
The joke was on me in the morning when we left the community to drive back to the other community. I looked over to the left and saw something I’d missed on the way in. An airstrip. I said to my boss, “they have an air strip out here?” He said, “oh yeah, all the remote communities have an airstrip. That is what those ladies who stayed at the accommodations with us were waiting for this morning – the plane to pick them up.” Well duhhh that is where the Flying Doctors go when they fly here and there to rescue people, to airstrips. As a crow flies or an air plane in this case I was about 30 minutes from a doctor with a quick flight to a hospital.
Nobody but God knew my thoughts in the night but He probably had a chuckle when I realized there was an airstrip right outside of the community. Oh yea person of little faith but lots of imagination!