Bali is crawling with creatures, critters and insects (no pun intended, lol). And they are not only plentiful but they are about twice the size of anything I’ve ever seen. Have you ever seen a queen bee? Yeah, well pretty much EVERY bee here looks like a queen bee. And their buzz is ominous and deep and it sends chills down my spine every time one flies by me (which is quite often). There are also large creepy wasps that are completely brown in color everywhere here. In fact, the first day I moved into my room, I noticed something hanging from one of my wire shelves and it ended up being one of those enormous brown wasps hanging from an egg sack. Needless to say, those babies will not be hatching. There are some other strange bugs I’ve never seen before including a beetle looking thing that is about 2 inches long by an inch wide that looks like a brown clump of mud with legs…

My room and bathroom have no type of window coverings which means that insects and lizards can come and go from my room as they please. It is not a rare occasion that I come bursting out of my room screaming and running from a wasp. Thankfully I have a mosquito net protecting my bed which I call my “safe zone.” If it weren’t for my mosquito net I probably would never get any sleep. In my room alone, I have seen geckos, frogs, wasps, dragonflies, centipedes, spiders and slugs. One night I went to the bathroom before going to bed and must’ve left my mosquito net open and when I got back into my safe zone a dragonfly had gotten in. I about had a heart attack, but luckily jumped out quickly and was able to easily let him out. Dragonflies are actually quite beautiful to watch (when they’re outside). They are so graceful with their movements, sometimes moving very quickly and other times just hovering in mid-air. They often fly together in swarms, dancing around with each other. I have walked through the swarms before and they have never once hit me (fingers crossed it stays that way – they may be beautiful but I certainly don’t want one in my mouth).

The geckos don’t bother me, they are said to be good luck and eat other insects. But I have seen a huge one in my bathroom a couple times that is at least a foot long which is quite startling (pictured below). They also leave little turds everywhere. There are a ton of frogs in the rice fields and last week I had frogs in my room three days in a row. I’ve heard that if you see the same animal three times there is a significance to it. I looked up the meaning of frogs and they are a symbol of transition and transformation, supporting us in times of change. Makes perfect sense, I guess the frogs can stay.
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I find it interesting how animals just roam freely in developing countries. There are “stray” roosters and chickens EVERYWHERE around here and the roosters crow all hours of the day. Every time I go for a walk, I see chickens with a flock of baby chicks following behind them. The chickens seem to be terrified of humans and it always cracks me up to watch them running away from me as if I am going to murder them. Speaking of murder, there are also a lot of loose dogs around here (I think a combination of strays and outdoor dogs with homes) and there is one particular dog that lives in the village behind the volunteer house that I absolutely hate. He barks on and off constantly and there was about a two-week period where he was waking me up every morning at 4am (and one day at 3am). I already have to get up at 4:30am and that last half hour of sleep is sacred. I’m not usually a violent person, but I’ll admit I have had a few thoughts (okay more than a few) about hurting this dog…lucky for him he’s been sleeping in later and has seems to have calmed down a bit on the constant barking.

I have never been a fan of insects or small creatures, but at least in Colorado they are normal sized, and they all die off in the winter. I guess I better get used to them though because I hear Thailand isn’t much different. All I have to say is I better have windows wherever I am going to be living…

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