I had to give myself a pep talk to write this post. And then I had to give myself a few more pep talks to overcome the physical nausea I experienced as I cropped down these pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Sometimes people back home ask me what it's like to live in paradise. I'm sure many of you have wondered a few times, and perhaps even pined for it once in a while. To all you people wondering what two years of gorgeous, not-a-care-in-the world tropical living is like, all I can say is "see for yourself":
These pictures were all taken within the past week. And I assure you, there were plenty of other bigger, juicier friends who were not fortunate enough to get their pictures taken because they were immediately smashed.

The first shot is of some sugar ants coming through the ceiling slats above my computer desk. The sugar ants find their way in here through anything: ceiling slats, electrical sockets, solid cement walls. . . . You may remember that this was a common problem during the first half of the year, but we haven't had too many ant problems recently until this. I squeezed some ant bait gel on the wall to distract them from finding any real food, and that seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately, these ants are even tinier and faster than the ones last term, so if we do end up having another ant infestation before we leave the island, it will be miserable (because they bite and eat literally everything).

The second shot is of a relatively small cockroach for this corner of the world. Usually they're about twice that big. Jared always checks the walls for them before we fall asleep, because our first encounter with a Grenadian cockroach came a few minutes after we turned off the lights one night and Jared felt one running across his neck.

The third picture is a flood of ants in our lobby, chowing down on the sad little skeleton of a baby gecko. I truly am sorry to show you that one, but you did want to know all about paradise.

The final picture haunts my dreams the most. This is an island centipede that I spotted on our bathroom wall one evening, and yes, it is poisonous. I knew a girl last year who put her hand in an oven mitt to get her dinner from the oven, but then she felt something scratchy in the mitt and was bitten by one of these terrors. She got some help and was fine, but they are truly terrifying. As much as I hate to recommend this, you really should watch at least the last half of the short video posted below so that you can see how they move. I'd never seen anything like it in Utah.

Normally we don't get quite so many big, freaky bugs in a week. However, this month is known as "Sweaty September" in the Caribbean. It's the hottest, wettest, sweatiest month of the year, and the bugs just love it. In the past we usually only see one nasty cockroach a month, and during our first year in Grenada I only ever saw two of those centipedes. But these past few weeks have thrown us four juicy cockroaches and three of those poisonous centipedes. In our house. I even spotted one camouflaged into our area rug one day (see video), so basically we are terrified to walk around barefoot now.

Also of note are the giant spiders that live on our balcony and the tiny bugs that eat through paper. They ate the dried flowers in my journal that Jared picked for me on our honeymoon. They chewed through the spice necklace that was hanging above our bed. They ate ate their way into all our gravy packets, and they even ate through and broke the wooden curtain rod in our kitchen. (And no, they are not termites.) Maybe some day you'll be blessed with another blog post from me entailing all the creepy crawlies that did not appear in this one. Until then, please observe this video I made of some of the bugs we saw this week. Then replay it over and over again on your bigscreen TV this Halloween.

(I know people always say this, but you really do need to click the little gear button in the bottom right corner and turn the settings up to an HD setting. You can't get the full effect of these exotic bugs otherwise. Also, Jared and I are very aware that we are kind of weird.)

I'm so glad I married an expert bug killer. (Unless they're "nice bugs." If they're "nice bugs" like worms or little millipedes or something else unthreatening, he will actually move them from wherever they are into safety.) The expert bug killer I married also happens to be the man who brought me to all these bugs in the first place, but that's irrelevant.

p.s. As far as foliage and beaches go, this place really is paradise. But it's like my mom (who served an LDS mission in the beautiful Philippines) said, "Paradise comes at a price."


  1. So idk what sounds happen in the video because I have my sound turned off (sleeping nephew), but I was just imagining you or Jared, whoever is killing the centipede, saying "Die, die, die, DIE, DIE!" with every swing of the boot. Haha! I definitely don't envy that part of your island life! :)

    1. Haha, that's actually exactly what he was saying! Good job :)

  2. OH MY HELL!!! All of the goosebumps belong to me! I physically CAN NOT EVEN. You are a saint. I would have lost it and moved back to the states by now.

  3. All of that squealing! And I'm not talking about Laura.

    Oh, did I mention - you guys are BABIES! (I mean that in the most motherly and loving way)

    You better toughen up. If you end up doing your residency or internship (whatever its called) in NYC you'll have to deal with cockroaches the size of dogs!

    BTW - after watching your little video, Ive decided we're NOT going to visit you for Spring Break. :)

  4. Oh that comment sounded harsh. It was meant purely in fun. But I do feel bad for you. It reminds me of life in Phoenix. I ALWAYS lived in fear of the scorpions in our house. I wouldnt want you to have to live like that for too long. Hopefully those creepy crawlies will go back into their lairs soon and not come back out until after youre long gone!

  5. Um. Ew. This makes me feel downright nostalgic about the few cockroaches we've had in our apartment in the last few months. They're so tender and adorable! Comparatively, that is.

    I'm so sorry for your plight!



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