Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Snake Hunt. (and some prayer requests)

So on Tuesday morning Gabriel came running down to tell us he had found this snake right on the edge of the Litchi orchard. ACK. But of course, knowing i could stay pretty far back, and wanting to get pics of the thing I ran up with Tendai and Rick to see it.  Here are my instructions on how to find, hunt, and kill  (and of course photograph) a very dangerous, poisonous snake. In this case, a Green Mamba.

 Step One
the original snake finder and another local staff member should try to relocate the snake. this might take awhile.

Step two
after awhile, call in a missionary to help you look. He probably wont be much help since us "muzungus" dont seem to have eye's to see these well hidden snakes, but it will make the missionary fell good if you ask him to help. :)

Step Three

Ask a second missionary to join in the hunt since the first one wasn't really helping that much. (Thanks for Helping Andy!)

Step Four

Since both missionaries have failed to help much at all, call in a few more locals who will look for about thirty seconds and then find it, right where everyone else had been looking! Tada!!!

Step Five

Use a slingshot and pebbles to try and knock the snake either A) out of the tree or B) dead. (I recomend not standing in a large group directly under the tree you are trying to knock him out of but what do I know?)

Step Six

While all this is happening it is very important to make sure children are well looked after and not in any danger by asking a staff member to watch them while you take a bazillion pictures. I think I actually took 143 pictures of the whole event. not quite a bazillion, but close.

Step Seven

The photographer should at least know what they are taking pictures of. This is a picture of the snake. REALLY. See the big blue spot in the middle of the tree. Right at the bottom of that blue spot is a solid line kinda angling up towards the right. Thats the snake. I promise. 

Step Eight

After having attempted numerous times to hit the snake with a pebble you should give up and grab a BIG STICK and whack the tree and the area where you saw the snake until it falls to the ground. This of course is only neccesary if you dont hit the snake with the pebble. :)

Step Nine

Now you can commence with the ACTUAL picture taking!

except... hes kinda dirty sooo....

Step Ten

you should give the snake a bath so he looks nice in the pictures. 

swish the water back and forth in a big pail with the snake

remove the snake.
 (using a stick of course, snakes can continue to have nervous system reactions LONG after they are dead and can even bite you if you are not careful)

Step Eleven. (aka... the last step)

 Ahh... now its time to take a whole whackload of pictures before using a stick or machete to sever the head making sure the snake is "really dead".  (Im not posting pics of that part) 

As I mentioned, snakes can continue to move, twitch, even open their mouths, after they are dead for quite a while. You have to be very careful around them. Very. This particular snake is not responsible for very  many deaths, simply because its neurotoxic venom is not as strong and it doesnt inject as much when it bites. However it can cause a lot of pain, lung and heart problems, partial paralyses and a host of other issues.  It's cousin the Black Mamba injects a larger dose and stronger venom and is often fatal.

In Other News

someone tried to sell me this monkey the other day. I feel kinda bad that I couldnt buy it to set it free. argh.

work has been progressing on our house's foundation walls, under the watchful eye of Supervisor Tendai.

 You can see here how much has to be backfilled (by hand most of it) Where Tendai is standing will be all filled with dirt to make the house level. Rick is standing where our floor level will eventually be. 

Again, thanks for all your prayers. We head down to South Africa this weekend for a few weeks to get a bunch of supplies for our house (wires, plumbing doohickys, tools, etc). We will also spend a few days as a family away at a fame farm to celebrate our Tenth Anniversary and Tendai's second anniversary of "Gotcha Day" (we will celebrate the one a few months late and the other a few days early).

we know of three robberies recently in the town we are going to, and that is just amongst people we know! One home was broken into (thankfully they scared them off) and its on the same yard we will be staying on while in SA,  Lynn and Dwight's truck was broken into and some items stolen today, and another missionary friend had their car broken into yesterday! Please pray for safety while we travel and that we wont be stopped by police on our trip thru Mozambique.  Another continued prayer request is that the funds we need for our house will continue to come in. 

Thank you so much! God Bless,
Rick, Heather & Tendai Neufeld

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