Spiders on safari - Angela

After I ate dinner this evening, I headed back to my room, wondering if my roommate would be sleeping already. I really wasn't interested in waking her, but I didn't have a key, so I knocked quietly on the door. Imagine my surprise as I hear her screech from inside, "We have a problem - I'm not sure if I can get to the door. There is a huge spider blocking it." When I heard the part about the problem, my first thought was that the toilet or shower overflowed, and our room was now flooded - our stuff ruined. But when she got to the part about the spider, I couldn't quit picturing a spider the size of a small dog. C'mon. Really? Could it be that huge? I know we're in Africa, but just open the door already. I wanted to know what we were dealing with. Are there tarantulas in Rwanda? I wasn't sure.

I urged her to just scoot past it and let me in, and finally, in a screaming flurry, she came bursting out the door, jumping around and asking if it's on her body, her arms and legs flailing. I assured her it wasn't, took my can of bug spray and bravely entered to check out how huge this thing was. I should point out that my roommate is not someone that I'm familiar with, I didn't know her before the trip, so I don't know how to take her paranoia - does she overreact, could she be accurate in her depiction? I'm not a fan of spiders by any means, but I'm not usually too afraid to kill one. She said he's fast...I wondered how fast that could be?

All of these thoughts raced through my mind as I looked behind the door and into the bathroom, which is adjacent to the entry. At last I saw him in the shadow of the sink in our dimly lit bathroom. I use the bug spray and he scurries - quicker than most Minnesota spiders, I will admit - under the shower curtain. Blast, but I didn't want to lose him in the shower 'cause I planned to use that later. I pulled back the curtain and let him have it with the Ultrathon 8 hour super strength insect repellent. As he ran back and forth between the sink and the curtain, I followed. And he slowed down, until at last he couldn't take the 25% deet advanced 3M controlled release technology any longer. He was very nearly swimming in it when he gave up. One last leg kick, one last loud, terrifying shriek from my roommate and it was over. I wondered if this is how Teddy Roosevelt felt after a big kill on the African plain. My safari is now complete.

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