The Duck Grabber

I've told Stacey for a while now that one of my least favorite things about Honduras is that every little black speck moves, and all of them want blood.  Well, I've been out walking around making friends.

Having a hard time seeing them? Exactly.
Meet Satan's finest creation, the garapata. In Spanish it roughly sounds like "duck grabber" but the joke is that they grab everything. Their favorite thing to grab seems to be gringos.

These little demons appear to be the result of an unholy union between ticks and chiggers. They´re big enough to see, but just barely, allowing them to hide in all kinds of fun places. All the Hondurans kept talking about them, but I just assumed they were ticks. Well, they´re not just ticks. They´re the wolves of the weeds. Scheming, waiting, attacking in groups. They pile onto the ends of sticks and grass on the edge of paths and wait. The moment something brushes against it, they all move onto it like desperate goldrushers.

Moments before my first meet and greet with the garapatas, I saw Naldo, a perfectly sane Honduran, grab a stick and start wailing on his legs, yelling the whole time. I thought that was a pretty strong reaction to ticks. That was, until another Honduran pointed out a big brown dirt smudge on my pants... that wasn´t dirt. It was  thousands of the things. I then followed the example set by Naldo and punished my legs for allowing the creatures such passage. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the leg beating. Every five minutes, my pants had a brown smudge crawling around my legs, looking for yummy white flesh.

Considering how many thousands of the things have been on me. I feel pretty blessed that I only have about 40 bites. That doesn´t make them itch any less though. We´ve been scratching pretty much solid for the past 4 months thanks to our friends the biting, flying specks, but these bring a new level of desperation to the scratching. Ah, what a wonderful world we live in.

This post is dedicated to Logan Brady, the original duckgrabber.

1 comment:

  1. That is nasty. I can abide many things, but blood-sucking insects are low on my list. I'm sorry. Really I am. Phil H