Friday, September 12, 2008
Update on visas/leaving for the field
Our children’s visas have arrived! I just finished making arrangements for our flight out. We leave for the field on the 30th of this month! Please pray as we have a lot of work to do on our house. Rats and termites have reeked havoc while we have been gone. Fellow missionaries, the Crotts, who are located on the island south of ours, informed us of the damage after checking on our house. I will copy below an email from Joyce Crotts to my wife informing us of the damage to our house. What the rats did is truly amazing. It gives great "missionary insights!"
Here is the email:
Just got home from Namatanai today. Busy ever since we got home, and it's
9:30 now. I finally got my WARM (-: shower and am propped up in bed ready
to type to you.
Where to start. . . .We started trying to go on Wednesday, hoping to get to
work on your house, but finally got good weather and all the arrangements
made and arrived on Friday about noon. When we got to your house we found
all our previous work to sweep up the rat poo was for naught in that they
had done it all over again. It was so thick on your kitchen table (poo and
pee) that if you had seen it you'd probably never want to eat on it again.
(I'd love to strip it or sand it and refinish it.) I wiped it and wiped it
again with disinfectant, but. . . . )-:
Well, my hubby's objective this time was to seal the house off from the rats
if we could. SO he put in new window louvers where they were missing or
broken or wouldn't stay in the frames. He had measured and thought he had
all he needed - bought some new ones at Steamies, but when he got there
found out he had made a couple mistakes so he was two short but he cut some
masonite for the two missing ones. We took Bro. Donald and Bro. Melky with
us and they helped Bro. Crotts hang masonite, etc. They also oiled all the
window louvres so they would shut all the way. . . .Some wouldn't before.
The only way we saw for sure that the rats are going in and out are through
the windows, so we tried to make sure the windows were all secured. I guess
we'll see if this works. We swept up and wiped up a gallon of rat poo I'm
sure. I cleaned out two big rats' nests in Daniel's room. It still stinks
awful as they have been all over the bed and the car seat and everything in
the room. The rats had gotten in to a couple boxes of tracts. They pulled
tracts all over the place and they made a nest of some of them in a toy box
(a plastic tub that didn't have a lid on it) I donned some work gloves and
pulled all the toys out (at least what wasn't all chewed up) and we burned
the rest. We found a nearly empty plastic tub and transferred the tracts
into it. I am sorry that we have shifted your stuff all around. When you
walk into your house you will feel like nothing is as you left it and that
is because we tried to purge it of rats. After my hubby was fairly sure he
got all the rats out of the hall closet he secured the doors shut with a
nail at the top of each door. These are the MOST AMBITIOUS RATS I have
ever seen! Daniel's room is not habitable by humans as it is. We swept the
worst of it up, but I just didn't have time to clean it good. Hate to feel
like we are invading your privacy too. I suggest a new bed for Daniel!
It's so yuchy! All flat surfaces have been poo'd on and pee'd on.
Upholstery MIGHT be cleanable and a strong disinfectant would be in order if
you have to continue using. BUT HAVING SEEN what was on all the upholstered
furniture before we brushed/swept it off, makes me loathe the thought of
sitting on them. I DIDN'T sit on them. (-: Your dining room chairs have
been totally fouled. I know how to re-pad and recover chairs like that if
you plan to continue using them. . .I would help you if possible.
Stop in Kokopo on your way through. . . We could get some fabric to repad
the chairs with. (-:
The rats have chewed up some of the curtains in the living room so they
wouldn't hang on the sticks anymore, but we did manage to cover the windows
with what was left. Some of the furniture has holes chewed in it and some
of it has the foam UNDER the chair torn up, etc. I COULD NOT BELIEVE what
the rats had chewed up! They have knawed on your little knickknack shelf
that you had in the kitchen. THEY EVEN chewed up the little lavender and
green lamp . . .knawed away most of the little ceramic shade. I was sad
because I LIKED that little lamp. I took the liberty to throw away some
things that were destroyed, but my hubby wouldn't let me throw away some
things. Kept reminding me they weren't mine to throw away. I promise I
didn't throw away anything was wasn't rendered totally corrupted or useless.
Some of the bags of clothes that Bro. Crotts told me the rats had gotten
into. . . The bags were ruined, but a lot of the clothes are okay. I just
relocated them for you to deal with if the rats don't get back in and carry
them away. I HAD to burn the green rugs you had in the living room. They
were soooooo stinky and chewed. You told me you have a new rug, so I didn't
think it would be a great disappointment. I just HAD to get some of that
stink out of there. (Oh yes, I burned some of your baskets that were chewed
Before I go any further, let me inject a bit of good news. The stuff in
your bedroom and the girls' room still looks like it escaped the rats. We
were very careful to keep those doors shut since they have so far escaped.
They only showed some signs of gecko activity. And I'm sorry that the
things in the girls' room are probably a bit more stacked than when you left
because we stashed some stuff in there to get it away from the rats. Don't
know why they haven't done so much in there and it doesn't stink like the
rest of the house. Some of the window louvers in there don't like to stay
in the windows. But your room seems still tight and my hubby put the
masonite up right away to keep it that way when he took the termite wall
out. It still smells fine in your room. Sure hope no rat snuck in there in
our going in and out. We didn't see it happen if it did. Other good news
is that we didn't see any fresh sign of termite activity, SO they put some
more masonite up, BUT they didn't hang the kitchen cupboards. Partly a time
factor and partly because it would be good to paint first, and the cabinets
need some work and might be easier to do it with them off the wall.
More bad news. . . .Your kitchen is basically un-usable. The doors on the
lower cupboards (sink-side) don't close well, and the rats have had a
heyday. In fact one practically jumped on me. . . Huge thing. .. . And I did
the cartoon-woman thing . . .screaming. . .running away. . . jumping up on a
chair. . . . But I didn't have time to clean them out. I also wanted to
know that the rats won't just undo any cleaning I did. Anyway EVERYTHING in
your kitchen has been fouled by the rats. It will probably make you feel
like puking. I will go help you clean if you want me to. I just feel sooo
bad for you having to go home to that. WE wiped down some things. . .the
things which the guys had to set out of your cabinets that were on the
termite wall which had to be taken out; small appliances and water filters,
etc. (ALSO! The termites took the walls down and gave the rats free acess to
those cupboards.) Those items are sitting on your table. We wiped them
down, but they are NOT disinfected. By the time we had wiped a few things,
I felt like the rags we were using were filthy. (I wore rubber gloves the
whole time.) Wiping things down just got them ready for a good washing in
hot water and disinfectant. The other thing that made it "fun" was that the
power had been out in Nam all week and was still out so we were carrying
water. . .
Your stove and fridge. . . .we swept up a lot of insulation that had been
pulled out of them and chased one rat out of the stove. Of course the stove
is sitting in the middle of the room cause the guys had to move it to tear
out termite walls and replaced the masonite on that wall this time. A big
blessing was that the weather was relatively cool when we were working.
The floor linoleums are totally fouled. There is rat poo and pee under them
and holding the stink. . . The guys had already pulled the ones out of the
bathrooms when doing the termite thing. I really wanted to take up the one
in the kitchen, but my hubby said to ask you first, so I didn't. (-:
We could have done more, but just ran out of time. They did get the walling
up on the shared living/kitchen wall, and another wall in the kitchen is
mostly done. No trim work is up.
My husband said to tell you that we would be happy to do what we can to help
you get back to a livable state. We can go over and help you carpenter and
clean, or I can babysit and my hubby can at least go help you trim out,
paint, hang cupboards etc. He's a quite handy fellow and does good work.
We are thankful that we had a key and went over and found the mess before
you got back because it would have been totally disheartening and ruined
your lovely furlough to have walked in to a termite and rat surprise that
you would have faced. We have swept up gallons of poo in the last three
times we've been there. I had no idea how filthy and destructive rats are.
The sheets you had over your living room furniture are fouled and some of
I am hoping that you are kind of planning on starting over with regard to
setting up housekeeping. Some things are salvagable of course. And I hope
you find a way to manage while waiting for your new things.
( I STRONGLY recommend some new muffin tins. You cannot imagine the state I
found your old ones in!!!!! I wanted to pitch them out, but hubby forbade.
I feel really badly about what has happened to your house. I didn't even
talk about your husband's office. It is almost too awful to talk about. It
isn't possible to seal it off from the rats without a lot of work. Of
course now it is without interior walling because of the termites.
I remember you asking me what I did to leave our house in preparation for
furlough, and I feel like now my advice was very inadequate. I just didn't
figure rats into the equation.
I know you are eager to get back to the work and life God has called you to,
and I'm praying He gives you to grace to know that you will just have to
devote whatever time is necessary to getting set up again. I would love to
make it nicer for you, but feel so limited. We are serious about the offer
to help anyway.
Posted by Terry McGovern