It is with a start that I realise it is nearly October and I will turn twenty-one! And yet, I will be stuck in a POW camp instead of celebrating with my family. My mood further plummets when a tropical storm descends for two days, which has everyone sniping at each other as we are confined to our tents. But thankfully by the second afternoon, streaming fingers of sun coax us out into the muddy yards. With delight, we race around playing football and jumping in puddles like naughty school children. It is a good thing as all this inactivity had resulted in a few arguments and punch-ups.
Not an hour later, darkness descends without warning. ‘The South African twilight doesn’t last long here.’ I look at the guard who has made this statement. He has a lantern in his hand and he is smirking. ‘The mosquitoes will soon be out too, so get back to your tents and get ready for dinner.’
This place will take some getting used to, I think to myself that night as I shake out my blanket before going to bed. I am not amused when someone pretends to see a big, brown furry spider hiding under my pillow. Not only are the mosquitoes plentiful but we have also been warned about the baboon spider. We saw one on our way back to our tents the other day. It looked like a brown, hairy tarantula with black pads on its feet. It certainly scared a few people, including me. The baboon spider is reportedly a belligerent specimen that raises its front four legs revealing vampire like fangs just before they are about to strike. ‘Ugh!’ I say out loud at the thought of that disgusting creature and throw my pillow at my tent buddy for good measure. He is acting like an idiot; cavorting around like a baboon and snorting at my discomfort.
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