At the Medical Centre you see lots of toads at two different times: at night and when it rains. As ugly as toads are, they are quite an important part of the eco-system here. In fact, they are very important to us. Why? They eat malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The less mosquitoes, the safer we are. The more toads, the less mosquitoes. You can therefore see that keeping the toad population intact is of great interest to us.
In one of the thunder storms last week I was anxious to get some good shots of the toads around the hospital. They were hopping all over the place and I was chasing them and pushing them around with my feet in order to get a good shot. After about five minutes of toad chasing and assuming odd positions to get shots low to the ground, I stopped. I looked up (I was lying on the ground) and saw that about a dozen hospital patients were sitting on nearby benches and staring at me. “Has this insane white man never seen a toad?”
I got up and then one of the hospital workers walked up to me and held out his hand. Dangling from it he had a large brown toad. “Is this what you need?” he asked. I tried explaining and showing him the pictures on my camera, but I’m not sure it quite sunk in.
Now, I’m sure that my title of “Dr. Heidi’s husband” has been changed to something like “bearded white man who chases toads”. I suppose it could be worse.