The rainy season has begun here and with it has come a welcomed break from the heat. But on the downside comes driving in the rain often and a great increase in the mosquito population. Mosquitoes must have water to lay their eggs in to complete their life cycle, and the rainy season offers an abundance of ideal places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Some species of mosquitoes can go from an egg to an adult in just 4 days.
A few weeks, ago I had stopped at a street side electric shop to see if I could find a bug light to buy to aid in keeping the mosquito population at a minimum inside my house. I didn’t know the exact name in Khmer, but I asked if the shop had mosquito lights. But all this inquiry received was a very puzzled look from the salesman, and I realized that I did not know the proper name for it in Khmer. I thought for a moment and then asked if they had a light for killing mosquitoes in Khmer. With this, the look of puzzlement left the salesman’s face, and I was led to a shelf with several bug lights on it. In Khmer, the name for the bug light literally means ‘machine electrocuting mosquitoes.’ Which is a fitting name, since the blue lights are only a lure to draw the mosquitoes in where they are electrocuted to death. It may sound cruel, but I have yet to meet anyone who is upset by the death of mosquitoes.
I recently bought another bug light at a shop along the road close to where I live. I had tried and failed to buy one a few months ago at this shop, and I thought that they just didn’t have them. However, this time knowing the proper name, when I told the store owner what I wanted, he quickly pulled one out from under the counter.
Inch by inch, I am moving forward in my ability to communicate. It is a slow process, but every so often a small but encouraging breakthrough occurs.