So, it turns out that America is one of the few places on earth where people are more scared of lice than they are of, say, pit bulls.
Josh and I rolled laughing the other day when we got a missionary update from some friends who have just returned to the states and are going through reverse culture shock. They said, 'the church held a kids program right next to a park where there have been cougar sitings, and noone seemed to mind. But, when some of the kids were found with lice, the mother's burst into tears!'.
For us in the missionary world, lice is just a part of life. Sure, we take care to keep it away, but it's a bit like trying not to get a sunburn when you live in New Mexico - or trying to stay dry when you live in the northwest.
Here in our village, picking lice is a very important part of the social structure. They have words for baby lice, medium size and the big un's!. They have a word for if just one person is picking one other person, or if they are all in a line, picking each other. A mother's reputation can suffer a blow if her kids are known for having bad lice, in other words, Mama's not keeping up with the pickin'. Whereas, other people love to have their heads picked, just because it's relaxing.
So, we go through a lot of lice shampoo, we use herbal remedies, we wash blankets and pillows frequently, but at the end of the day, there's always a few survivors!
Don't worry, next time we visit you, we'll make sure we're lice-free, but if you come to visit us.... you might want to bring your own pillow!! :)