Bats in the Belfry

Yesterday morning I woke up to the sound of hammers pounding, drills and saws buzzing, and metal crashing. Our landlord owns the two lots and houses behind our home. He remodeled one and is renting it out; the other he is in the process of fixing it up. I discovered after I got up and looked out the back door that he and and some workers were taking off the roof (even in the rain). While standing at the metal door, I suddenly discovered hundreds of bats flying around our garden and under the roof of our patio. Obviously, the bats were living in the building behind and taking off the roof disturbed their nest and they were now frantically flying around in the daytime trying to find shelter after being displaced. They are fruit bats and we usually see them at dusk flying around, but not in the morning.

Our cats were fascinated by them, trying to hit them with their paws as they flew close by. Nieve actually fell off the laundry sink when one bat flew right into her. I kept the metal doors close to keep them from flying in the house; fortunately all our windows are screened along with the outside vents to the attic. Eventually many flew away, but a few have settled down on the beams of our back patio. I am hoping they will move on to other places tonight. When Neli, our housekeeper, arrived, I tried to tell her about the bats. She shared the Spanish word for bat is “murciélago”. I tried to pronounce it and she laughed. Then when she asked me for the English word and I said “bat”, she laughed again. She apparently could not believe that we would have such a short word for “murciélago”. Anyway Neli directed me to keep the doors closed; she has keys to open them.

I don’t really like bats; I think they are ugly and maybe I have seen too many Dracula movies. Bats are everywhere; we found them in our garage at our home in California. Here in Pedasí, they are plentiful and I have gotten used to them flying around in the evening through our patio. There are several species of bats found in Panama; the tropical climate and forests offers a perfect environment for them. So far they are only in the patio. I just don’t want them to make their home permanently in my home.

Just another adventure for our third life in Panama!

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