First things first, if you have no idea who Mirtes' is, get acquainted.
For an evangelical, Mirtes was sure good at making her home a living hell. It still boggles my mind how someone living in a tropical city would not have doors. There was a front door, of course, but there was no door leading to the outdoor kitchen (yes, $2000 reais a month to cook camping-style), and no door leading to the outdoor bedroom/bathroom.
Not to mention, the wandering refrigerator. It is a well-known fact that middle-aged Brazilian women have an irresistable urge for non-stop rearranging. There is a ceramic donkey at my Sogra's house that pops up in the oddest of places. I play "Cadê o burro" every time I visit her house.
But, the refrigerator, really? One day it was in the living room, the next day the indoor kitchen, the next day the outdoor kitchen, until she finally ended up hoarding it on the outdoor veranda and locking the door so we couldn't eat. Luckily, it was carnaval and a bottle of warm cachaça was enough to sustain us.
No doors in Rio de Janeiro means waking up to cockroaches skittering around your room. It became clear very quickly that these illusive roaches had special training from years of wacked-out Mirtes chasing them around in her calcinhas (the sight alone could kill a colony of roaches).
Without a doubt, there was a new cockroach for everyday we lived at Mirtes' Indoor-Outdoor. Yes, we named the house. We also named the roaches: Bush, Hitler, Jim Jones...you get the idea.
Killing the roaches became an art. Since there were two of us living the in the room, there was a chaser/smasher and a scooper/disposer. After a botched smashing attempt, my PTSD made me eligible for permanent scooper duty, for that I was thankful.
I so desperatly wish I could turn back time and put my scooper duty to good use, carrying on my legacy of going away gifts for my homestay families. A roach bag would have suited Mirtes perfectly.