As soon as I figure out what the Boy did with the camera cables, I’m going to have to upload photos of things that Hank brought back from Zimbabwe. My very favorite is a skirt that was a gift to me, not from him, but from the wife of his host family. It is a very beautiful thing, and is what the Zimbabwean women wear. I am honored by it.
What I can, do, though, is upload photos of the pets Hank brought back from Zimbabwe for himself. That would be these:
On top, we have giardia lamblia, looking lovely in black and white electron microscopy. As a pet, giardia is difficult to housebreak but responds well to stern treatment. It tends to stay put in the small intestine, where it sets up housekeeping with its other friends. While you can bring some of these back from the tropics, they’re also right at home here in America, particularly in day care centers.
If you’re interested in something more exotic, consider entamoeba histolytica, a native of tropical waters. This one plays well with others, and sometimes co-exists quite peacefully in the large intestine. At other times, of course, it can go on a rampage, but is nothing compared to . . .
Schistosoma mansoni, which is sort of the tomcat of the parasitic world. The schisto makes a lousy pet because it tends to roam; you never know where it’s going to wind up, and it might take a while to find it. Plus, it can get pretty big, for a parasite. Best to leave it alone.
Of course, if you didn’t mean to bring home a zoo-full of protozoa, a couple of weeks of antibiotics should send them packing. By then you might have some other problems, but at least they’ll be local ones.