Siafu

I drove. For the first time in two months, for the first time in Tanzania, I drove the bumpy road. I had somehow been enlisted to help Magenta (one of our workers) to hire two daladalas for the musical. I drove out to meet him at the corner, and then down the main road to see the prospective vehicles. I was a little disorientated driving on the left side of the road, but only scraped the bottom of the car once, avoiding the majority of pot holes. When we reached the daladalas I had to take pictures of them for set dressing. As I stood in front of them, Magenta pointed to the ground and said, “There are ants.” Siafu.

I have been fascinating and frightened by the ants here since my arrival. The army ants, siafu, are known to kill chickens. Brad and Angie woke one morning to find them encroaching on their house; they covered the front steps and were making their way up the side of the house. On another day we were standing on a basketball court when we saw an entire army cross the court. We could see the beginning and end of the marching line, the largest ants in the front, tapering off to the smallest ants at the back. The group was comet-shaped.

I quickly scooted away from the ant hill I was standing on, stomping my feet and brushing my pants to make sure I was free from danger. For a few minutes I was paranoid; I kept thinking I could feel them; it was dark and I could barely see. Then they one my stomach. They crawled all the way up my jeans and under my shirt. One bit my nipple. I kept feeling them in the tangle of my leg hair. I killed one under my knee, my calf, my thigh. Nadine was with me, laughing the whole time. She didn’t get bit even once. When I got home I stripped down and searched each item of clothing for the ants, but found none. I didn’t put those jeans back on.

I still feel itchy.

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4 Responses

  1. eew. now i’m itchy.

  2. Yes, you did drive well. And yes, I did laugh at you… And yes, I am still laughing. 🙂 welcome to siafu.

  3. Aha, ha, ha… I believe I would have had the same response as Nadine… sorry.

    PS – I’m almost finished “Children’s Hospital”. It’s only taken me five weeks so far!

  4. note to self, dont go to tanzania

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