A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Safari Ants

I was visited by safari ants this past weekend. Safari ants are the crazy man-eating ants you may see on the discovery channel and not believe actually happen to people you know. Well, I am here to tell you they exist and they are not fun.

My friend Lizzy called me panicking a few weeks ago talking jumbled about safari ants in her house. They decided to march right through her house on their way to their new home. That's what safari ants do. They run out of food so go marching until they find a new place to call home and eat. In the process they march together and eat whatever they find along the way.

Lizzie was able, with the help of her neighbors, to kill the thousands if not millions of ants by spraying paraffin everywhere. She then spent hours cleaning up and to this day, still finds a stray dead ants when she cleans her house.

On Friday my neighbor children were crouched low to the ground looking at ants when I got home. I inquired to what they were doing and they said they were learning about the red ants. They then went on to tell me how we needed to start preparing ourselves because in the night they would come in my house and eat me. I quickly realized we were talking about safari ants and began asking around to my different neighbors what the situation was and what we could do about it.

We doused our houses in paraffin (and we had a storm that night which I was convinced the lightning would strike and our houses would burst into flames with all the paraffin we had soaked on them) and prayed the ants would stay away. The next morning there were even more! I couldn't even walk to my latrine without my feet becoming covered and bitten. My neighbors on a different block of houses a little ways away woke up in the middle of the night covered in ants in their beds! The ants were even trying to eat one of the babies. Did you know safari ants can eat a whole cow in 2 hours?!

I left to come to a conference this week so I'm not sure what is happening. I think they should have moved on by now but they were such a pain. I was glad to leave but a little sad to not be there to suffer along with my neighbors.

To all those who may still be confused, or really to everyone, you should look them up on-line. Try YouTube. I think you need to to get a full understanding of how crazy these are.

Oh the creatures and experiences I have in Uganda. The adventures are endless...

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