Saturday, May 24, 2008
A STORY OF ANTS
Maybe I've mentioned it before, but nature is overly abundant here. What I mean is ... there's a lot of competition for life, not sure what they call that in more scientific terms, something like - high density of biodiversity?
Anyway, last night we were working late, we had a huge shipment due out to Lusaka for export. Finally, around 8pm, it was time to go home. Evans offered a lift and I explained that it would be great because I was exhausted after working 14 hours, and really I just wanted to get home, lay down and watch a movie.
We pull up to the house and sure enough there is no power. I get off the motorcycle and Evans says 'just wait, do you see that' and of course, its really dark and I don't see anything. He gets off the bike and asks for my 'torch'. He points out that there is a highway of huge red ants going right along the side of the house. I remember being bitten by these ants once and decide to cautiously step over the line and enter the house. As it goes, there are even a few random ones inside and within a minute I feel one biting me halfway up my leg...then another, and soon after, another. I take my shirt off as I feel one even biting me on my stomach. So here we are, in pitch black being eaten by ants! We try to see them with our flashlight (aka torches) and fail to avoid having them on us. I remember I bought some bug killing spray and quickly Evans takes care of the ones inside. He then goes outside to investigate. I opt to wait inside after he explains that they have been known to kill people. Yikes, maybe I don't want to sleep here tonight.
I hear him yelling "Mark, come take a look." I yell back, "no thanks". He asks for my camera and takes a few photos and then tells me to sit tight while he fetches some 'medicine', which is really just another word for chemicals.
20 minutes later the power comes back on! So nice to have lights. I smile thinking back to growing up in South-Western Ontario and how each year, when the ants arrived in the spring, my mom would announce it one random day when walking into the house and yelling, "they're here!".
Evans soon returns to kill all of them in sight, I happily observe the job and feel comfortable sleeping again. (only after he further explains that the only time these ants are fatal is when you 'take too much beer - pass out - and you can't feel them crawling on you', at least until its too late and you're out-numbered a thousand to one.)
Life is busy at the moment, I am back in Lusaka and dealing immigration and trying to comprehend the reality of having so many people I know who are in the hospital, both here and back in Canada.