Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sketches of Jinja--3

4. ANTS.

Well, here in Jinja they are part of life. They LIVE here, whether we do or not. We moved into their house, but this is no problem for them--for them, the more of us the merrier! You see, WE bring the FOOD! We've had the tiny ones since we got here, but a few weeks ago, their cousins showed up... Big huge black ants. I screamed the first few times I lifted the honey jar and experienced these guys crawling onto my hand, but now I know to expect them. I've had them crawl up my legs while I'm standing in the kitchen and they don't bite, so really we just kind of ignore them and flick them off if they come climbing.

Then there's the whole colony of ants living in the wall of our shower. Imagine various shapes of flat rock with gray cement between them as the walls... now imagine many years of showers and the deterioration that might bring... There, in the crevices, the ants abide. Who knows how deep into the walls they've developed their city. There is a vertical line of them, a freeway of sorts, running north to south, maybe 2 1/2 or 3 feet in length, ants marching from one opening to the other, on our shower wall.

They mind their own business for the most part. I did go on an ant rampage a few weeks ago though--some ants in the kitchen made me mad so I got out the... Baby Powder of all things (When we first moved here, someone told me baby powder keeps ants away). I squeezed large clouds of powder onto the ant colony's freeway. It stuck to the wall like snow, ants scurrying in panic mode, falling with the powder to the ground below. It was exactly like a mini-avalanche. They'd step on the "snow" and slide off the cliffs. A mixture of satisfaction and regret were mine. The ants had cleared the freeway.

The following day, the evidence of white powder remained on the wall and the ants had resumed their traveling up and down that freeway. I've decided to let them be... they don't really harm us. Besides, what's wrong with a colony of ants living in your shower wall anyway?

7 comments:

Mama PC said...

how interesting!

live and let live....

just think of the stories you're going to have to tell to your grandchildren one day!

did you find anything out about airfare?

miss you! will call you Saturday

Jess said...

ha! your life is so interesting with all the new adventures and just the-way-it-works-ness of Africa! Baby powder, eh? good tip...

Jamie said...

Lol, we are feeling your pain :) There are many days I sit on the computer only to hear my husband in a frenzy spraying those little crazy ants down with all-purpose kitchen cleaner. We've tried buying the little traps, spray powder, baking soda, windex, NOTHING gets them! Good luck little keeper of the ant frewway :) LOVE YA

Anonymous said...

If you have the small, black, sugar ants (in the US), try the ant bait trays. They are available at Walmart and they work great. Those little ants make a beeline for the trays, grab the food & take it to their leader. In just a few days they are gone! Voila! No more ants!

Rosarita :-)

Mama PC said...

no Walmarts in Africa, Rosarita...

Mama PC said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4xjP2QNUUI

lindsey brooke said...

funny... i only could pull up the first 30 seconds of that you tube but that is EXACTLY what we see here on the streets of jinja and right outside town! :) that woman riding on the bicycle is doing exactly what we do every day! ha! and i've mastered riding sideways like that too--like a lady! :)