Since our return to Tanzania, there has been rain. Lots of rain. Some say this is the season for “small” rains. That notion stirs up a sense of dread about the season for “big” rains. Nevertheless, the good news is that the rain provides slight relief from the otherwise stifling heat. The unfortunate news is that the rain also brings insects. Ferocious mosquitoes. I am going on 9 nights in a row of being shaken awake in a fit of itchiness. Despite attempts to the contrary, Andrei and I have not yet managed to get our bed outfitted with a proper mosquito net. My morning moods reflect my frustration with this challenged reality.
Beyond mosquitos, there is a certain window of time after the rain when an undulating cloud of flying insects appears. This is a site to behold, if only a picture truly was worth a 1000 words. These insects dissipate as quickly as they appear, and leave behind a frenzy of activity. Little kids in our neighborhood scurry around the streets collecting the grounded insects into a black plastic satchel. These provide the makings of a delectable feast, a welcome change from the monotonous line up of daily staples consumed otherwise. Interestingly, I hear they taste like butter when fried to crunchy perfection.