Sunday night finds all of the Bundi singles huddled around a computer screen watching black-marketed movies, sipping smoothies, & munching on kettle popped popcorn. The best way to end the weekend.
This Sunday night has a little bit more excitement to it. The fun begins when noises come from the oven in Jess & Ann’s house during the movie. Lights on. Jess fearing. And a large brown rat steps out of the shadows on the counter. SCREAMMMMM!!!! All the ladies light up the night with their high range of vocal pitches. One might have thought the apocalypse was finally happening. Of course, the female alarm system sent the rat scurrying back behind the oven, not to be seen the rest of the night.
The movie ends in perfect Bundi style: abrupt stop with a black screen before a Santa Claus cartoon begins. I guess we’ll never know if Denzel Washington & Julie Roberts see each other again in The Pelican Brief.
Bowls laid in the sink. Plans scheduled for the morning’s safari. Goodnights given. Chrissy, Alisha, & I begin our 30 foot hike back to our house. 60 seconds later finds Alisha yelling that empali have invaded her room & are taking over the floor. Chrissy & I join Alisha to find long, black moving lines of ants covering one half of the small room. There doesn’t seem to be a beginning or an end to the flesh eaters. A few sharp bites on my toes & I’m high stepping out the door finding shoes to put on & DOOM to spray on the little beasts.
Empali, also called Safari Ants, are 1 of the Bundi trifecta. Members of this vicious colony appear in random places scavenging for food. A colony can consist up to 50,000,000 ants & present a problem to Africans living in mud huts on the ground. The army arrays itself in a long line with soldier ants on the flanks. (watch out, these bite!) The flesh-eating creatures will devour earthworms to birds to dogs. (I’ve been told a story about them eating a child left unattended, but I can’t prove that one. Still…..) The Maasai take advantage of this natural cleaning system & let the ants clean the unwanted insects & rats in the crops. However, for the mujungus who could care less about clean crops, the only way to prevent the painful nuisances from entering the house is by covering the walls in kerosene.
Alisha mixes some kerosene & water & marches to the back door to combat our enemy. She’s not gone for 2 seconds before we hear another scream. Chrissy & I rush to the kitchen where Alisha stands in boots & rubber gloves pointing at the large mouse on our counter top. Chrissy shrieks, this being her personal enemy, & grabs the nearest pot. Having been the weird child growing up with pet rats, the mouse doesn’t phase me, & I calmly grab a small tupperware container & stealthily sneak around the side. Scream. Scurry. BAM! The mouse cowers under my temporary cage & Chrissy snaps a picture of our hilarious moment of mice & rubber gloves. I grab the lid to slide the trembling fur ball off the counter. Chrissy gives him a nice lecture about not eating our food & staying out of our house. Then our mouse friend is hurled into rodent paradise: the trash pit in the backyard.
Back to the ants. Alisha returns from the battlegrounds with news that the empali are taking over our entire yard. We mix more kerosene, pull on our boots, & grab a few headlamps. Outside, the ground looks normal at first. Stand for a second too long & you’ll find tiny black dots crawling up your boots. Span the whole yard & you’ll notice movement like a black sea. I step over a mound of soldiers devouring some poor bug. Cups dip into the bucket of the foul smelling weapon. Liquid sprays against the side of the concrete leaving a line of splash marks. We round the house covering all corners, windows & sides. Joking that no one light a match. (But seriously.)
Back in the house, we laugh that all we need now is a snake to complete the Bundi trifecta attack on our house. What a way to end the weekend! Just a little fun in Africa.
(I guess this wouldn’t be the time to mention that we are recruiting?)