Rainy Season and Winged Termites!

It’s been rainy season here since mid-March and it’s pretty consistently rained almost every day.  But it’s probably the best kind of rainy season.  It doesn’t really rain that often during the day and like clockwork the rain comes in the evening.  So that means on the weekends, the day is clear for you to be out and about still.  The only time the rain really sucks is when it causes major traffic.  I guess in that sense, Nairobi is like LA.  When it rains, people drive really slowly!  Of course, in LA it’s because it barely rains whereas here when it rains, people drive slowly because the roads flood and there are huge potholes hidden beneath the puddles. =)  Sometimes it’s raining so hard on the car roof that you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation easily.  Thunderous!  And you can’t see 5 feet in front of you at night.  Pretty scary.  We try to avoid going out if it’s raining at night.

The other crazy thing that happens when it rains is the winged termites come out.  Yes, you read that right!  Winged termites are attracted to the light like moths and they come out in droves when it rains.  If you don’t know what one looks like, here’s a link to photos Google Image Search.  They’re pretty harmless, just startling when you see the swarms of them for the first time.  They even swarm around your car headlights.  So they are all over the street lamps and you have to be careful about leaving your windows open.  One night I came home from work while it was raining and Mike was playing his video game.  This was the first night I saw all the winged termites on the way home and they were all over our apartment lobby stairway area since it’s lit up.  My first thought was oh no, Mike likes to keep the windows open, I bet they’re all over our apartment!

Mike was absorbed in his video game and probably hadn’t seen any of the winged termites.  Sure enough, I run into the kitchen and they are EVERYWHERE!!  Wow, you’ve never seen anything like it.  Kinda creepy.  So we turn on the light to our laundry room and turn of the light in the kitchen.  That was hilarious because soon after they all started crawling/flying towards the light like a mass exodus.  Once we got most of them in the laundry room we were careful to keep the lights off and put a rag underneath the door since there was a small crack they kept coming through.  So no problems, the rest we just vacuumed up. 😉  Apparently the winged termites are an old-time delicacy here and people fry them up and eat them.  My driver Richard says they taste sweet and some of my coworkers say when it rains in the villages, they get huge plastic bags to put over the termite mounds to “harvest” the bugs.  And they’re not cheap to buy since you really only get them once a year.  I guess one day i’ll try them…

It’s nearing the end of rainy season so it doesn’t rain much anymore.  It’s been quite “cold” lately I guess, mostly around 60s to 70s.  I definitely bring a jacket almost every day.

We hope to get outside of Nairobi for a weekend some time soon so I promise there will be more fun updates then. =)