Monday, November 16, 2009

Grasshopper Season

First of all, I know all of you have been waiting for my new address so here it is:

(my name)
P.O. Box 972
Masaka, Uganda

Well I finally moved into my new house. It took nearly a month, but I'm moved in and almost settled. It's a small two room place with a bathing area and flush latrine (!) accessible by outside doors. I'll try to post something visual once I get it all set up. My organization is supposed to provide me with a bed frame, table and chair, but so far they've only given me a bed frame (I bought the mattress myself), so my house is fairly bare. I'm slowly acquiring some shelving, etc and it's slowly becoming a home. I'm planning on planting some sunflowers that grow insanely big in front of my bathing area so it provides some sort of fence to the house. I'm also planing on planting a small area of herbs sometime this week too. It'll be nice to be able to cook with some fresh herbs again! Also this week I'm going to try making my own yogurt. It's supposed to be really easy and I can make a small amount each afternoon and it'll be ready in the morning! I'm hoping it works well and I don't make myself really sick. :)

So like the title says, grasshopper season has begun. I was thinking grasshopper season was in December, so it snuck up on me a little! The grasshoppers here are bigger than they are in the States, but slower, I think. All the little kids at the center (where I work) run around with grasshoppers in their hands, torturing the poor little bugs. They throw them up in the air and try to catch them as they fall back to the ground. The impact when they hit the ground stuns the grasshoppers a little so they kind of flop around a little, just slow enough for the kids to grab hold of them again. They inevitably lose legs, wings, etc and die a slow death....I'm not much of a fan of this activity...can you tell? ha

I really like the way they catch grasshoppers here. They set up a bunch of metal barrels with long lengths of metal siding sticking out of the barrels. They then hook up lights above the barrels so that the light shines on the metal siding and attracts the grasshoppers. When the grasshoppers see the light they fly into the metal siding and, I guess stun themselves, so they fall in the barrels and can't get out again.

All the people I talk to here (including most Muzungus [foreigners - usually white people, all Asians are called "Chinese"]) really love them. I'm not sure how much I'll enjoy them, but I'm determined to try one. The idea of eating a bug really grosses me out, but if I can get past that, I think I'll actually enjoy them.

I stole this picture from someone else's site:


Kwincie said...

The lifestyles there sound very interesting and different. Most children find other ways of entertainment rather than catching grasshoppers, and although brutal, it is fascinating that they are able to use this as a form of play.

Alex's Spanish II said...

This is so neat. I had imagined people running around with nets to catch the grasshoppers, but this is far more clever.

Kristy said...

I thought this was very interesting, and I hope you enjoyed the grasshoppers, Im sure it was an interesting experience.

Anonymous said...

Thats pretty amazing! It's really interesting to see how something perceived as such a nuscence here is seen so differently there. Thats a fairly ingenious trap they have figured out as well. I think a grasshopper would be hard to stomach but it may be worth a try! Thank you for keeping such a good log on your events, our class is look forward to your future posts!

Matt said...

How much bigger are the grasshopers there then here in the states? How many differnt ways do they cook them? Are there any other odd foods they make over and if so what are they? What is it like at your place of enployment? have you gotten to try the grasshopers yet?

Emilee said...

Hmmm, I agree the idea of eating a bug is slightly gross! But who knows they might be tasty! Do they get in your house a lot?

S. said...

Matt -

Grasshoppers here can get pretty big, but are a variety of sizes. I'm not sure how they compare to the ones in the states, never paid much attention to them really!

They mainly cook them two ways: fried in oil with salt (the way I tried) and boiled with tomatoes and onions. The fried ones are crispy and dry-tasting and the boiled ones are more....juicy. I'm not sure I'll try the boiled ones. The fried ones were enough for me! ha. I'm not much of a fan, but I'm glad I tried them. I'll probably try the fried white ants when the season comes for those too. I hear they taste like almonds.