Towards the end of the rainy season and the coming to the commencement of the dry season, just as the two seasons collide, there is a wonderful phenomenon that occurs here at Mbingo. I was walking home one day from work and I realized that literally everybody was outside! This was not a typical site. I see farmers tending their crops, and laborers working on the landscape daily, but this was something different. Men and women, young and old, boys and girls alike were outside, running, jumping, dashing, and darting; talking, laughing, pointing, and signaling. Everyone was outside. Granted, it was a nice day, but why the swarm of people? Then I saw what had everyone’s attention… They were not outside for the fun of it. Indeed, they were outside for the swarm – of grasshoppers!
There is a delicious little grasshopper that makes his way into our lives this time of year. He is slender and green, quite docile, albeit a little bit pesky. He will be found on your laundry hanging in the sun (or in the washing machine because he didn’t quite jump off of your dirty clothes before you shut the door), in your shoes, climbing on your back, in your patient’s hands in the clinic room, and anywhere else, private or otherwise that you might think of. These little critters might seem a nuisance, but they are truly a delicacy. Pull off the legs (they have sharp little barbs), put them on the frying pan with some salt and pepper, and you have dinner!
Anyway, there we all were, outside, shaking trees and leaves to cause the critters to take to the air, then to corral them into a group so the children and adults alike could pounce on them, and quickly put them in a plastic bag, a bottle, or just in the grasp of a hand. They’re only here for a short season, so when the time is right, you’ve got to act quickly! Let’s all get outside, and no need to ask what’s for dinner!
JR (Lindsay & Cathen)