ISCELLANEOUS FOR SALE
- 6/ 12/ 2005 <--Prev : Next-->
THE ZIMBABWE RAINDANCE !
In Transylvannia one has to take care when there is a full moon, but
in Zimbabwe some very strange phenomena amongst our populace occurs
at the onset of the rains !!
One can have the dubious pleasure of seeing fully grown men racing
their motoring pieces through the storm dips in the roads, giddily
watching the water splash three meters high on either side of the
car. The pleasure is dubious if you are standing nearby but these
days rain is such a rare occurrence that it is a divine feeling
(unless you are wearing your Sunday best ) .
One can see fully grown Mums and Dads with the kids in tow, as well
as Grannies and Grandpas, splashing through the puddles on the rain
soaked roads.The mums and grannies with their skirts tucked in their
broekies, the dads and grandpas with the trousers rolled up as high
as they can !! Yelling and shouting and splashing each other in some
sort of frenzied rain dance !!
Zimbabwean roads are not well drained, no little cleverly constructed
rainwater gullies where the water drains away in a boring sterile
fashion to the nearest creek, instead we have rivulets gushing down
the sides of the roads, filling the intersections with giant lakes
and puddles where you can splash away contentedly for a couple of
hours after the rain storm, until they gradually drain away.
Not so good for the cars' fan belts and brake pads I must admit, and
with the increasing ageing of the Zimbabwean vehicle fleet, it is a
common sight to see several cars stranded on the sides of these vast
puddles, waiting for various parts of the car's anatomy to dry out.
But this a contentment, not bothersome. Which true Zimbabwean could
possibly get bothered by the glorious rain, instead we all just stand
in the rain and chat excitedly while waiting for the car's under-
carriage to dry out !!
Now that the rains have officially started, we can put away our home
made rain sticks, cease our impromptu rain dance parties, and get
ready for the flying ant invasions ... such fun watching the little
flying ants (termites) pouring out of their secret places in the
earth, millions, zillions, gad-zillions, to live for just a few hours
until their earthly task is done.
Lovely to see them with their wispy wings gleaming in the rain, but
they are not such nice little creatures when they start to make a
massive colony right under your house.!!
With the emerging of the termites another strange side of Zimbabwean
human phenomena also emerges. It is not only the frogs, the bats and
the birds that get excited at the thought of a gargantuan feast, but
the local folk love a toasted termite terrine !!
Gathered under each and every lamp post, attracted by the light... is
an eclectic little group of animal, vegetable and mineral matter !!
(It is not easy to find a lamp post with a light in it in Bulawayo
these days I must admit but they do occur now and again !!)
Every lighted lamppost directly after the rain is a huddle of
excitement. People appear as if by magic with their containers to
collect a sumptuous feast. Cyclists leap off their cycles on their
way home, and scrabble about, yelling and gesticulating in their
excitement, filling every crease and crevasse with the tiny termites.
Bats swirl around in the darkness overhead, gorging on the little
creatures, frogs hop madly around on the periphery, long tongues
flashing in and out like a symphony impaling a tasty delicacy in
perpetual papillae motion.
Those termites lucky enough to escape this feeding Armageddon, wander
off in some sort of pheromonal trance, in tandem, nose to tail, with
his chosen mate, for a few hours of promiscuity from which a zillion
more flying ants will no doubt result next rainy season !!
From whence the little greenish reddish frogs come, is another of
nature's delightful little mysteries. Not quite as many as the flying
ants, but certainly hundreds and thousands of them also emerge from
who knows where at the advent of the rains.
Hopping happily about amidst the mounds of wings that the termites
have shed almost instantaneously once they find a likely mate until
the next day, when all that remains as to a testament of their being,
the road is littered with squashed amphibian carcasses which will
delight the crows and the birds of prey for some time to come. The
roads are also festooned with the curious chongololos, hundreds of
them, thousands of them, millipedions of them, and for some
primordial reason, nine out of ten of them are travelling from north
to south !! Tick tock beetles too abound with their curious ungainly
gait, travelling to who knows where from who knows where to the
delight of the birds who know they are in for a fabulous festive
Ah the glories of the common food chain !!
How would our spirits survive without the coming of the rains ? A
precious testament to nature's amazing healing powers.... a symbol of
hope to a nation which so desperately needs every comfort it can
get..... in this.... our darkest hour before the dawn.......