“Jill, just eat the bugs.”
Staring into a plate filled with maggot-looking insects, heads, antennas, and legs included, I knew I just had to go for it. The evening had started off wonderfully. When I got home, my family was making chapatti, and they told me I could help. I watched my brother Bosco roll the ball of dough out with a rolling pin until it was pretty thin, and then my mama would put it on a hot skillet and move it around with her fingers to cook it. After watching one being made, they let me take over the rolling part. My mama complimented me on my rolling skills, and said that I was quick, which was good, because “her boys are just too slow” when they help. It was nice to finally be helping with something and being productive. And I like to cook, so it was a good time. Also my youngest brother Stewart walked out of the house singing ‘jingle bells’, and so I joined in with him, and he got embarrassed and everyone started laughing. Then he went to another room and started singing it again, loud enough so I could hear. He doesn’t speak much English, so this can be a way to “talk” to him, or at least interact.
Anyway…back to the bugs. We had just finished eating the chapatti and beans, and I was about to get up and go to bed when the younger boys brought out plates for my dad and brother, and it looked like roasted nuts. I knew they would bring some to me so I figured I’d just wait, eat a few, then go to bed. Then they set the plate in front of me, and I realized that it was a plate of bugs. Bugs that I had seen on the floor in my room that morning, bugs whose wings were everywhere in the house and outside. Awesome. My brother explained these were the ‘white ants’, and they were a delicacy. They are called Nswa. He told me I had to eat at least 10 of them, then he would help me finish them if I wanted him to. They were not too bad, actually. They had a taste that reminded me of something familiar, but I can’t quite place what it was. Something grilled. I did only eat about ten, then let my brother enjoy the rest, and I went to bed. But now I have eaten bugs, and I doubt it will be the last time.
Have a happy day!!