Tom Herriman's Journal
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News and Views
October 19-Termites for Breakfast
Termites for breakfast

I’ve now been in Uganda almost two weeks, and I think I’m getting over the slack-jawed tourist phase…staring astonished at the scruffy, scrappy dense, intensity of street life, the incredible physical exertions of everyday work, the bottomless beauty of the faces. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it completely, but I’m starting to organize my days so I can get some work done. Bought some lumber yesterday for a pair of ladders I’m going to make, then I realized I really want some saw horses. While most people here use the ground as a work table, I’m not going to do that. So I think even before the ladders, I’ll build a couple saw horses.

But first things first. Today is the trip to the zoo in Entebbe and the National Museum in Kampala. We’re taking about 40 7 and 8 year olds. Tomorrow I’m going into Kampala to meet Jack Taylor, son of my old friend Edgar. Jack is getting a masters degree at Makrere prior to finishing his PhD at McGill I think. Then I’m meeting up with a well-known Uganda music star, Rachel Magoola. Doug Paterson, African music DJ at KBCS introduced me to her. I think she’s going to take me out in pursuit of some good music. So I’ll start the saw horses on Sunday.

(Note to self: make sure working on Sunday is ok.)

Most people here at the school are intensely religious, mostly catholic. They hold a mass for the whole school on the assembly ground every couple weeks, and many of the staff attend an hour long prayer meeting in the living room every night from 8-9. The songs everybody knows are hymns.

Breakfast this morning was routine…good coffee, hardboiled eggs…until they brought in the termites. They were in a little pink lidded Tupperware container…roasted and salted. You just grab a few with your fingers and pop them in your mouth like peanuts. Sometimes they are stirred into soups or sprinkled on salads. They’re actually not bad once you get over the gastronomic culture shock…sort of nutty flavored. Grasshoppers are even tastier Lwanga says.