Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Last night an army of army ants attempted to campaign accross our house. There were thousands of them. I think they entered the courtyard from the west side, which is open. They were trying to get out over the walls or through my room. When I got home there were lines of them scaling the outside wall of my host brother`s room, next to my door. This was not a great route for them, the wall was to smooth and almost all of them fell off before reaching the top. There was also a massive train of them entering my room under the door and following along the edge of my wall under my bed. When they reached the corner some attempted to scale the wall, which again was too smooth and they fell onto my bed and pillow, while the rest turned the corner, went straight past the bathroom door (they didn't seem to like the smooth tiles) and exited out a hole in the wall near the other wall. When I first entered the room I did not perceive the order of thier movements, and it appeared that a huge colony of ants had decided to make my room thier new home. If I`d realized they were just travelling through I probably would not have done anything to impede thier swift progess.

I sprayed some mosquito repellent on thier exit hole, and then Lola, my host mom, got some liquid poison that we splashed around a few places. This killed a few of them, causing them to convulse energetically, but mostly is served to block the movement of the train through the area where the poison had been splashed. The army was stymied. The train began traveling at great speed in a loop in front of my door and along the wall. For hours they went around and around. I wish I would`ve taken a video of thier sinous movement. Fluid, yet following closely a path laid down by the ants in front of them, unnecesary wiggles perserved by presedence. Meanwhile groups of ants that were apparently carrying eggs had climbed up to the overhang above my door. They sat there without moving, clutching eggs of various sizes.

The poison had had a greater effect than I`d realized. Before I went to bed I discovered that the train had disentergrated and that many ants were now writhing and moving wildly. There seemed to be fewer of them. Maybe the rest of the train did find a way out, perhaps through Prof. Laura`s room, which is next to mine on the other side. The egg carriers were still clinging to the overhang and to the outside of my door. In the morning they were gone, but many ant bodies remained, some still writhing weakly. All night I dreamt of ants. I hope the hens don`t hurt themselves by eating too many.

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