My parents’ friends—mostly members of their Mardi Gras Krewe—had a fishfry at our house tonight, partly as a going-away party and partly just as an excuse to get together, drink beer, and eat good food. It was lots of fun, though exhausting to keep smiling and pretending that I know how I’m feeling, beyond “nervous” and “excited.”
I do, however, expect locusts. I hope that I don’t show up ready to, I dunno, plant fruit trees, and instead immediately get put on locust-killing duty:
In a sandy field of half-grown cassava plants, a group of 30 farmers were fighting a plague of locusts with long-handled weeding hoes and improvised brushes.
Some had dug a shallow trench five metres long. The rest were sweeping hundreds of thousands of newly hatched locust larvae into it with bunches of leafy twigs.
The black insects, known as hoppers, were the size of large ants. They had hatched a day or two before and covered the ground for 300 square metres like a rippling black carpet.
But being young, they had no wings to fly away with. And being small, they could not jump out of the 40 cm deep trench, where the farmers of Mekhembar in central Senegal gleefully buried them alive.
“If only we had insecticide we could do a fantastic job,” said Massamba Gueye, the chairman of the local farmers’ association […]
“The [insecticide] powder is really effective, but they won’t give us any,” he added sadly. “There is none left.”