Home > Uncategorized > Rains bring flying termites…

Rains bring flying termites…

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

  Over the weekend we had the opportunity to travel to Macha for the annual MCC planning meetings.  Macha is about a 5 hour drive from Lusaka but the trip is worth it as it is a nice, quiet rural area that our family enjoys.  (Cynthia for the birds and walking and the boys for their MCC friends Tobin and Noah).  We had a nice weekend but the most memorable part will be the inswa (winged termites). 

   When the rains first arrive every year, the termites set out to form new colonies.  They have a large set of wings and, like most insects, are attracted to light.  Normally, they come by the thousands and are a bit of an annoyance because they get into the house.  We know that some Zambians eat the inswa (including our neighbors at Justo Mwale) but I had never tried them and have been wanting to add them to my list of extraordinary foods (to go along with the caterpillars and grass hoppers that I have already tried).

   It rained while we were in Macha and by nightfall the inswa were out in swarms, flocking to the light and, thus, our screened in area.  Kathy was quick to suggest we fry some up and there were enough adventurous people to agree.  (Cynthia retreated to her room as flying insects are one thing she has yet to adapt to). 


   The inswa hit the screen and many drop to the ground where they are able to walk in through the gap between the floor and the door frame.  They boys also opened the door several times as they wanted to get out and swing at them as they flew.  Before long, we had a pretty good number in the house.  The trick to gathering the inswa, which we learned from the children living at Justo Mwale, is to have a bucket of water.  You grab the inswa and throw them in the bucket.  With wet wings, they cannot fly away.


  Once you have enough to fry, you just pull off the wings and put in a pan.  Apparently they have enough body fat/oils so that nothing else is required, except some salt. 


  When they are ready, you just eat them like popcorn.  From my perspective, popcorn is the best way to describe them.  You know, when you get a piece of popcorn where the kernel is only slightly popped, that is the closest description I can provide.  Justin compared them to eating peanuts with the casing still on.  Nearly everyone tried them.  The SALTers were very adventurous and then came many of the adults.  Lastly, some of the kids also tried them.  I used to joke that Jason would do anything for extra computer time but I now know that there is one thing he will not do.  Jared and Justin did try them.  Justin had to “psyche” himself up to do it and warned me that he may throw up, but in the end, with a bit more salt, he did it.  Photographic evidence below…




  Ingo (above) just grabbed a handful. A good time was had by all.  To see a close up photo of what they looked like, scroll down.  If you don’t want to see it, don’t scroll down…

















































Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Cynthia
    November 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Ugh! You are all braver than I am!

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