Stop Buggin’ Me!

Chiapas has a special little insect.  I have been getting to know him pretty well this week.  Apparently, this is the time of year that the nucú comes out.

My first clue was the one that I snapped a picture of several weeks ago.  It was the biggest ant-looking creature I had ever seen.  A child a school caught it–and we were all fascinated.  This was before I found out that people eat these guys.  Then I REALLY became fascinated.

At the ball park (soccer stadium) across the street–we were infested with flying ants.  Victor pointed them out–and told me that people eat them when they get big.  They put hot sauce on them and eat them with a cold Corona.  A girl at work said that people fry them, put lemon and salt on them and eat them in tacos.  The little guys have these fragile wings that brush off with the merest friction.  The big guys…well, they’re big.  I’ve hunted down some pictures for you–but rest assured, my kids will provide me with plenty of opportunities for more shots this week.

On my way to work two days ago, I saw this older man and woman walking along the road picking something up.  I couldn’t really see what was going on until I got closer.  They were snagging all the little nucú insects that had for some reason accumulated through the night.  They didn’t pay me much attention, so I kept walking.

The last two days as school these pesky friends have really been the rage.  It started when I saw that the students had turned paper water cones into holding envelopes.  They fit nicely inside their pockets.  Then the problem grew when I noticed that several boys were making their way to Oscar’s desk throughout the day.  He had turned his pencil-case into a cage of sorts.  The next class period, a girl came in with her lunch-container-turned-viewing-center.  I couldn’t bear that she didn’t seem to know about the need for living things to have oxygen–so perhaps I encouraged her by poking holes in the top for air flow.

I must have encouraged someone, because today I literally had to check pockets and pencil cases to make sure my class was nucú free.  Boys came back from lunch with boxes they had added grass and sticks to for a natural environment.  I told Pablo that he needed to do something with my pet–and the next thing I know, he zipped it up into his backpack.

I’ve been complaining about losing my kids to summer lately–but it just hit me: maybe I need to use these guys to my advantage.  I will have to do a lesson on insects and creepy crawlies.  I also need a taste of one.  I have to see what all the rage is about…


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