Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"What Lies Beneath"

A few years ago Hollywood released a scary movie entitled “What Lies Beneath.”  Though I didn’t see the film (ever since being traumatized by “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” as a youngster, I don’t do scary), the reality of “what lies beneath” is never far from my awareness in South Sudan.  What do I mean?  Take a look at this termite mound outside St Bakhita School.  These tall pillars rise everywhere in South Sudan…. Built up over the years by layer upon layer of poop deposited by termite swarms [what should one call a termite population: a swarm? a pod? a herd? a tribe?], they give ominous testimony to the nonstop activity going on constantly and invisibly beneath our feet.  But not only below the ground! Termites also eat the thick wooden branches that shore up mud huts. They gnaw through the precious books in schools. They munch. They poop. They build their skyscrapers. What a life!

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