Tuesday, October 21, 2008


On Sunday, Vilma and I took the ferry over to Mar Grande (an island about a 40 minute boat ride across the bay from Salvador) and spent the night at a pousada (bed and breakfast). We went over there with 2 of Vilma's friends to get away from the city and relax. Plus I was able to move my classes on Monday around so that I didn't have class until the evening.

I seem to be having some bad luck with insects here, as you can read in my previous post about cockroaches. This time it was ants, or formigas as they say in Portuguese. This is a picture of my lower abdoman, which received bites from 2 red, biting ants.

There are several different types of ants here. The most common is what I have heard referred to as "sugar ants" in the US. These are those little, tiny guys that you often find in the kitchen. Here they are EVERYWHERE and you have to be really careful about leaving food or dirty dishes around. As one of my Brazilian friends said to me once, "formigas nao sao uma brincadeira" (ants aren't a joke). This is the truth.

Another type of ant is the larger one that you see on the ground carrying pieces of leaves and other items around and making large mounds. I'm not sure if these bite or not. Then there are at least 2 types of biting ants. The red ones, which I have heard called "fire ants" in the US, and then Vilma told me that there is another type of black, large ant that has a more painful bite than the red ones. I saw the 2 that bit me, and they were red, and I can tell you that it HURT! I don't even want to imagine how much the black ones hurt.

And I don't know if I have some kind of allergy, but the bite mark is just as bad, if not worse today than yesterday, and is still all red and itchy. Ouch! Anyway, I hope that this will be my last serious run-in with insects, at least for a while!!!

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