11. The grossest insect related thing I saw……..


The grossest insect related thing I saw, thank God it didn’t happen to me, involved little white worms. There we were, minding our own business on the shooting range, some of the guys were complaining about these painful pimples they had developed. One artilleryman had a lovely beer barrel and was digging at a pimple on his stomach with his non-too clean fingernails. Much to everyone’s disgust an ugly little worm-thing wriggled out. It was amusing to watch all these rough and tough soldiers that had similar pimples run screaming like a bunch of frightened women, to find the medic. I suppose it was only funny because my skin was a lovely bronze colour and free of blemishes! Brian, the medic, spent the afternoon digging out these horrible little worms.

As we moved away from the river the first Baobab trees grew, also huge ancient beings that give off a special ‘vibration ‘ different to any other trees that I have met. Once out of the gully we could see more of what the landscape had to offer. There was a plane leading up to a few small hills 3 km away. The bush was sparse with very little grass, just dusty sand, interspersed with the stately Baobabs. The beginnings of roads were taking form and evidence of human traffic was visible. We passed an old Russian tank, a T58 or something and a couple of artillery pieces. Some of the tiffie looking guys stopped here. Tiffie types are unique looking, even in a well-disciplined army they manage to look untidy and a little dirty, here they stuck out even more because of the lacks rules, and they were some of the only fat guys in the whole place. The rest of Longa had either fit guys, ours, or half-staved children, FAA’s. Around the next corner was the rough parade ground

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