Flies – Day 25

Posted on April 1, 2012


In the last few days I seem to have gotten more bites. Some are on the nape of my neck, I have one on my big toe, there’s another in-between my knuckles on my right hand, one under my armpit and most irritatingly a bite below my temple just where my ear starts. At first I kept thinking they were from the mosquitos, so I up-ed my dose of Deet. But these bites are different. They itch and pain unlike anything I’ve experienced before. They don’t develop a head like a mossie bite but look inflamed. The skin becomes sore and very tender. It turns out I am being eaten alive by Horseflies.

In the wet season they multiply and there are hundreds of them, I’m told. They buzz around your head and ears and nothing will shake them. In Budongo thankfully they don’t carry disease, but my goodness it’s infuriating. They congregate in large shady open areas. As you’re walking along the open paths adjacent to the forest there’s a black cloud surrounding you for most of your journey until you hit strong sunlight. Of course if you stand in the sun too long you’re likely to get third degree burns. The flies are also attracted to dark clothing and Moses was covered in them today. His shirt adorned with glistening decorative black beads.

“I’m going to wear white tomorrow,” he said swatting the air around his head and shoulders. The field assistants wear a uniform, which is khaki coloured and consists of combat trousers and a shirt made of relatively thick material. But next to my white shirt (which his covered in forest stains) and pale grey trousers he looked far more attractive to the flies.