GLS / 1964-67 / Nigeria
 
A few weeks before this field of guinea corn would have been dusty and barren. But when the rains arrived guinea corn and other plants grew so fast you could note the progress daily. Our garden boy spent all day cutting the grass around our bungalow, and as soon as he had cleared it he had to start again.

Cutting the grass was not just for aesthetic reasons. If left alone the grass would become a wilderness in which anything could hide. Snakes can be quite deadly in Nigeria.

But it was not just the guinea corn that sprang into life during the rainy season. The rain was what the insects had been waiting for all year. The mosquito population increased dramatically, and remembering to take a daily anti-malarial Paludrine tablet became more urgent. Every fifth day I had to work nights at Kano Airport, and it's easy to forget under those circumstances. But I only forgot the once - malaria is not only life-threatening but is also extremely unpleasant, and after my first dose of malaria I made sure I never forgot my Paludrine again.

The air around Kano was thick with insects. Car windscreens were splattered with dead beetles and moths, and every evening flying termites streamed from their mounds and whirled into the sky. A feast for some of the locals who grabbed them and ate them raw, but hard work for the Airport cleaning staff who in the morning had to sweep away the piles of winged corpses that littered the pavement around the Airport entrance lights.