I held the dried worm in between my fingers, turning it back and forth.
“So we just eat this?” I said to one of my friends.
“I guess so.” She said.
It didn’t exactly look like a worm, but the sheer fact that it was a worm, and I was about to eat it, made me shiver.
I was at Lesedi Cultural Village in South Africa, on my International Student Volunteer trip in 2013. Tour guides take groups on tours through five mock villages and explain how the people used to live and survive there. It was an amazing cultural experience, and truly remarkable that we were able to see a representation of Ndebele Village.
We were in the last village, and were given a huge bowl of dried worms to eat. I watched my friend’s face as she slowly ate the worm. It went from indifferent to completely wrinkled and scrunched up. She stuck her tongue out and shook her head, nope.
I looked at the worm again, and tried not to think about how it used to crawl around in the dirt. I hate bugs, and eating one was never on my list. But I had to do it, simply because I was there.
The worm seemed to grill me as I put it in my mouth and slowly bit down. It tasted like grass. Like I had taken a scoop of dirt and grass and shoved it into my mouth. It was dry and crunchy, and I tried to imagine that I was eating a leaf. At least it was better than pig ears!