Last weekend we took a road trip to Burao, east of Hargeisa. On the way out of the city, driving through the flat, dry, endless bush, I caught frequent glimpses of oddly shaped towers that appeared to growing upwards from the earth.
Some were talk and skinny, some short and lumpy, each uniquely misshapen, like wet sand a child has dripped from his hand to form a melting sand castle. The ones I saw were the height of a person, but apparently these termite mounds can reach a height of up to 30 feet.
Evidently colonies of millions of termites can live in a single mound. Actually, they live in an underground nest one metre below the surface, and the above-ground mound is just a sort of ventilation system to control the temperature and moisture of the termites’ subterranean household. So, basically, in Somaliland, humans can’t hope for any air conditioning anywhere, but the termites get it. How unfair.