Sunday, November 8, 2009

This and That

This is a dog I walked past every time I went to the taxi, 2 to 3 times a week.  For the longest time my heart just sunk not knowing what I could do for it seeing its not my dog.  I found out about the SPCA in my shopping town and I went and reported it.  They retrieved the dog that day and had him put down.  The dog was covered with huge tics, his toenails were grown so long he could barely stand, his face was deformed from infection, he had bloody pee dripping from his penis and who knows when his last food or water was.  Every time I walk past that house I feel a lightness of peace that he is no longer suffering. 

In September I had other PCVs come to my house for an overnight cookout.  It's always good to spend time with your own peeps.  Benedikt,in the middle, is from Norway and now lives in my village doing sports programming from another organization.

Peace Corps is a great place to be a pyro because you get to burn all sorts of shit and no once cares.

Meet Mpho.  She is the replacement for the boy dog (nameless his entire life) who died of rat poisoning.  Mama wanted a boy and didn't believe me when I told her I was holding a girl at the puppy house.  So she has a girl.  I named her Mpho, after Dad's South African name.

On her 3rd day with us she met the girl dog (now named Sesi, for sister).  Sesi was very gentle with her.

She was completely infested with fleas and lice.  So much so they were sucking the life out of her.  So in to the bucket she went.  And 4 more times over the next week.

Now she is a happy, pudgy little 4 month old.  She is the love of my life right now.  It's going to be so hard to leave her.

Sesi and Mpho brighten my day.  My heart smiles when I see them like this.  

These little girls, like most kids I come in contact with,  are so taken by me.  They have never been this close to a white person.  I grow shadows everywhere I go.  It's really endearing.

This is Mama singing thanks and dancing to the Lord for her growing garden.

These boys come to the house almost everyday and help around the house.  She feeds them and has them bathe in the outdoor tub before going home and gives them a little money on payday.  Meet Funky and Thabang.  I share all my treats from home with them.  They love the gummi worms.

One of the volunteers I worked with at Aletuke passed away this year.  We held a special service for her at the church. 

I printed off some photos and made this plaque for the service.  When I was typing up the dates it kind of hit me hard that she was born exactly 2 months after me and died the day after my birthday.   She left two children and a sick husband behind.

This is just my current profile picture on facebook.  Sooooooooo damn cute they are!

This guy woke me up trying to impress these young ladies.  Same gender, different species.

I grilled an entire meal for me and Mama in a wheelbarrow.    

This picture says it all.  The only thing missing is the grape Fanta I drank with it.

I went to a 1st birthday party for my co-worker's son on my birthday.  I offered to make the cake for the party.  You would have thought I showed up with a brand new car.  The excitement was all worth it.  

Mama gave me these pants for my birthday.  She was so happy to see me in them.    

The kitchen ladies love the baking lessons.  Today's menu, banana bread.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mozambique... crazy, crazy Mozambique

Note to self, don't cross the boarder on a Saturday.  It took over 3 hours for this line to move.  What they bring back over the boarder is beyond me.

Lets take a moment to give thanks for all that we have.

I have never seen kids work so hard.  You should see all the little girls carrying 20liter jugs of water on their heads.

Just a beautiful moment while drive into the great beyond.  Little did we know we would get lost in the dark and end up staying at a shady rondoval on the beach.

They may not have much but what they do have is neat and tidy.  Can you imagine living in a house made entirely of grass?

Another day in paradise...

There's always room for one more.

The roads were awful.  Good thing I knew how to change a tire.  I'd never done it before though so this was my first attempt.  Successful!

No thanks, I don't want to buy any hot sauce but would you like an oatmeal raisin cookie?

Two, two, two flats in one day.  This was Kristen's first tire change.  She learned by watching me just 2 hours earlier.  How many spares come in a car?  Right... ONE!  Thank God for the local guy who fixed our first tire for free (and some oatmeal raisin cookies).

Such colorful materials they use for skirts and bags.  This was the market in Tofo, the beach town we went to.

It's a long day of sitting and selling the same stuff as the person beside you.  

Kristen's "shit sack."  She put everything in it and could find nothing.  But she loves it.

Horse back on the wide open beaches?  My first time on a horse.  I even learned to trot.

What a great way to spend our afternoon.  Brownie and I got along just fine.

We also went through a small village.

Maintaining their homes is constant work.

We opted to stay in our car most of the time because if you pulled over into the little markets you got swarmed with people selling their wares.

They are so desperate to sell their stuff.  It's really quite sad to watch.  

Then there are the cashew trees.  They grow, roast and sell them.  Expensive but good.

Lots of pottery being made.  Some are fired in the ground...

... and some in kilns.

There is no limit to what you can pack on a single truck.  As with people, there is always room for one more.

The markets have a beauty about them despite the disgusting surroundings.