Sunday, March 27, 2011

So Cute.

More updates soon, but just wanted to put this up : )
Im going fishing this weekend, I'll add pictures if I catch anything good!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Project, "Sarah Owns Poultry" is Epic Fail.

In grade school when everyone went around sharing their favorite animals, I was that kid interjecting "Cuttlefish, Marten, or Genet," among all of the cats, horses, dolphins, dogs, etc. Thank you, Wildlife Fact Files. I have always wanted to see two animals in my life, one being the Hellbender Salamander, which Rachel and I saw in Summer 2008 in Pisgah National Forest. The other is a Genet Cat. That goal may or may not have been met last night around 3am.

The reason we all keep chickens in coops here is that something the Sereres in my area call a "Mbafall" will come around and slit the chickens throats. I half believed them, half thought they were talking about the ever present vampires/genies/random malicious spirits out to get us all. Well, this time they were right (Senegal 1, Yama 0). I was awoken around 3am by a bone chilling noise and subsequent struggling sounds. By this point I only had one guinea fowl because the other one escaped, which has been a source of entertainment for everyone all week. Every time we saw it, the entire village turned into a football team, chasing one birdlike ball, sprinting side to side with their arms held up in the air, running in formation...but we never caught it. So, anyways, Im in bed, jolted out of a dream, and start scrambling around for my glasses, headlamp, and cell phone w/flashlight. By the time I get it all together and get myself untangled from the mosquito net, everything is ominously still.

I saw a mound in the corner of my yard (after checking to make sure my kitten was a ok) and approached it, knowing that I was not going to like whatever I saw. It was one of the guinea fowl lying still, and I couldnt see its head, so I grabbed a rake, half shielded my eyes, my imagination running all over the place from vampires to hyenas, and slowly flipped the bird over. Throat slit, empty eyes, lolling neck. I was not going back to sleep any time soon. If ever. So I barricaded myself in the hut, turned on a podcast, and colored in my coloring book. Eventually I peeked outside again and saw two points of light shining back at me. I would have been scared out of my mind, I mean thats always creepy even if its your housecat, but a lightbulb went on in my head...its some kind of cat! A cool African cat. The options...Genet or Civet. Totally harmless for people, and it was obviously pretty small. Also, the fact that it didnt just go around indiscriminantly slitting chicken throats and not returning to eat them was somehow comforting. Something preying upon fowl I understand, something just killing them for no reason...GENIES.

So, I was kind of sad, but mostly think its cool we have a random kind of noctural cat here. I had planned on bringing the guinea to Marys wedding next weekend as a gift anyways, which would have been cooked up for us, so I wasnt emotionally attached. I still havent told my family, though...I am never going to live this down. Here is what a Genet looks like btw:

OK, secondly, THANK YOU Rachel and Ms. Bertolini for the amazing care packages!!! So much fun stuff, and it was really really nice. Getting anyting in the mail reminds me that the real world exists, and fills me with warm fuzzies : ) Thanks again!

Lastly, today the teachers are on strike, which I was (irresponsibly) happy to realize, because I woke up this morning, had my coffee, read the Silmarillion for a while, and it was so nice all I wanted to do was go on a walk. I never want to work here, all I want to do is wander around, talk to people, listen to music and podcasts, and just hang out. According the my ipod pedometer, I am averaging about 16,000 steps a day. Ive been working a lot in other villages, and walk around in my free time, so it adds up to like 6 or 7 miles.

Most people go on COS (Close of Service)trips after their two years. Like Ive mentioned, Im planning on living in Boston w Morgan for the summer, and well see if I get grad school/job after that, but, before going to Boston, I want to spend a month doing one of the following:

1. Hiking the Appalachian Trail. One month of straight up walking around in the gorgeous appalachian forest.
2. Biking down Hwy 1.
3. Going back to Switzerland for a couple of weeks and backpacking around there.

I know its not for a long time, but for now, Im pretty sure Ill end up doing some of the AT unless people are enthusiastic about going as a group elsewhere : ) We'll see! All 40 of us finish at the same time, so there will probably be a lot of ideas. The AT just sounds so awesome, though.