Posts Tagged With: Africa dog

101: Regret the Puppy

“Here we are,” Chandra said as the two women spilled out of the pickup truck that had given them a lift from Mutanda junction.  Their bags tumbled out on top of them.  When the truck door was shut the drive gave a slight nod of his head and pulled away.

“Where are we going?” Chelsi asked filling her arms with reusable grocery bags while trying to balance a box of strawberry plants on her head.

“The path way there by the red sign,” Chandra gestured to pathway on the other side of the tarmac road. The two women waddled across the road under their burdens, towards a neatly swept compound of houses.  About half way up the path a yellow puppy with an excited tail came bounding up to them.  “Oh, Regret, hi how are you?  This is my host brother’s puppy Regret.”

“Oh he’s so cute, he reminds me of Daisy when she was this size.  Just so excited about everything! Aren’t you so excited!” Chelsi cooed to the puppy. “Alright, which house is yours?” she asked starting to feel the weight of the bags in her arms.

“There, that one,” Chandra nodded to a tall house with a thick thatch roof that swooped down over the door, nestled between a standalone storage room and a long laundry line.  They closed the last few meters and Chandra balanced the box she was carrying as she fumbled for her keys.  She slipped the key into the lock, twisted it open and pulled back the bolt.  The door swung open, they stumbled in, opening their arms onto the floor. “Welcome to my home,” Chandra smiled. “Everything is kind of anywhere because I haven’t had the time to make any furniture yet.”  A rainbow of plastic basins was stacked in the far corner.  A myriad of kitchen utensils, pots, pans and mixing bowls were piled around a couple of large black food bins.  Prominently placed in the moderately sized sitting room was a familiar looking futon.

“Where the hell did you get a futon?” Chelsi asked, bewildered, trying to take in her surroundings.

“No, Regret, you stay outside,” she scolded the little puppy, who connected his backend with her door mat. “What do you mean? It’s the futon from the Prov house. We got that new couch from Molly, so Laura said I can have this one.  Haven’t you noticed it’s been missing from the house for like, eight months?” Chandra laughed.

Chelsi and Chandra went about unpacking and organizing their things.  Chelsi only had with her a day pack, the pack she a taken with her when she left Jeremy alone in her house for site visit.  This was the last day of site visit, and Chelsi could have gone home that afternoon.  But I have what? 10 days left in the Kamijiji house?  What difference is a couple of days going to make?  So she decided to go home with her friend Chandra, a health volunteer whose house was another 50 km down the turn off to Chelsi’s house

The rest of the evening passed relatively uneventfully.  When they finished unpacking Chandra introduced Chelsi to her host family.  Her sisters welcomed Chelsi warmly, with hugs and smiles. All the while Regret the puppy was tow, wiggling his body and lapping excitedly at his nose.  Chandra’s host family scolded him when he got too close to the cooking pots, but otherwise treated him gently.

After a dinner of rice and vegetable the two women tucked themselves into bed.

The next morning Chandra started the brazier and Chelsi cooked the eggs.  When their plates were clean Chandra went off to greet her family for the day, let them know about the programs she had going on for the day.  Chelsi hung back to finish washing the dishes from the night before.  When Chandra returned her face was painted with distress. “My host parents said that Regret got hit by a car this morning over by the borehole.  He went with my host sisters to fetch water this morning, and a car that had pulled of the tarmac clipped his back end.”

“Is he okay? Well I mean, obviously not,” Chelsi started to stand up.

“He’s over there, curled up in the bush with my host brother.  They asked if we had any medicine for him.” She hesitated, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, let’s go have a look,” Chelsi was nervous that the injury would be gruesome, but walked over to the bushes where the boys were standing around.  They watched as she approached.  One of the smaller boys was making an attempt to catch the puppy, who Chelsi faintly see between the brush was limping about. Well he’s walking for now, so that’s good. 

By the time Chelsi and Chandra closed the space between the house and the bushes the boy had chased the puppy up against a wall of brush.  He was curled up tightly in a ball.  The rear foot on top was starting to swell rapidly.  “Oh baby boy, who’s such a brave puppy,” Chelsi used the voice she used to calm Daisy whenever she needed a shot.  “Are you being such a good a boy,” she continued crouching down. The boys both backed away and leaned closer.  “I know it hurts, but you’re being so brave,” She lifted the top leg gently see the other one.

Where skin had been torn away, dirt, sticks and leave were stuck to exposed muscle. There was a limited about a bleeding around the ends of the torn skin, and this paw wasn’t swelling as fast.  It could have been a lot worse.  “Alright baby boy, let’s get you cleaned up.” Chelsi scooped Regret up gently, cradling him against her chest.

“How is he?” Chandra, who was still standing closer to the house, asked.

“It not as bad as it could have been.  He really needs some stitches and a split, but do you have some gauze, ace bandages, antibiotic cream, some alcohol pads.” Chelsi adjusted her arms around Regret and kneeled to pick up Chandra’s welcome mat.  She crossed the few meters between Chandra’s front door and her chinzanza, shook out the mat and laid the puppy down on top of it. “There you go baby boy,”  He made a lame attempt to stand up and move away but kept him down by scratching behind his ears and placing a kiss on the end of his nose.

Chandra came out of her house with the supplies Chelsi asked for.  She placed them down beside the puppy in the chinzanza. “Iiii, that doesn’t look good.  That kind of stuff really grosses me out.”

Chelsi start picking the large debris out of Regret’s wounds.  She talked to him gently all the while and he eventually let his head rest on the mat, resigned to his fate of being helped.  As she worked, the pile of debris, alcohol pads and gauze wrappers grew high before Chelsi was satisfied with her work.  She finished by securing the gauze with the ace bandage and stroked Regret’s neck.  She would have liked to wrap the other paw to help control the swelling, but there was only one bandage and keeping the open wounds clean was more important she decided.   “Alright baby boy, you’re all set. Tomorrow I’ll change your bandages again.  Now don’t play to rough on it.” She smiled and the puppy looked up as she backed away.  “I’ll ask Chandra for some water for you.”

“How is he?” Chandra asked hearing her name.

“Time will tell.”

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Categories: Action, DIY, Drama, Health & Fitness, Horror | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

056: Dove Run

“Damn it,” Chelsi ran down the over grown path to the dove house. Why? Why are you so careless! She thought to herself.  Ever since his mate had disappeared, James, a big, grey aggressive male, had been doing his best in tending to his chick.  But Chelsi had to admit, he was lacking the touch of experience. Where his mate used to enter the nesting box for feedings, James insisted on remaining the porch so his chick had to perch precariously in the doorway, and stretch it’s neck all the way down to it father.  And having now lost its balance the two doves were falling from the house in a frenzy of flapping wings.

“NO Daisy! Stay there.” She scolded the dog who came bounding after her ready to play.  She knew Daisy’s intentions would not have been to harm the baby dove now sitting on the ground, but just one playful pounce from the dog would be the end of it.  James, after overcoming the startle of hitting the ground, flew back up on top of the house. Distracted for a moment by the abandonment of his father, Chelsi figured she would be able to make a quick rescue, but the nose of her dog burst into her field of vision. She grabbed her quickly by the scruff of her neck.    Refocusing on the descending danger, it let lose a few startled chirps, found its feet and took off towards the brush.

“Stay there Daisy!” the dog whimpered, not used to being left out.  The brush made the chick safe from the dog, for now, but another danger lurked just beyond.

James cooed an alarm call to the remaining doves, which were already perched atop the thatch of their house intently watching the scene below.

It had been a few hours since Chelsi had seen Norbert, her black, blue eyed kitten, and she knew the brush beyond the bird house had been a popular place for cats to hang out.  Daisy was lying down now, and though Chelsi was not sure she would stay, she could not wait much longer.  She turned and stepped gingerly into the brush.  She stooped down to see if she could see the chick beneath the small branches.  When there seemed to be nothing to see she rustled the brush hoping it would flush. Nothing.

Her mind raced with confusion, I just saw it! How far could it have gone? Her heart began to race but she tried to beat it back and prepare herself for loss.  When the chick betrayed it’s position with a soft cry for its father.  It had made it much farther than Chelsi had assumed.  She stepped to bring it back into arms reach, but as she did so the baby dove jumped to its own feet and started off further into the brush.  Its legs were short and clumsy by it spread it’s undeveloped wings for balance and began far faster and more agile that Chelsi could have ever imagine.  The little chick was able to scurry away from her every step. “Come here you little bugger!”

Following it deeper and deeper into the brush, she imagined different ways she might be able to grab it without braking one of its wings.  She thought maybe I’ll just chase it until it tires and stops, then ridiculousness of her situation flashed though her mind as an image. Yup, she sighed, thankfully no ones around to watch. But she wasn’t alone she remember when the sound of crunching leaves got louder and louder.  The chick was just leading Chelsi around a tree when it stopped frozen in front of the nose of her dog.

“Daisy! Leave it!” and in a heart pounding moment Chelsi scooped up the startled dove and hugged it to her chest.  The body of the chick thumped.  Chelsi relaxed. All together, they started back to the dove house.

James sat beside his box, anxiously awaiting the outcome.  He cooed a few times when they came into view. “You have to be more careful!” she scolded the single father, after depositing his chick back into the box.  It scurried back on to the nest.

Chelsi heard a soft meow from under the dove house. She looked to see Norbert flicking his tail back and forth, “Have you been sitting there all this time?” But Daisy pounced on him before he could answer and with a blink they bounding back in to the brush to play.

James' Chick

James’ Chick, snug in its nest

Categories: Action, Drama, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

054: kovwa ka kabwa

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Ka Kabwa, Ka Daisy

First and foremost, I have to wash the dog, Chelsi thought, looking down at the dusty animal sprawled at her feet.  A few bloated ticks were visible through her hair, meaning that there were at least a dozen more hiding. “Because you’re going to want to sleep on the bed now that I’m home, and I can’t let you in this condition.” Daisy made a few more wags of her tail and sighed.

They were out in the front yard and Chelsi could hear some rustling in the grass. “Mwabuuka,” came a soft high pitch voice.  She looked around, already knowing whom it was.

“Twabuuka,” she replied. “Mwabuuka?”

“Nabuuka! Mwabuuka!?” the same voice came again and giggled.

“Ba Gillie, mwaji pi?” There was more giggling and a hard rustle in the grass.  A little girl in a ragged green dress came tumbling out, all laughs.

“Mwabuuka!? She smiled with little teeth and glittering eyes under a head of patchy hair.

“Twabuuka,” Gillie came running toward Chelsi until Daisy stood up to greet her too.

“Ah! Obewa!” She screamed.  Daisy half-heartedly turned still wagging her tail.  Daisy never understood why everyone didn’t want to be her friend.  Seeing the Chelsi had accepted Gillie on to her compound four other children started to creep up her path.

She saw them, and looked directly at them she called “mwabuuka!?” Gillie giggled again, as did the other children as they responded. “Nafainwa kovwa ka Daisy. Mwakeba kukwasha?”  Gillie nodded her head. Chelsi gathered up her basin, chitenge towel, flea & tick shampoo, harness and cup. She closed the curtains, locked the door and started up her path with Gillie clutching her leg. Daisy danced around them excited to go for a walk.  “Mwaiyia?” she asked the other children.  “Twakovwa ka Daisy.” They didn’t respond but followed her dutifully back toward the road and they started off towards the well.

They picked up more children as they went, the train growing ever longer.  Daisy was the engine out in front.  Chelsi the conductor and children as cars, tapering back according to their size till little baby Kennedy, who was trotting along as the caboose.

The official community water source is a shallow dug well, about 50 meters in front of the community school and a five minute walk from Chelsi’s house.  Over the hole was a waist high cement cylinder, centered on a dais. Two hand carved beams supported an iron crank for hulling up the humble yellow jerry can once it was full with water.  The tether for the jerry can to the crank was always changing, as they wore out and broke.  Now it was a rope, when she arrive last year it was chain. One day she arrive to find it was engozhi; the inner bark of a tree found in the forest, the village’s traditional rope. And still some days she arrive to find no tether at all and so went without water.

The children squabbled over who would get to hold which washing item while Chelsi cranked the well.  Daisy went wandering in to the tall grass unaware of her impending bath.

“Ka Daisy, Kaji pi?” Chelsi asked the children after filling the green basin.

“Atwe,” one of the older girls point the neighboring compound. Now Chelsi could see her dog’s ears pointing up in the grass.

“Daisy, Daisy,” Gillies older brother tried to call her over.  Of all the children, Patricki was the only one who was truly unafraid of the dog.  He was no more than three feet and nothing but skin and bones, but Chelsi often caught him trying to pick up Daisy and carry her away with a big smile on his face.

But, by now Daisy knew what she was in for, and wouldn’t be coming on her own.  Chelsi walked over and scooped her up.  Setting her down by the bucket most of the children took a big step back. One let out a small screech. Daisy was then buckled up in to her harness, so she couldn’t make a dash for it and liberally doused with water.

The flea & tick shampoo was bright pink with a picture of a dog and a cat on the front.  Yet still, more than once, other Zambian women had asked to use it on their own hair.  ‘No,’ she would have to tell them repeatedly ‘It will make you ill, it is only for animals. See?’  In contrast the children stood silently as squeezed out the soap on to the rump of her dog.

“Mwakwasha?” she asked, rubbing it in to a lather.

“Eee mwane,” some of the girls responded.

“Alright then, iyai. Iyai.” She motioned them so come closer. “Iya, iya, iya.” The brave ones came closer with a giggle.  “Okay now,” Chelsi took the hand of one of the girls and rubbed it in to the lather on Daisy’s rump.  When Chelsi let go she pulled her soapy hand away with a giggle. Still a few of the children reached out on their own. First with a finger, then their whole hand.  “Alright, there you go!” they looked up with wide smiles and big eyes.  Chelsi squeezed out more soap.  The younger, shyer children soon drifted over and when Chelsi next looked up from washing Daisy’s front legs even Gillie was lathering up Daisy’s tail.

Alright! What a big step for them! Never in her entire service did she think most of the children would willing touch her dog.

“Kaji mweshika.” One of the girls pointed to Daisy’s shivering back leg.  The crowd of children was blocking out the sun, and the breeze wasn’t helping.

“Okay, everyone take a step back,” she used her arm to motion them away.  With a few splashed of water she was rinse clean.  “Mwacinda chitenge?” Chelsi point at the chitenge towel that the children had discarded in the furry of scrubbing.  It was eventually passed over. She rubbed it over Daisy as she tried to shake herself dry.  Her harness was unclipped and once she was deemed free all of the children took two big steps back or clung to Chelsi’s legs.  Child-sized steps I guess it’ll be then.

Daisy meanwhile took off to roll in the dirt.

Categories: Adventure, Drama, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

048: Fuko Feast

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Fuko, A Giant African Mole

“Ba Joseph, Right?” Chelsi double checked with the new acquaintance standing in front of her.
“Yes.  You know when I first heard that you had come I thought, Ahh but this isn’t for me.  Especially fish farming.  But I think what is was, is that I just didn’t have the time.  Now I’m thinking I am ready.”
“That is absolutely fantastic!” This was the way Chelsi wished it happened more often.  The she is just out weeding her garden and people just walk up her path and say that they are ready to learn.  “We can get started right now. I didn’t have any plans this morning.”
The tall man’s face twisted up a bit.  “Or, you can come tomorrow.  But while you’re here you should at least come see the example pond.  It’s just there.” Chelsi pointed into the bush at his back. “I’ll show you.”
“Okay, but I think I’ll also come back with my notebook on Friday.” Chelsi was listening but started walking away.
“Friday’s fine.  Hold on I’m just going to get my shoes.”
When she returned and the two turned up the path, Daisy came running up to them, furiously investigating the new comer with her nose.  “I’m afraid of dogs.” What Zambian isn’t afraid of dogs?
“Well you’re doing great, cause I couldn’t tell. And you don’t have to worry about Daisy.  This is my dog.  She just excited, but she won’t hurt you.  She’ll come with us to the pond.”  It had been some weeks since Chelsi had been to visit the ponds, and the grass on the path to the trees was so over grown, standing six feet tall, she had to guide her student walking backwards through it.  Once they reached the tree line the grass subsided and they could walk comfortable side by side.  Daisy went running on up ahead.
They chatted a bit. Joseph explained how he stayed in town but had his farm just past her house. Chelsi told him about Peace Corps and the role of volunteers in the community.  When suddenly, Daisy came bounding out of the bush, a big fuzzy ball in her mouth.  She set it down on the path to better sniff at it.
“We eat that!” Joseph exclaimed pointing and running towards Daisy.  The animal twitching on the ground was a shape Chelsi couldn’t really describe; Fat and stout? More like a Zambian cucumber though, with fur. “Just wait.” Joseph stomped on the critters head till it quit moving.  Then Chelsi picked it up.  The body was still warm in her hand.
“It’s a giant mole,” Daisy jumped, futilely trying to reclaim her prize.  “Good girl Daisy,” Chelsi patted her on the head. 
“Yes, it is a mole.  In kiikaonde we call it Fuko.” The two continued on to see the fish pond

After making plans to meet again and Joseph left, Chelsi commenced with the business of preparing the meat.  She cut the hide from around the hindlegs and started to peel it from the layers of fat and meat.  I always knew all the practice butchering would pay off.  Between this and the poor dove from last month.  She knew most volunteers would have handed the catch off to their host family’s to prepare, settling for a bit or two of the finished dish.  There can’t be more than a handful of bit to this thing either, she thought as struggling the hide over the substantial head.  The meat was a dark red, and smells a bit like a swamp. There was still a lot of excitement in her for tasting it, but she didn’t have high hopes.
After the intestines where unpacked and the suspicious innards where divided up among her animals, she dropped the naked mole into a brine. She was expecting another volunteer, Craig, for dinner today, but that was still some hours away.  A brine is probably the best way to keep it.
When all was done and cleaned up, she hoped on her bike to meet up with a farmer for an afternoon gardening lesson.

By the time Chelsi and Daisy returned to the house their shadows were long under the sun, and Craig sat on the bench of her front porch. 
“Alright! You made it, I thought maybe you’d let yourself in.” Chelsi let her bicycle roll to a stop. 
“We just got here a few minutes ago.  Oh and when I go here, that white cat is yours?”
“Yeah, it’s annoying as hell though.”
“Well it was sitting on your bird house.” Chelsi’s heart sank and the commotion level sky rocketed when Daisy discovered the little ball of black fuzz Craig was cradling in his lap. 
“Oh, I’m going to kill the thing,” Chelsi shouted over the barking and hissing. “It’s been eyeing my birds all week.” She ditched her bike and walk around to the side of her house. She could tell something had disturbed the flock.  They all sat stark still on the roof of her house.  Seven, yes the whole flock.  She inspected a little closer under the bird house.  Delicate white eggshells speckled the ground. Chelsi walked back over to Craig.  “You’ve got to take him with you when you go.  I can’t have him here anymore.”  She grabbed her white cat, meowing, off the bench and the dog, barking and locked them in the house.
“Well, this little guy hasn’t shown any interest in birds.”  He held up a tiny black kitten. It looked at her frightened; blue eyes ringed in yellow. Poppy had prettier eyes.
“Thanks man.” She took the seat next to him.  “We’ve got a special dinner tonight.  Daisy caught a giant mole this morning.  I know how you like your meet chewy.”

After they had settled in and the animals had become acquainted with each other, Chelsi set Craig to chopping vegetable while she set up the stove.  “So apparently I did this wrong. Or not wrong, but non-traditional.”
“What do you mean?” Craig briefly looked up from his potatoes.
“Well, when I was talking to Kennie’s wife at our gardening lesson today I was telling her about it. And apparently, you’re supposed to prepare a fuko like a pig; where you sear the outside, scrape off the hair then butterfly it open and roast it.” And this made sense to Chelsi, there was a lot of fat between the skin and the meat. “I didn’t know, so I did what I’d do with any fuzzy animal and skinned it.  But I bet the skin will make a great puppet when it’s done!”  Always look for the bright side.
“I think I probably doesn’t matter that much,” Craig confessed.
“Yeah, and we can’t really roast anything anyway.” The stove hot, she plopped on pot of water. “So we’re just going to boil it.”

With a little cooking and fragrant herbs, the swampy smell disappeared. 
“This is delicious.” Craig said pulling the meat off one of the hind legs.
“I know! And it’s not even chewy.  Who would have guessed that dirt and roots, and whatever else moles eat, would make you so tender.”
The two ate to their satisfaction, then divided the remained among their animals.  Stomachs full they settle back in their chairs to enjoy each other’s company.  

Categories: Action, Adventure, Food & Recipes, Horror, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

041: Two steps back

From the time Chelsi saw her first horror film as a child she had practiced mentally preparing herself for finding a lifeless body behind every door.  After all, she reasoned, crisis situations are no time be acting emotionally; especially if there’s an ax murder in the house. Over the last 25 years she had opened the door many limp, lifeless bodies.  Mostly fish, a few reptiles, lots of plants.  But coming home from Mufumbwe last Tuesday, two days later than anticipated, she skipped the mental.  Her house was too small for murder to hide and everything seemed accounted for as she pushed the door open.  Except the excited mews from Poppy, who usually sat just behind the door anxiously waiting for her to arrive. 
She had dropped her stuff just beyond to door and sat her basket full of doves on the table.  She had checked the bushes around the house he like to sit in. Nothing.  Maybe he’s napping in the trees somewhere, she thought returning inside the house.  Daisy wiggled and sniffed excitedly at the doves. 
“Leave’em alone Daisy,” Chelsi had said turning her gaze towards the table. “God damn it,” she sighed. Just beyond the table a lump of glossy black fur was sprawled on the floor. “Go outside Daisy,” she pushed the dog outside, shut the door and opened the curtains to let in the light. 
He still looked full of life, that if Chelsi had just called his name gently he would spring back up.  “This couldn’t have happened more than an hour ago.” Not only were his expelled feces still fresh, but the puddle of urine was still wet and his eyes were still plump and dilated.  There’s not even any ants on them yet, the true test of freshness of anything. 
Using a grocery bag, she picked him up and brought him to her host father.  The top contenders for his demise was poisoning, maybe he ate a rat that had been poisoned, snake bite and ju ju. And that’s where Chelsi stopped the conversation. She knew too many volunteers that had to be removed from their villages after accusation of black magic were made; whether against them or by them.  She had been sad about Poppy, but like so many situations in Zambia the truth wasn’t important, probably didn’t even exist.
But all that was yesterday, she put the break in her mind to help her deal with today’s visits from the reaper.  She was sitting in her folding chair stripping the feathers from her most prized dove.  She was one of four that Chelsi had carried from Mufumbwe. We haven’t even been home for a day… Just after feeding them that morning Chelsi had returned to the house to feed Daisy. Through the open window in the back of the house she sudden heard the fluttering of wings. Good thing I hung that net under the house, she thought. The birds had their flight feathers removed so they would learn that Kamijiji was their new home, and Chelsi had hung a net under and around the house in the event that one of them fell they wouldn’t end up on the ground where one of the other animals could get them.  She hurried herself outside to help the dove back up to the house, but quickly realized her had made a terrible mistake. 
Her host father’s dog Trigger sat just under the bloody net, where the dying dove was cradled.  “You fucking bastard,” she cursed at the dog and looked franticly around for something to chuck at him.  Before she could find something the sound of her voice sent him skittering away.  Daisy and Lion were in tow behind her.  She had never cared for that dog, but had never had a more compelling reason to dislike him.
She reached the dove house in time to hear the speckled white dove make one last coo.  After removing around her porch.  Chelsi tied the net back up, tighter this time and look up at the little girl’s lonely mate.  The odd number would torture her.  She had to call every single person she knew, dragged herself all over Sowlezi and even stopped random people on the street, trying to find people that would be willing to sell her doves and she had still only come away with four. Now it was three.  She needed eight to have an established colony.  Walking back towards her house she wildly threw the rock at Trigger, who took off towards the road with a yelp. 
So now, when she had planned on spending the morning weeding her garden, was feathering the little dove.   Chelsi had ask her host father yesterday to take Poppy to the farm and bury him there because she didn’t know what he died of she didn’t want Daisy digging him up and eating him.  The dove would most certainly be dug up and eaten by one of the dogs, and unjust reward and if she handed off to her host father one of the kids would just eat it, setting the precedent that they would get any dead doves.  She definitely didn’t want to go down that road. 
She had killed and eaten more things than she could remember, but the weight that this one had been so unintentionally it hurt for the first time.  All wanted was the body to be bare so she could at least pretend the circumstance of this meal were different.  When she was done she dropped the tiny bit of poultry into a brine and went out to start on her garden.
Her goal was to finish weeding just one bed of her eight beds.  All the plants had really taken off in the week she was away, including the weeds.  Chelsi was surprised by how long the weeding took too; after two hours she had only finished half a bed.  She stood up to stretch out her knees and back.  Lion and Daisy stood watching her just beyond the garden fence, watching her.  Man, I just built this and the termites are already destroying it, she thought when she notices a few of the fence poles slumped toward the ground. That’ll have to be really close to the top of the list getting fixed. Just beyond the fence though, through the passion fruit vine she saw a mother hen with her seven chick. Not really chicks any more, the plants weren’t the only thing that grew while was gone.
Her smile turned quickly to a frown, “Lion, No!” Chelsi’s yelled but not fast enough.  She rushed through the gate.  Little chicken feet protruded from Lion’s mouth. Lion took a quick leap away.  The commotion caught the attention of Chelsi’s host sister, Juliet. Lion was her husband’s dog.  She hurried over in just enough time to see the wind blow away the last few feathers; Lion’s fate was sealed.  Juliet cursed at the dog in kiikaonde and dragged her away by the rope tied around her neck.  From across the yard Chelsi heard an exchange of thwacks and yelps between Juliet and Lion. It was quiet again in a few minutes and with nothing left for her to do so Chelsi went back to weeding her garden.   
Chelsi retired into her house early that evening.  Before starting dinner she took some cuddle time with her darling Daisy.  She reclined into her chair and scooped her puppy up on to her lap.  Shortly after Chelsi heard Maurice, her host brother-in-law, return from wherever he goes during the day.  The conversation between Juliet and her husband was short, and though Chelsi didn’t catch all the words she understood the intention.  Daisy say quietly, Chelsi whispered sweetly into her ear.  She heard Lion, at the end of her chain, being dragged in to the bush just behind her house. 
THUMP!
YELP!
THUMP!
Yelp.
THUMP…

Categories: Horror, Law, Justice and Order, Mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

040: #MufuSWAG

“We even got t-shirts made,” Chelsi friend Chad explained after she inquired about the hashtag she saw all the volunteers in Mufumbwe district using in their group chats: #MufuSWAG.  Ichilanga district was far, but to the volunteers of Northwest Provence, Mufumbwe was out there. The place where no one went without a reason.  As such, this was Chelsi first time to the district; she was invited to teach a short rabbit workshop, by her friends Chad and Aubrey; education and health volunteers, respectively. 
Chad continued, “Mike told us he was wearing his up by the bus station in Mufumbwe one day and a random Zambian man came up cursing him, calling him the devil or something. And Mike was like ‘whao, what?’ and the man points at his shirt and says ‘S-W-A-G; Satin working against God.’ Turns out on top of that, I think it’s Luvale, mufu means corps or body.”
Reclining on the couch of the couples beautiful home Chelsi let out a chuckle.  “You just never know, do you? Satin working against God, that’s kind of hilarious.”
“We’re so happy you’re going to stay an extra day Chelsi!” Aubrey exclaimed coming in to the sitting room from outside.  She struggled with half a dozen panting puppies to get the door closed. “Now we can bake you a cake for your birthday! And I think Kat’s going to come up from Mufumbwe.”
“Even me, I’m glad I decided to stay an extra day, and look! Mr. Akowa brought two doves for me!” Chelsi pointed to a red plastic basket hanging from the ceiling rafters containing two small birds.  “My dove project might actually happen.  And on top of that I’d say the rabbit workshop was a success, despite the rain. I’ve never seen that many people come to a training.  When I tried to invite people to come learn about permagardening, “only one man came even close to finishing the lesson.  So, twenty plus people, that’s incredible. I know you guys often talk about how hard it is to be volunteers out here, but it seem like you’ve got a lot of interested, hardworking people. Not every volunteer is so lucky.”
“It not that the communities here are difficult, it’s that there’s not a lot of support from NGO’s. Like at the Ginny’s tree workshop. That man came with a projects for beekeeping and trainings, something which really interested our host father. But they only work in Solwezi, Mwinilunga, Kasempa, even Ichalanga. But are they willing to come to Mufumbwe? No.” It was an insatiable itch of Chad’s that Mufumbwe was so often left off the NGO circuit.  
“But it comes with pluses and minuses.  Think about Valerie up in Kisasa; with the mine and World Vision.  No one needs to have the motivation to do anything for themselves, because eventually World Vision will just come and give them stuff.  Or me, being so close to town. What’s the incentive for someone to aspire to a more sustainable job, when they can just hang out in the village, get drunk and make charcoal for Solwezi. Maybe if there were more development workers here, the people wouldn’t be as interested in learning for themselves.”
Chad let out a sigh, “Aubrey? Is there anything I can help you with?” Aubrey was fussing about in the kitchen kneading a pizza dough. 
“No, I think every thing’s going okay.”

Categories: Current Events, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

039: Bat-tastic

“Ba Austin?” Chelsi asked, bend down to pick up another armful of dry avocado leaves.
“Hmmm,” he adjusted the sack, with which they were collecting the leaves.
“What do you know about bats?” Austin was her first perma-gardener in the village.  Every Monday for the last month they had been meeting up for gardening lessons, today they were building a compost pile. 
“Say it again.”
“Bats.”
“Can you spell it for me?”
“B-A-T-S, like the furry birds that fly at night?” Two weeks previously Chelsi had a spark of inspiration.  While visiting her friend Ginny in Mumena, they stopped to chat with an exceptional carpenter, and a good friend of Ginny’s, Ba Harrison. Chelsi decided that she would love to have something crafted by him out of mukawa; But what?  I already have a birdhouse.  I don’t really need any more chairs, and don’t want to transport a table… A bat house maybe?
“Oh, bats. What about them?”
“Do you see them often? What kinds are there? What do you know about them?”
After deciding that a bat house would be the perfect project for Harrison, Chelsi wondered if the bat house plans she had burned into her memory for from working at the US Forest Service, would be suitable for the bats in Zambia.
“Yes, I see them. The little ones that eat insects, there’s the ones that lives in live in the banana trees. There’s the masmall bats that live in tunnels.  And the bats that live in the bush, those are bigger.” He gestured his hands to describe an animal about the size of a 14inch ball. “Then there are bats that come into people’s house. Is this enough brown leaves?”
“Yeah, that’s probably enough for now.  We can always come back and get more. Next, we need to collect green material.  So any of the grass over there will do.” They started back towards his garden just behind the mango tree, to deposit the brown leaves before collecting grass. “What do people do when they come in to the house?”
“Ah, but they mostly just leave them.  They eat the mosquitoes.” Bingo, Chelsi thought. 
Walking through Mumena with Ginny, Chelsi suggested, ‘What if we tried to encourage bats foraging pests around houses and farms by hanging bat house? Maybe take a few malaria carrying mosquitoes out of the populations, or reduce the need for some of the pesticides.’
“So the bats aren’t living in people’s houses.  They just fly in and out?”
“Yes, just in and out. Just wait, I am going to get the masickle, for the grass.” Austin turned back towards the house at a trot.
“Okay, I’ll just be here.” Chelsi stood with the empty sack in her hands and looked around through the grass.  It was at her eye level now.  She loved tall grass, always wishing there was more of it in the States. 
“Can I use the leaves from the mango trees, instead of green grass?” Austin asked rejoining her, they started down the path again. 
“You mean like durning dry season? When all the grass is dead? Yeah, you can use it.  But the leaves from the mango tree are thick and will take a while to compost.  If you can use grasses that’s usually better, but if you don’t have a lot of options, the mango leaves are fine.”
“Which grasses, I’m following you.” He said after a few paces of silence.
“Oh I don’t know, I was following you.  I thought we were going to a spot where there weren’t so many of these spiny plants.” Chelsi looked down, around her feet and ankles were long vines with thorny protruding seeds.  Come dry season the seeds would harden and fall to the ground and Chelsi will spend an hour every day pulling them out of her feet. “Their flowers were so pretty a few weeks ago though,” she sighed.
Austin deviated from the path and started towards a grass covered anthill.  “Those are the kind of bats I usually get in my house. The kind that just fly in and out. Although I know some volunteers that have had them living in the houses, usually up in the roof.” Chelsi wielding the sickle, started filling the bag with grass.
“Yes, the ka small bats will live in the thatch of your roof.”
“Do you think I have bats living in my thatch?! I know I have frogs and lizards and rats and mice living up there.  Or at least I did before I got the cat.  But I still see the frogs sometimes.”
Austin let out his happy, go-lucky chuckle, “You had them, maybe before you had the cat. But people usually kill those, because they make a mess in the house, from pooping.”
Chelsi had exhausted all the grass with in her reach at the foot of the hill and now was just standing about, “So what if we had houses, like houses for bats outside the house, so the bats can live there, but still come and eat the mosquitoes.”
Austin relieved her of the sickle and used his lanky legs to jump up the hill to a fresh patch of grass. “You mean keep them like chickens? No, we don’t do that.”
“You wouldn’t be keeping them like chickens,” If you can call stuffing a dozen birds in a meter by meter woven bamboo box ‘keeping chickens’, Chelsi paused to think of a better example. “You know how people keep bees? They just build the house, or the box, and bees just come and do their thing?  It would be more like that, but for bats.”
Austin looked at her, scrunching up his face a bit.
“We can put them up around farms too, because the bats will eat some agricultural pests. And I think this is plenty of grass,” She added shaking the bag. 
He hopped down from the hill, “Like in organic farming, where we don’t have to use pesticide then.” Chelsi wasn’t a hundred percent certain of Austin’s background, but on more than one occasion had impressed her with his knowledge on the tenants of organic farming.
“Well, I’m not going to promise they would alleviate all pests,” Chelsi smiled, “but yes, exactly that.”
They walked back to the spot next to his garden, under the mango tree.  “I think maybe if you just had more banana plantations.  That would work.”
He dumped the bag of grass out next to the pile of leaves, the bucket of water and a basin of goat manure. “Okay, so after we loosen the soil a bit, like we do when do our first dig for double digging, we’re just going to start mixing everything together. A couple handfuls of leaves, a handful of grass, a sprinkling of manure, a cup of water. Until everything in those piles in over here in one big pile.” Chelsi started throwing everything together, “and we’re going to mix, mix, mix.”
“Ahhrroo!” Daisy came tearing across the small compound, a new mother goat tailing behind her. 
“Ahh, Ka Daisy,” Austin said. “She just wants to play play, all the time.”
“I know, she has so much energy. And she doesn’t get that the goats don’t want to play with her.”
Daisy stood now, staring down the goat in the distance, heckles raised. “If you are still here in June, and July, we should take her hunting.  She would be good, she likes to chase things.”
“Yeah? And what would we hunt?”
“There are those mawater bucks, and bansenji.”
“Down there in the dambo?”
“No, across the way there on the plain.  There are also those bush babies and African rabbits.”
“Well, I have no idea how to teacher to do that, but I’ll still be here in June and July. I’ll be here till 2017, so you will have to teach us.”
“We can, if you are still here, God-willing.”
“If I am still here, God-willing.”

 

Categories: DIY, Gardening, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

037: the Courageous Lion

Of all the other dogs that members of her host family had brought home, this was the one Chelsi liked the most.  She could never compare to my darling Daisy, but Lion was a sleek, elegantly fashioned dog, with long legs, big paws and a bold, shapely head. Her coat was more of a pale gold, compared to Daisy’s flaxen blonde, and her tail was docked so close that a half an inch more would have removed the upper portion of her anus.  Mostly importantly, she was well mannered, and always ready to slobber Chelsi’s hand with her tongue. 
Chelsi had first noticed Lion about a week before moving back in to her house at the beginning of December, while making a ‘checking in’ visit.  She had observed Lion and Daisy romping together, in the grass of her yard. Then Lion had had a shine in her coat, a glisten in her eye, and a playfulness to her nature.
“And look at you know,” Chelsi sighed looking at the emaciated dog, sitting, shivering in her door way.  Her eyes were dull, draining a white goop, the cresses of her ears were cracked and bloody.  When Chelsi had first seen her after returning with Daisy from Christmas break she thought the poor dog had broken out in some blistering skin disease; the hair all around her neck patchy, with white and blue lumps looking as if they were about to rupture from her skin. When she looked closer, running her figures through her coat she didn’t find blisters, but hundreds of ticks. Some swollen to the size of grapes.  “It was horrifying,” Chelsi said to her aloud, remembering. “It still is.” The onslaught of tick had started more than three weeks ago, and still the owner of the dog, her host brother-in-law, had done nothing to remove them. “Even if he really is giving you dewormer like he says he is, those are probably why you’ve still been losing weight.” Lion repositioned herself on her bony haunches, become anxious listening to Chelsi, without being able to respond. 
The rain began to pitter, patter ever harder beyond the edges of Chelsi’s roof.  Daisy pushed passed Lion, coming through the door looking to get out of the rain. “And look at you, so well mannered. You’re not going to come in unless you’re invited. Unlike that awful bitch Bingo, Gil brought home.  She took every chance she had to bust in here, even when I was poking her with a stick! to steal bags of dog food.  Always intimidating Daisy so she was afraid to come near me. He only likes her because she has that ridge of hair standing up along her back. And Jango, he had to be her brother, he wasn’t much better; skittish and fretful.” Chelsi hadn’t felt the same desire to careful the other dogs, the way she did for Lion. Particularly, she didn’t have any affection toward either of the owners. And perhaps that’s why I feel so much pity for Lion. “Because he doesn’t deserve you… You certainly deserve better than him.” Lion repositioned herself again, slapping her tongue against her nose; clearly unsure whether the continuance of the single-sided conversation was an invitation or not, but cautioning against it just encase a mistaken understanding resulted in a beating.  
From where Chelsi sat, on the stool beside her table she could see the totality of Lion’s thin body between her forelegs; the washboard of her ribcage cut in relief against the gray background of her front cement slab.  Looking on, Chelsi could feel them under her fingers, hear the xylophone-esk sound they made when she ran her fingers along them. 
She let out a deep breath and hung her head. 
Chelsi could see two futures in her mind’s eye:  One, a re-imaging of what she had seen happen to her neighbor’s dog Buma.  Skin and bones, the thick coated white and brown spotted dog curled up under tree, hidden behind tall grass.  When she had Daisy first approach him, on their walk in the bush, he had lifted his head. Daisy sniffed, and continued on. The next day, when Daisy saw him and approached, there was no response. The day after, it seemed less like a dog and more like a lump of matted fur.  They stopped walking that way. Two, take Lion under her care. At least try and ease some of her suffering. Lion’s ultimate fate would still be out of her hands. This isn’t my dog, and it can’t be. She couldn’t take in every animal she felt compassion for; and once you start how do you stop?
“Meow,” Chelsi lifted her head to see Poppy sneak through Lion’s legs and into the house.  The wet kitten shook himself off. The rain was pounding down now, starting to blow in through the open door. Chelsi stood and removed the rock jam, shutting out the storm on the outside. 

Categories: Drama, Horror, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

031: A New Start

Chelsi began to stir from a restless night of sleep.  She stretch out, trying to remember where she was.  On the floor, she knew. Under my pashmina, in my tent. “Back to the village.”
She remembered now. Late last night the cruiser dropped her and her things back at her house in the village.  Finally, she felt relieved, two months she had been gone, but it was coupled with the stress of all the things that were left to do.  Last night she hadn’t even the energy to put her bed together; sheets, blanket mosquito net. So opted for the floor, and the tent to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  What little time she had the previous night she spent piling all her things together, but off the ground and under her tarp, in the even that it rained that night.  It takes a few good rain storms before thatch roofs situate themselves into a water resistant layer. That and the fact that her plastic roofing liner still remained to be hung, a nighttime rain storm could have spelled disaster.  That’s the first thing that needs to be done, she thought rolling into an up-right position. The plastic needs to be hung.
Because she hadn’t lit a fire last night for diner there was no coffee for this morning.  She stood for a moment thinking whether it would be worth lighting one now, staring at the mountain, which were her things that needed to be organized and put away.  “If I don’t I’ll have more time in day to get all this stuff done,” she said to the puppy wiggling about her knees.  “Ooh, yes. I missed you too.  And look how much you’ve grown! You’re almost twice the size as when I left! How is it my darling Daisy that you’re always going through these growth spurts when I’m not around? It’s all the nshima from the neighbors, fattening you up!”
She propped open the door to take a look at the yard in the light.  The door also needs locking mechanisms for the in and outside. The air was muggy but the landscape was green and crisp.  Rain season had begun while she was a way, which had result in a new crop of grass.  Some of which already reached up to her waist.  Not a bad thing, she thought.  This way when it dries out in July I can apply it to my chinzana, which she looked at sadly, still without a roof.  With the chinzanza, which was supposed to be her cooking area, the way it was it really was a necessity having the house expanded. As she thought about how silly she would look trying to light a fire in the rain, the morning sun began to peak at her through the trees.  “The porch that’s what’s different.”
Mike, the previous volunteer, had built a cement slab just off the front door with an iron sheet roof.  “That’s where he cooked in the rain.” The villagers had widened the slab to accommodate her bigger door, “a nice touch. But the iron sheeting needs to be put back up.” She sighed.  She knew what she had to do next.  In the dark of the previous night she had gotten a glimpse of what had become of her garden while she was gone and now in the light she was afraid to look.  Stepping of the slab on to the ground she shielded her eyes.
Between her fingers she could see jungle grass growing thick on the beds. Beds that had taken her six weeks to dig and nearly broke her back.  The fence, which had taken her her first three months to build, had blown over completely. Grass, wire, fence posts, all up rooted and lying limply on the ground.  “I’m really glad now I waited to plant. But a thing it’s still salvage able.” She wanted a garden more that almost anything, but it was certainly turning out to be quiet the investment.  “What do you think Daisy?” Carefree, her puppy walked over the fence and on to a bed. She looked up at Chelsi and wagged her curly tail.  “Yeah, a new fence is definitely going up first.” The dogs are worse than the goats and the chickens! She thought. 
She turned to get a view of her new house from the outside.  The out and new portions of the house stood out starkly part from each other.  Though it was pitted and chipping, the old portion of the house had a thick coat of plaster and lime; compared to the new portion which had been left bare brick.  The whole house is going to need to be re-plastered and limed¸ she thought. Inside and out.  The crumbling looking old house might have been fine for Mike, but she strongly felt that just because she was living in the village that didn’t mean she couldn’t have her house looking nice. For a moment her mind toyed with whether she should start improving the outside or the inside of her first, when the roof caught her eye.  The thatch glittered as the sun rose over her head. She smiled. So much nicer than the old house. Waiting for it was terrible, that could easily be the bar for bad experiences during my service, and it still needs a lot of work, but like the rest of this place, it has so much potential to be really, really nice.
The new house was even adorned with glass paned windows; three of them.  They were part of the rising house standards for volunteers in Zambia.  Not a requirement for her house, but they were a nice touch.  On closer inspection she found them to be nailed shut from the outside, but she felt confident in her ability to apply hinges. Maybe I should start a list of things needing to be done. As she thought about where amongst her things they might be her host father and a neighborhood boy approached her from the rest of the family’s compounds. 
“Good morning!” She greet them.  Daisy gave a few happy barks to the arrivals.
“Hello, how are you?” the neighborhood boy Menace asked, with a big smile holding out his hand.
Chelsi grasped it, “I’m fine, and how are you?”
“Now me, I’m fine.”
“And your mother? And her sister? And the kids?”
“They are fine.”
“I am very happy to be back,” her excitement to be home exploded out at the sight of one her village friends.  His smile grew in response.
“No, that’s good. I am here to help hang the plastic in your house.”
“Fantastic! I’ve got nails and pre-made the cardboard squares.  And that was the first thing on the list to do… Here come in, come in. Let me move some of this stuff around and we can get started!”
Before living to have her house fixed, and even during her stay at the prove house, Chelsi had felt frustrated, stresses, unhappy.  But her time away helped her understand what was important to her happiness and success as a volunteer. Having an actual size house was one of those things, doing more for the people she felt really shined in her life was another.  Coming back and seeing the people and animals and the parts of her life that she had missed really brought in the feeling that this was the place she was meant to be, this was her home. 

Categories: DIY, Drama, Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

029: What’s up with your house?

Chelsi was sitting out on the steps that led down from the small porch at the back of the Prov house. I can’t believe it’s been six weeks! She thought to herself. She lifted her head from between her knees and looked out over the freshly slashed grass of the walled in compound.  It really was like a separate world behind the twelve foot, cement walls.  The compound was big enough with enough space and trees that the walls did not seem intrusive, but at the same time you could see the razor wire that ran along the top of them; like a separate world? Or just a prison?
She could spend days behind the walls, almost forgetting all together that she was in Zambia.  And what purpose was there in leaving from behind the walls really? What am I going to do? Stroll around dusty Solwezi alone? With minibus drivers grabbing at me? Or wander around Shoperite buying things I don’t really need? Yet there was not much left to do inside the walls.  I planted trees, made animal feed, built and painted a giant bird house. The internet is non-operational… I guess I could read another book.
“You’re still here Chelsi?” a friend voice sounded from behind her.
“Yep, I’m still here.”
Chelsi’s friend Ginny took a seat next to her on stairs.
“You mean your house still isn’t done?” her voice was filled with disbelief.
“Nope.”
“Wow, how long has it been now? How long have you been staying here?” she pulled a cigarette from a small box and lit it.
“We’re going on week seven now.”
“What’s going on? Why’s it taking so long?”
“I don’t know… My host father says it’s because no one else in the community has been coming to help build the house, but at the same time he told Chunda the other day that he chased away two men that said they wanted to help. When Chunda relayed this to me he was kind of laughing, so I don’t know if it really wasn’t a big deal or who these men were but, I don’t like the sound of it.”
“What did it look like when you saw it last?
“All the walls were up, which is good.”
“Right, cause they are making your house bigger.”
“Yeah I’m going from a 2.8 meters by 4.5 meters to the ‘standard’ 5×6. Which means they also had to rebuild the roof and cut new poles, which were also on the house.”
“You’re still going with the grass thatch? I heard a lot of the newest volunteers are getting iron sheeting.”
“Yeah, I probably could have, and it would have made things easier maybe and a little quicker, but I like the grass.  It’s cooler in hot season and makes a whole lot less noise when it rains. And I plan on getting a cat, so that should help with the rat problem.”
“Okay,” Ginny stood up and paced on bit on the small cement slab in front of the stairs.
“And there was grass on the roof, but when they were building the walls they didn’t have the windows. They have them now so they still have to put them in.  The floor needs cement, and roofing plastic needs to be hung…  They’re so close it’s just taking so long…” Chelsi pause to organize her thoughts, she had so many on the subject. “And I understand too, they can’t spend all day working on it.  They have the farm to take care of, and you really can’t be out working between 10 am and 2 because it’s just too hot. And I don’t think anyone from Mitukutuku is coming to help because they think if the house doesn’t get built I move closer to them…”
“Yeah, what happened with that?”
“Back in June, when I was trying to get my house fixed up no one in Kamijiji, my immediate area was coming to help, and before he left Mike mentioned that there were people in Katoka and Mitukutuku, up the road by the tarmac, that would be interested in coming to help. So I went to them to ask for help and they got the idea in their head that instead of coming to Kamijiji to fix the existing house they would just build me a new house closer to them.  I told them maybe but we would have to talk to Peace Corps, wait, don’t make any plans.  But instead they started holding community meeting about where they were going to put this new house of mine.  This is now mid-July and words about this got back to my host-father and he got upset, thinking I was trying to move without asking him. So he call Chunda and told him to send me back to America.  So Chunda came to smooth out the situation, then threatened my host father that if the house wasn’t ready to be fixed, to move me and my stuff out, by the end of August I would move to Mitukutuku.  I have since found out that they would have never move me there no matter what, but any way.  I came back from Malawi at the end of August, and was told to ‘sit tight.’ Though none, of the materials for my house were ready. And I should have pushed then, to move to a new site.  Cause I know now that there is no other place in Northwest Provence for me to go now.  It’s either I go back to my house, or maybe I go back to America.  Which sucks, It took them six weeks after the deadline of when I was supposed to be moved for them to get enough, enough that is, not all, the material together to start working on the house before I could move out and I don’t know it’s just shitty. And frustrating.”
Chelsi let out a sigh. Having finished her cigarette Ginny took back her seat next to Chelsi. “It leaves me feeling stupid for even asking for what I’m supposed to have, as housing standards are supposed to go. I know it would have been really hard, but I probably would have made it in the ka tiny house.  Though the roof wouldn’t have made it.”
“No, there is nothing wrong with asking for your house to be fixed. They told you this is what you are supposed to have so you have every right to push for it. Peace Corps, they’re the ones who put you in this situation.  If the house wasn’t done, and the community didn’t have the buy-in to fix it up appropriately then they should haven’t put a volunteer there.” Chelsi was relieved to hear the strength in her voice, because she had been searching for some.
“You know what’s funny, the agricultural extention agents that work in the village, they’re always asking me ‘but wouldn’t you rather live in town?’ No, I’d much rather live in the village. There I’m free to do what I want, when I want.  I can work on my garden, take a walk in the bush, play with Daisy.  That’s the other thing, I hate thinking of Daisy sleeping outside all alone, especially now that it’s raining.   Here, there nowhere to go. You just end up spending a lot of money and there is constantly people around. Which gets exhausting after a while.”
“I agree. I don’t even like coming here for more than a day or so at a time. I can’t imagine what it must be like after what, seven weeks?  Is there an end date? A date where a decision is going to be made about what happen with you? You can’t stay at the Prov house forever.”
“Chunda told them next Friday when we were there on Wednesday.”
“So the day after Thanksgiving.”
“Yeah. He’s supposed to go on Monday to help move sand for the floor and he’ll let me know more about how it’s looking then. But I don’t know man, I just don’t know.”

Categories: Drama, Law, Justice and Order, Mystery | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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