Friday, 12 October 2012

The Dogs

 Thursday October 11th

Four weeks today since I stepped of the bus in Tanga and exactly a month since I left home.  That must put be a third the way through my adventure and if I learn as much during the remaining time as I have so far, I certainly will come back to the UK with a different outlook on life.

Looking back through the blog so far I realise that I have not introduced two of my best friends at Mkoma Bay, Cheetah and Pola, the dogs.  As with many dogs in country areas, the world over, I don’t think they are treated as pets as such, but more as working dogs with a responsibility to warn of intruders at night.  So when a big soft Muzungu arrived who will scratch their heads and rub their backs and has been known on a rare occasion to share a biscuit, they latched on to this strange being.  Pola was friendly from the start but I had to convince Cheetah with a friendly voice that the hand I held out was not there to smack her, before she would actually duck her head low as she approached for a rub.



They wait at the gate as I cycle out every morning and race in front, behind or even occasionally at my side as I cycle through the wooded area paralleling the Pangani Road.  I worried a little when they started crossing the road and continued their escort duty across the fields but they obviously know the area well and are always there when I arrive home in the afternoon to run round and welcome me.  On one occasion they even accompanied me well up THE HILL and only a stern word prevented a ‘Mary had………’ moment at Boza.

Through the woods over the main road ......

and across the fields.

Need I say more!

They come when I call them and I think with two months to go perhaps ‘sit’ is the next step. I’ll have to use kaa – sit or even kaachini – sit down, so they don’t get confused learning a foreign language.  I’m used to kaachini anyway as I say it to the students every lesson when they stand as I enter the classroom. (remember the days folks!). 

The dogs surprisingly even came with me as I went for a swim yesterday afternoon but the wind was up and the breakers were pounding over even me, so a paddle was all they ventured.  With two dogs, a kitten, three cockerels (soon to be two if I have my way) and four hens, there is certainly plenty happening.

There is no escape from livestock at school either.  This is the view out of the Form I classroom most days –

And this afternoon I opened the door of the computer room to be met by this emaciated animal –

I leave you with Kesho nitakuenda Tanga for those who have been keeping up.  I’ve run out of ‘the readies’, work it out. Oh Hell, here comes that cockerel again.


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