Going Home: Mwanza to Dar es Salaam

I was just kidding about never seeing Agatha again because sure enough, I saw her the very next day.  Let me explain:

After my (un)happy Mother’s Day, mom and I set off for the Mwanza airport with my namesake Tito, the taxi driver.  We packed all this stuff into the car:

That's a lot of stuff!

That’s a lot of stuff!

and then I said goodbye to our Maasai warrior guard.

Goodbye Akwi

Goodbye Akwi

When we got to the airport, mom put me in my cage (which I totally hate, it’s so demeaning) because all the Tanzanians were afraid of me.  We went through security and got to the check-in counter with more than enough time to spare.  But, unsurprisingly, no one knew quite what to do with me.  They said it was impossible for me to fly even though mom had already made arrangements for me with the manager.

So I waited patiently (or not so patiently, I’ll admit I cried a bit) while mom fought for my right to board the airplane.

Waiting...

Waiting…

Everyone ignored her because they just didn’t want to deal with a situation that made them think outside the box.  Eventually, it got too late and the plane simply left without us so we were forced (well, mom was forced, I was happy) to go back to our house for the night.

I was ecstatic when we got home and did leaps of joy around the house.

You know what was the icing on the cake?  When I woke up the next morning, Agatha was there!  Hooray!  Unfortunately, we really needed to leave on Monday since our flight to Amsterdam was leaving that evening from Dar es Salaam.  So, around noon, I said my goodbyes to everyone again.

Saying goodbye to Agatha (again) and Eddie (our gardener)

Saying goodbye to Agatha (again) and Eddie (our gardener)

Once more, we arrived at the Mwanza airport and into my cage I went.

I hate that dumb thing

I hate that dumb thing

This time, the people at the airport were prepared for me and things went much more smoothly.  Mom handed me off to the Tanzanian baggage handlers to be loaded into the luggage part of the plane.  I was not super excited about this, but since I was in my cage there really wasn’t much to be done about the situation.

Eyeing me with skepticism

Eyeing me with skepticism

I was driven out to the airplane on a tractor (without my mom) and loaded onto the little ATR airplane, since all of Precision Air’s Boeings are not working.

I'm in there somewhere!

I’m in there somewhere!

You know where they put me?  In the baggage section like I was nothing special.  Below me there was a bucket of dead fish that I had to smell for the entire flight and above me was one of mom’s massive bags.  I’m lucky that I even survived!

Piled in with all the luggage (if you can even call a bucket of dead fish luggage)

Piled in with all the luggage (if you can even call a bucket of dead fish luggage)

Finally, after an agonizing two hours, we arrived in Dar and reunited with mom’s taxi driver friend Sham.  Since no hotels would allow us to enter, Sham took us to a place called Coco Beach to pass the time until our next flight.

Enjoying the ocean breeze with Sham

Enjoying the ocean breeze with Sham

Here’s where I spent my very last hours in Tanzania, not too shabby if you ask me!

Coco Beach

Coco Beach

But, as I’ve learned in my short life, all good things much come to an end.  So, after the sun had set, mom and I headed back to the airport to continue our marathon journey back to America.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Un)Happy Mother’s Day

First, let me clarify:  I love my mom and I always will and I wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, BUT this has got to be one of the worst Mother’s Days ever.

Last night was my last night in Mwanza.

Today is my last day in Mwanza.

Me and Mom on our last night in Mwanza

Me and Mom on our last night in Mwanza

This morning, I woke up and I decided to pick a flower for mom so that maybe, just maybe, she’d change her mind and we could stay in Mwanza forever.

But mom, I picked you a flower...

But mom, I picked you a flower…

But no, her plans were already in motion.  She’d given away all of our things, and packed up the remainder to take home (such a funny word, “home”, I can’t say I exactly know what it means).  The only thing I could do was sit by and watch her pack up our life (and make sure she didn’t leave me behind).  The tickets are purchased, we are leaving.  So here we go, off on a totally new adventure…

Waiting to begin, again

Waiting to begin, again

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Goodbye Agatha

Moving sucks.  There, I said it.  I hate moving.  Especially because I have to say goodbye to people that I love.

One of the most important people in my life is Agatha.  She comes every day to my house to clean up all mom’s messes and to hang out with me so that I’m not alone all day when mom is at work.  Like I’ve mentioned several times in the past, most Tanzanians are scared of me for some reason, but not Agatha!  She is so happy to see me and picks me up and cuddles me.  She also comes to live with me when mom goes away so she’s basically like my second mom.

Agatha came with her son today to say goodbye to me.  I ran around and played with Joshua, just like old times.

Joshua-Tito playtime!

Joshua-Tito playtime!

But then something weird started happening.  Men came into my house and started taking our stuff!  First they took our couches (bonus for me because I found a whole bunch of toys that I forgot I even had under there).  Then they took our bed.  These guys were literally turning my life upside-down.

My couches, my mattress...

My couches, my mattress…

Apparently this wasn’t just a play-date, but a trick to take all our stuff!  But mom appeared to be ok with it, so I returned to playing with Joshua.  I try to let mom do the worrying because I’m better at the comforting part anyway.

Joshua, busting a move

Joshua, busting a move

After a lot of our household was removed, mom started getting sad, I can tell because water starts coming out of her eyes and she acts really weird.  And strangely enough, Agatha starts crying too.  What is going on here, people?  And that’s when I realize it, Agatha is not moving with us.  This is when I have to say goodbye to my second mom, forever.  Luckily, we all held it together for a group shot:

That's me protesting because I don't want to move

That’s me protesting because I don’t want to say goodbye

Mom gave Agatha some photos so she could remember me and promised to see Agatha when she returns in the summer (without me, I’m being abandoned back in the US for the summer).  But for me, this is the last time I’ll see Agatha for the rest of my life and that makes me really, really sad.  If any of you all have tips on how to make saying goodbye easier, then send them my way.

So, I did what I do best, and I gave Agatha and Joshua kisses as they were about to leave.

Goodbye Kisses

Goodbye Kisses

And then, Agatha closed the gate and left.  And I’ll never see her again, ever.  I’m going to go curl up in my bed and have a moment to myself now.

Goodbye Agatha, my second mom

Goodbye Agatha, my second mom

I hate goodbyes, but I love Agatha.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Poor Twiga

Today, my brother-from-another-mother Twiga is at the doctor’s office getting his balls removed.  After today Twiga and I will be even more alike since I’m already a eunuch.

Twiga sent me a photo of the fancy health clinic where his procedure will happen:

Twiga in the Health Clinic!

Twiga in the Health Clinic!

He was really surprised at how nice it was because he assumed that all health clinics were like the ones he’d seen in Tanzania:

The clinic where our mom works in Tanzania

The clinic where our mom works in Tanzania

I know he’s probably really scared and I wish I could be there to comfort him since I know exactly what he’s going through.

So Twiga, if you’re reading this: you’re gonna be fine and you won’t notice a thing when it’s over.  This “neutering” business is a simple rite of passage if you’re going to be a pet in America.  Even I’ve had it done and you think I’m pretty cool, right?

Just after I had my balls chopped off

Just after I had my balls chopped off

 

Update May 8, 2013

Twiga made it through his ball-removal procedure just fine, but now he has to wear one of those stupid necklaces for a week.  Poor kitty!

Twiga in his new necklace

Twiga in his new necklace

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

My Mom Went to Boston And…

most importantly, she is safe!  Thank goodness she is ok because I honestly don’t know how I’d survive without her.

Boston

Boston

She also decided that it is time for me to start trying to lose some weight since we’re headed back to America in less than 2 weeks.  Mom says that it’s not fashionable to be fat in America like it is in Tanzania so I’ll have to try to slim down if I want people to think I’m cute.  Therefore, it’s diet dog food for me:

Weight Watchers for dogs

Weight Watchers for dogs

Can you tell how embarrassed I am?

Luckily, as a consolation for the diet dog food, she let me eat some Dutch cheese and cuddle with her.

Cuddle-time!

Cuddle-time!

Cheese from Amsterdam

Cheese from Amsterdam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t win ‘em all, I suppose…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Whimper, Whimper, Want

Me Next!

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 11.07.39 PM

That is all.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Ciao Canadian Chicas!

Mom says I have to start practicing saying goodbye since we’re leaving Africa for good in a little less than 3 weeks (I’m freaking out about this on the inside).  So, I was able to obey her by saying goodbye to my pretty Canadian friends Shannon and Susan.

Shannon and Susan

Shannon and Susan

Susan and Shannon came to Mwanza as part of the African Probiotic Yogurt Network.  Shannon is a microbiologist and Susan is a business intern with the project that helps to distribute probiotic yogurt to rural women in Northern Tanzania.

Before Shannon and Susan came along, mom and I were all alone in Mwanza, so when these girls showed up it changed our world!  As you can tell from the photo above, they were super happy, super fun, and they also loved me like you wouldn’t believe (I mean, who doesn’t, other than Turkish Air?)  Shannon and Susan made the most of their time in Mwanza by hosting the Mama-Q and traveling to Dubai with mom for Easter.

In order to celebrate their departure from Mwanza, we decided to go hiking in Capri Point to witness the beauty of the sunset over Lake Victoria.  I did this hike way back in January 2012 when I first arrived in Mwanza (and it’s also where I took the photo that heads this whole blog, clearly it’s a special place).  Because I’m so experienced, I led the way through the rocks and out to the overlook point where we could have a bird’s-eye view of Mwanza and the lake.

Look over here!

Look over here!

This way, girls!

This way, girls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got to take photos for the last time in Africa with my ladies in a setting that matched their beauty.  I’m hoping they’ll print them out and frame them so they’ll be sure to never forget me.

Goodbye Shannon!

Goodbye Shannon!

Goodbye Susan!

Goodbye Susan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we were preparing to hike back out, some local children came along and were excited to see us.  It always fascinates me how people live, perched up between the rocks.  At first the children were afraid of me, as most Tanzanians are.  But mom bribed them to come and pet me.  I was a bit uncomfortable with this situation at first (who knows where those hands have been), but the children were very gentle and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me.  They even smiled at the camera as I took photos with them (a rarity in Tanzania).

Continuing my Mpende Mbwa mission in Mwanza

Continuing my Mpende Mbwa mission in Mwanza

With this, we headed back down for one last dinner at Tilapia.  See you on the other side of the world, girls!

I'll make sure my mom takes me to see you real soon!

I’ll make sure my mom takes me to see you real soon!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Birds of Tanzania

The other day I found a feather in the yard and it got me thinking about all the different types of birds that live in Tanzania.

Finding a Feather

Finding a Feather

One of my main duties at our house in Mwanza is policing the yard and protecting it from all the birds.  This is quite the task since there’s so many darn birds everywhere all the time.  When I was younger mom used to be afraid that the hawks would scoop down and get me (she even contemplated making me wear armor outside, which never happened, thank God.  Besides she’s already put me in enough embarrassing outfits for a lifetime).

I'm just glad this wasn't me

I’m just glad this wasn’t me

Dog armor

Dog armor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, I’ve put on weight and those birds could never lift me now, so I can police in full-body freedom-of-movement!

Protecting the yard from the big bird above

Protecting the yard from the big bird above

This is what the big guy looked like close up.  These are also the most common birds that I see.  Being a dog, I don’t know the proper name for it, but you don’t need those kind of specifics when you’re protecting the yard.

Trespasser!

Trespasser!

Recently, mom showed me some photos of other birds that live in Tanzania, but which aren’t found in the ecological niche that is my yard.  It made me very grateful that I’m ONLY dealing with the big hawk bird and not all those other scary winged-creatures.

Why is it a bird if it can't fly?

Why is it a bird if it can’t fly?

I wouldn't want to meet this guy in a dark alley at night

I wouldn’t want to meet this guy in a dark alley at night

And with those feathered monsters in mind, I think I’ll run off with my yard-father and play!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Doxie-Pin in Northwestern Tanzania: Quantitative and Qualitative Results

My mom has been hogging the computer for over a week now working on a poster for the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston.  Her title is, “Cryptosporidium spp. infection in breastfeeding mothers and their HIV-exposed or unexposed infants in a peri-urban community in northwestern Tanzania”.  BOOOORING!!

I decided to show mom how it’s done and make my own poster for EB.  Guess how long it took me?  30 minutes!  Boo-ya!

 

Slide1

And that’s how you make a scientific poster.  Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Mom Went to Dubai And…

she got me some Emirati dog food!

Dubai Dog Food!

Dubai Dog Food!

 

Mom said she almost got me diet dog food (gasp), but decided to get me the small breed kind instead and said that I’ll go on a diet when I get back to America, RUDE!  Personally, I think she got this kind for me because it promises to give me “firm stool quality” and we all know how much my mom loves a good, firm poop!

Yup, this'll do

Yup, this’ll do

 

Also, I think I could make a lot of money performing tricks on the Burj Khalifa (which, by the way, always makes me think of Wiz Khalifa, being the gangsta dogg that I am).  What do you think?

Working hard for my money

Working hard for my money

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers