Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sirari and Musoma

Last week, mom was super frustrated with Mwanza, so she decided that we needed to get out of town.  I am always up for an adventure and I love exploring Tanzania, so she decided that we would drive North towards Kenya and visit the town of Musoma on the shore of Lake Victoria.  Since we were hitching a ride with mom’s friend Marcel, we had to go to the border post of Sirari first, which also happens to be the very first place I ever went potty in Tanzania!  Oh, the memories!

We're right here!


I’d also like to give a shout out to the awesome humans at Masafa Classic Hotel in Sirari.  So many times in Africa, I’ve gotten my feelings hurt because people are scared of me or they just don’t like doggies, however the people at Masafa welcomed me with open arms.

Masafa Hotel in Sirari


I really recommend this place for lunch if you’re passing through Sirari.  Our waiter was called Jackson (or maybe it was Franklin, or possibly some other dead US President’s name) and he treated me with so much respect.  I was on my best behavior, sitting quietly in mom’s lap as she ordered and waited for the food.  Mom ordered a special meal of mishkaki for me (see my previous post on mishkaki for an explanation) and Jackson made sure to ask questions so he got my order just right (well-done. no spices, PLEASE!).  No one at the restaurant ran away from me in fear and some people even stopped to pet me on the head 🙂  When Jackson brought my meal, it smelled so good that I ate it as quickly as I possibly could.  Yummy, mishkaki!

I'll never get tired of eating mishkaki

Jackson, my waiter













Before we left the restaurant, Jackson asked if he could take my photo with his mobile phone.  I was so honored, I’ll never forget him and hopefully I’ll get the chance to visit again before my African adventure is over.

After Sirari, we were on our way to Musoma.  The people there were very friendly to mom, but as usual, they were all really scared of me.  I still can’t figure this out because everyone says I’m so cute and lovable, and I have tiny teeth too!  Anyway, mom was determined to show people that I was a different type of dog than they were used to.  At one place, she took me out of the car to where a bunch of little children were playing.  Children are my favorite because they’re young and carefree like me, plus they’re sized much better for me.  The kids were scared at first, but I think they could see how much my mom loved me.  She told them my name and where I came from and promised that I wouldn’t bite.  Eventually, some of the braver kids started to pet me on my head.  I felt so happy to finally be accepted by Tanzanians and so now my grand plan is to teach kids about puppies and how we can be nice.  I’m excited about my new Tanzania mission, I think I’ll call it “Mpende Mbwa“!

Beginning my mission, "Mpende Mbwa"!


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TanFoam Problems

TanFoam is a common mattress company in Tanzania and is the cause of much pain for both me and my mom.  Their motto is, “Welcome to our world of comfort”(, but this weekend all mom and I experienced was discomfort.

Me in mom's bed

This weekend mom and I were both disabled thanks to her bed.  Mom has been having back problems because her foam bed is too soft.  I see her walking around in pain and I hate that there’s nothing I can do to help her.  Then, on Saturday night, somehow, I fell off the edge of the bed.  I’ve never done that before and it was pretty embarrassing.  One moment I was sleeping and the next, I’m on the floor.  Mom laughed at me because she didn’t realize that I landed on my foot funny and I didn’t want her to worry so I just went back to bed.

In the morning when I woke up I couldn’t walk on my foot, so I was hopping around like a tripod dog.  Mom decided to play doctor and cut a piece of fabric off a Delta Airlines blanket, wrapped it around my leg, and secured it with a safety pin and some clear tape.  All day I rested and hopped around with my makeshift cast.  I got lots of sympathy from Aunt Amanda, mom, Marcel, and Annabelle because of my condition.

My makeshift cast

Luckily, today I’m all better, but mom still hurts.  I’m hoping she’ll go out and get a new mattress this afternoon and avoid the TanFoam this time!  Or maybe I can even convince her to purchase a Tanfopedic bed instead!

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I met Madaraka Nyerere!

Yesterday was a really special day for me because it was the first time I met someone famous!  Here’s what happened: On the way home from Musoma (more about that trip in an upcoming blog entry), Marcel suggested that we stop in Butiama to see the home of Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania.  Marcel is a little obsessed with Julius Nyerere, so mom and I agreed that it could be a fun visit.

Butiama, Tanzania

We arrived at the Nyerere compound in Butiama, but Marcel said I had to stay in the car because the site was too sacred for a puppy like me in case I had an accident somewhere special.  I was sad to be left behind, but I could kind of understand his point because sometimes I just can’t control myself.  Anyway, the time in the car gave me a chance to learn a little more about Julius Nyerere and his son Madaraka Nyerere, who lives there in Butiama.  Here’s what I learned from wikipedia (

Julius Nyerere was born in Butiama to a man named Nyerere Burito.  I was excited about this because sometimes my mom and Aunt Amanda call me Tito Burrito, so that means I have something in common with the “Baba wa Taifa”, or The Father of the Nation!  Julius Nyerere’s son lives in Butiama now and he has his own blog, like me:  Another interesting thing I learned about Madaraka is that he has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with Idi Amin’s son.  That’s like George W. Bush climbing a mountain in Afghanistan with Sadam Hussein’s son, which I can’t imagine ever happening!  That’s what makes Madaraka Nyerere so cool in my eyes.

Madaraka and Idi Amin's son on top of Kilimanjaro

Because mom made me stay in the car, I didn’t think I’d actually get to meet Madaraka Nyerere, but as they were leaving, he approached the car.  I was so incredibly excited to meet a celebrity that I just couldn’t control myself and I ended up peeing a little in the car.  But anyway, how many dogs can say that they met the son of the father of modern Tanzania!  I am one lucky puppy!

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My mom went on safari and…

I decided I wanted to play with the kitties too, turns out they’re nothing like my siblings Michi and Fupa!

Take me home!

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Health Scare

So, today I totally freaked my mom out.  I really didn’t mean to, but I’m only a puppy so sometimes I have to learn the hard way.

It all started when I was playing in the yard this morning.  I smelled something really interesting under one of the trees in my yard so I went to investigate.  It was a little bird, which was super fun to play with and to chew on.  Unfortunately, mom found me and told me to stop, but I was having too much fun so I ran away from her, with the bird in my mouth.  She yelled at me to drop it, but there was no way I was giving up my new toy.  My mom and Aunt Amanda chased me around the house and finally, when I realized I was cornered, I decided I just needed to swallow the thing so they would leave me alone.  I guess I should have listened because about 30 minutes later I started to feel sick and all of a sudden I was throwing up everywhere.  Agatha, my babysitter, must have called mom because she came home from work shortly after and was acting really scared.  She inspected my vomit and found the whole bird that had come back up out of me.

Marcel, who knows lots about dogs, told her to clean my mouth out, which was super not fun for me and then to watch me for a while to make sure I was ok.  I’m pretty tired now, after all the vomiting, but I think I’m ok.  Mom just hopes that I learned my lesson…

Sorry mom!

Putting proper food in my tummy after getting sick

Recovering on mom's lap

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Boys’ Weekend

So, typing on my blog…with paws…is…really…REALLY…hard.  Just had to let that out there.

Typing my blog

Now where is the "s"?










This weekend my mom, her parents (I thought I was the only one who had them), and Aunt Amanda went to the Serengeti, but I couldn’t go because they were afraid that the other bigger animals might want to have me for lunch (I’m part hotdog, you know).

The Serengeti is full of wild and really big animals and they could be dangerous for a little dog like me, so instead I hung out with two Tanzanian canine buddies of mine in Mwanza, and even though they’re Tanzanian we could still talk because we all speak bark, you see.

My buddies Murphey and Cookie from Tanzania


The first thing we did was check out the area for anything dangerous like ants, or siafu ( as they are known here, and other insect nests, like bees or wasps, which are common in Africa.  It’s important to know this because there aren’t many animal doctors nearby and we should know what to do if we get injured by them.

Me checking the perimeter


All clear


On Sunday we did what we do best, which is eat and rest our bodies (chasing birds in one’s mind is hard work).  Luckily my dog sitter, Marcel, does this well so the rest of the weekend looked like this:

Before breakfast...


Before lunch...


And again in the afternoon, just to make sure!

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Reason #1 I’m Becoming Tanzanian


Reason #1: Today I ate mishkaki in an alley


Mishkaki, YUM!

And for all you people who don’t know what mishkaki is, I’ll explain.  Mishkaki is basically roasted meat on a stick, except that the cooking-man was nice enough to take my meat off the stick so I didn’t hurt myself.

Here’s a picture  my mom found of real mishkaki:

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Speke Bay

This past weekend, my mom and Aunt Amanda decided they needed a break from Mwanza so they planned a special trip to Speke Bay on Lake Victoria.  Marcel, mom and Aunt Amanda’s friend, agreed to drive us, but he was a little worried about my car behavior.  However, I showed him how good of a travel puppy I am.  Seriously, I can be a very chill puppy in the car because I like traveling so much; I think I get it from my mom!

Me and mom on the way to Speke Bay

It only took us about 2 hours to drive from Mwanza to Speke Bay.  When we got there, we walked straight to the beach.  WOW!  I’d never seen anything like it.  Powdery white sand and water for as far as I could see.  Mom says that Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world.  It was truly huge!  Also, the sand was super fun to dig; much easier than regular dirt.  That evening, I ran around and dug tons of holes just to feel the grains of sand slip through my paws.

Digging in the sand

Later on, we took a sunset walk on the beach.  I was so content, warm weather, beautiful beach, a vivid sunset, not at all like cold Ithaca!  I can’t believe how lucky I am that my mom brought me on this African adventure.

Dipping my toes in the water at sunset

The following morning, my mom decided that I needed to learn how to swim.  I actually had no idea what she was talking about, but she said that I have webbed toes and a long snout so I should be able to do this thing called swimming.  Anyway, she took me out to the beach and immediately I saw a bird.  Birds are some of my favorite creatures and I’m always trying to catch them.  Well, this bird that I saw took off over the water and I wanted to catch it so badly, so I dove in ready to chase it as far as possible.  However, quickly I realized that the further I went, the deeper the water became and soon I couldn’t touch the bottom anymore.  So, I just moved my arms and legs as fast as I could, like running but instead pushing against water.  It was a strange sensation, feeling like I was running through water.  My mom screamed with excitement and said that I was swimming all on my own.  I don’t know what the big deal was, but she sure was excited for me.

I'm swimming for the first time!

Eventually, mom got worried because I wouldn’t give up on chasing the bird.  Little did I know that swimming is actually a lot harder than running so she came into the water to save me when I got too tired.  She said even though there’s a parasite called schistosomiasis in the lake that we could all just take some pills to make it go away.  I’m not worried because I trust my mom, she’s going to be a doctor one day!

I just swam in Lake Victoria!

After swimming, we decided to take a walk along the beach to see if we could find any crocodiles.  Mom and I found one the first day when we were walking alone, but she was too scared to stay and look at it.  While we were walking some local fishermen came along and one agreed to take a photo of me in his boat.  I was really happy because most Tanzanians think I’m going to bite them, which is the funniest things because all I really do is lick.  I don’t even have all my adult teeth yet!

I'm on a boat!

We left Speke Bay in the afternoon on Sunday and decided to take a quick drive to the Serengeti to see the Western Corridor Gate.  Perhaps the coolest part of the whole trip was this impromptu Serengeti trip.  From the window of the car, we spotted some zebras and wildebeest, so mom made us stop because she wanted me to see them up close.  We tromped through the brush and into the field and got pretty close to the zebras.  I really wanted to play with them, although I’ll admit that I was a little scared too.  I was enamored with the zebras and just couldn’t look away, but then as we were taking photos along came the park rangers who yelled at us to get out and stop taking photos, party poopers!  Anyhow, it was an amazing experience: a weekend of firsts for me!

My Lion King moment in the Serengeti

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