Monthly Archives: March 2012

Celebration!

Today is my seven month birthday!  Which makes me about 8-years-old in human years, but I think I’m mature beyond my months.  For the occasion my mom dressed me up in my nicest black shirt and a bow-tie too.

My fancy outfit

I’m also celebrating because I’ve got more than 1,150 views of my blog!

Holy cow! Look at all my blog views!

You guys are super awesome.  I’m happy to share my celebration with you all!  Happy Reading!

Now if only mom would let me celebrate by feeding me some yummy, proper human food instead of the bland U-Turn-purchased puppy food that I get every day…

Thanks everyone!

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Paw-licious

This morning mom noticed what I’ve been trying to hide from her: my raw hind paw.

My raw paw

I’ve started licking my paw a lot and I guess I did it for so long that I licked the hair right off!  Oops!  I didn’t even realize what I was doing, but I guess I’ve been a little nervous lately.  Mom finally started her study so she is gone every day and can’t even come home and see me at lunch, plus there has been thunder and lightning storms at night, both of which have put me on edge.

Mom used the internet to find out more about why I might be licking my paw.  She says that the smarter the dog, the more prone he is to licking.  So in my case, that makes perfect sense!  I’m basically a dog-shaped human so I think I react to stress just like a human would, so I’m becoming a bit OCD due to my recent nervousness.

Fortunately my mom noticed my sore paw and decided to try to treat me.  First, she put a band aid on my paw with some tape around it to hold it on.

My paw with a band aid

But mom was worried that I would try to get it off so she decided to wrap a red cloth around my foot to protect the band aid.  I REALLY didn’t like that and immediately went to work tearing it off.

Getting that dumb thing off!

In the end, I was back where I began, with no bandage on my paw, but at least now I realize I was being OCD.  And bonus: just now my mom gave me my most favorite rawhide chewing toy so that I won’t get bored and lick my paw, HOORAY!

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My Mom Went to Dar es Salaam and…

all she got me was this squeaky ball toy.

My new toy

However, I soon discovered that this is a pretty awesome toy.  Not only is it my first soccer ball, but it also makes the loudest squeaking noises.  I play with it constantly, you can watch me play here: http://youtu.be/XbrontsARyg

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What Am I?

Every time I am out with mom people are constantly staring at me.  I think they have a hard time understanding what exactly I am since little dogs don’t really exist here, especially not little, clean dogs wearing harnesses, clothes, and leashes.  Sometimes people ask what I am directly.  Other times they simply look at me and say, “Mbwa?”  I am wondering what else I might be, what do you think?

A baby goat?

Am I a goat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A piglet?

Am I a piglet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or maybe they think I’m something more exotic, like a dik-dik, for example.

Am I a dik-dik?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or a hyrax?

Am I a hyrax?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I’ve left any of my doppelgängers out, let me know…

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Finding Berta

Last week when I was on my way to the fishing village I had to go pee-pee really bad so mom stopped the car and walked me for a bit.  We came upon a little  homestead and mom thought it would be fun to get a photo of me with the family that lived there.  I was excited because I saw a bunch of other animals there, but mom was a bit hesitant because she didn’t want to just barge in, but a woman saw us and yelled, “Karibu!” which means ‘Welcome’ in Swahili.  We walked over and everyone was super nice to us and we took a photo with them and promised to come back and give them a copy.

Mom likes to do these kind of things with me because it’s easy to forget the daily struggles of most Tanzanians when I live in a nice house, I have American dog food from a bag, I sleep in mom’s nice bed, and I have a ton of fancy toys.  Getting out in the village is good of us because it reminds us why we’re here!

Me and Mom with Berta's Family

During the week, mom managed to get the photo printed and framed for the family.  This morning, we got up early and went to the grocery store to get some things for the family.  Mom had so much fun picking out tons of food and other things the family might need, like soap and toothpaste.  Aunt Amanda decided to come along with us as well, and so with food in hand, we were off…

Here’s a video of what the wind does to my ears when I’m in the car:  http://youtu.be/SmR_7zATMko

Once again, on the way, I had to stop and do a potty.  I got to go number two right near my favorite animals!

Walking near some cows

After our brief stop, we were on our way again.  When we arrived at the family’s house, the only person around was an old grandmother who couldn’t speak English.  We showed her the photo and asked her where the woman in the back was.  She said the woman was in Magu and wouldn’t be back until tomorrow.  Soon, as usually happens when I’m with mom, a crowd of people showed up.  I guess I’m pretty interesting to Tanzanians with my short little legs and bright red halter.  I’ve actually never seen any other dogs wearing a leash here either!  Anyway, mom got into a discussion with the crowd about how to find the woman in the photo, who we learned was named Berta.  One man, who claimed to be her brother, said he could take us to her, so we piled into the car and headed for Magu.

Dowtown Magu

When we got to Magu, we asked around for Berta and showed people her photo.  Some women told us she was buying food at a shop, so again, we packed up and headed out to find her.

Aunt Amanda looking for Berta

We drove around Magu for a while asking people where she was and found out she had returned to the original place where we had asked about her in town.  We sped back so as not to miss her again.  When we arrived, mom hopped out of the car and Berta ran over to her and gave her a giant hug and had the biggest smile on her face.  I was so happy for mom!  We asked Berta to come in the car to her house so we could give her some food, and I honestly don’t think she imagined how much food we had actually brought for her.

We found her!

When we got to Berta’s house we began unloading the food: rice, powdered milk, sugar, tea, beef, eggs, bread, passion fruit juice, chocolate chip cookies, and much more!  I’m a dog, and even I could see the look of astonishment on her face.  As we left, I think I saw a little tear in her eyes and she told us to please come back and see them anytime.  What a great day for me, mom, and Aunt Amanda!

Mom, me, Berta, and Amanda. Mission Complete!

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A Special Day in the Village

On Saturday, before the epic party at our house, mom, Marcel, and I took a traditional canoe to a Sukuma fishing village about 2 hours outside of Mwanza.

The canoe

We had an awesome guide named Robert who told us that the Sukuma are a tribe in Tanzania.  The name means, “people of the North” and the Sukuma are the largest tribe in Tanzania.  Because the Sukuma live in the northern part of Tanzania on Lake Victoria, their livelihoods are often based around fishing.

Me and Robert in the village

When we arrived on the shore of the village, there were a bunch of goats, cows, and humans to meet us.  Cows are quickly becoming one of my favorite animals and goats are OK too.  The thing about goats is that they are a really good size for me, but they never want to play.  It’s actually a little the same with the humans, all I want to do is have fun, but everyone is afraid of me.  Because of my ‘Mpende Mbwa‘ mission, I decided that it would be different in this village, I was going to MAKE people like me!

Meeting the village goats

My mom walked me down the ‘main street’ of the town and we gathered quite a following.  Most of the children formed a group around us and followed everywhere we went.  Robert said it was because they’d never seen such a beautiful dog like me.  He said that my ‘skin’ was so smooth, even more so than some of the skin of the people in the village!  He also asked how my mom was able to keep me looking so beautiful.  My mom answered exactly how I would have, if I could speak English.  She said, “I bathe him, and feed him good food and water, and de-worm him and give him medicine to keep the insects off.  But most of all, I love him!”  My mom is awesome 🙂

After some time walking around the village, a tiny boy took my leash from mom’s hand and decided to walk me.  I was impressed at his leash skills, especially since I’m sure he had never tried it before.  I attempted to be gentle with him, but at one point I saw a bird, and you know how I love birds, so I took off running.  The poor little boy tried to keep up, but in the end I was too fast and he went flying through the air and rolled on the ground.  But he was a trooper, he just got right back up and laughed it off!

Me and my little walker

By the end of our time in the village, Robert said all the little kids wanted to keep me and also that they would all be talking about me in school on Monday.  I like that I’m a minor celebrity here in Tanzania!

On our way home, mom decided that I should practice my swimming skills.  Little did she know, I would be practicing my diving skills as well, just to make her proud.

Swimming to shore

Diving in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to see live action of me in the fishing village, click this link: http://youtu.be/hs_EksiP6Ic.  Mom says she uploaded a video of me onto youtube!

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Party Time

I’m still recovering from the big party mom, Aunt Amanda, and I hosted on Saturday night, but Aunt Amanda said I had to write about the fun we had on my blog, so here I am.

Relaxing with my piggy

Mom started out by putting me in my party shirt.  It’s a pretty sweet shirt from Petco that says KISS on it that dad sent from America, plus it’s the very first time I’ve worn a size Medium, I’m growing up!  Mom told me to be on my best behavior because we were going to have a lot of people at our house who I hadn’t met before.  Normally, I like to show visitors that I’m the boss so I bark at them until they get the point, but I agreed that I wouldn’t do that at the party because it might get quite annoying.

Mom and Aunt Amanda re-arranged all the furniture in the house in order to make room for a game they wanted to teach all the non-Americans.  This game is called beer pong and it is a shared favorite between mom and Aunt Amanda.  I’ve never played this game before, but from the amount they talked about it, I figured it must be good.

Before the guests came, mom made a drink and she even let me taste it!  She said it was a mixture of Red Bull and vodka and that now that I was six and a half months old I could start to try adult drinks.  I felt so special being treated like a grown-up in my party t-shirt and drinking alcoholic beverages.  I must say, I’m not entirely sure why mom likes this drink so much, but I wanted to be cool and I’m not super picky so I had a few sips.

Me in my party tee and first 'real' drink

The first people to arrive were my regular ladies, Caoimhe, Annabelle, and Catherine.  These girls love me (and I love them too) so I felt super comfortable welcoming them to the party.

Me and my lady friends

Once Catherine arrived, it was time to start this beer pong.  Basically, from what I can tell, the humans throw a tiny white ball at a group of six cups of beer and if the ball goes in then one of the humans drinks the beer.  What I didn’t realize is that dogs are not allowed to play, however no one told me this before the game started.  The first time the ball flew off the table, I went for it because that’s how it normally works with me and balls, but all the ladies scolded me and took the ball away.  I was so confused because I thought that I was going to be treated like an adult, but NO, apparently there are still some things that I’m just not allowed to do 😦

Aunt Amanda and Catherine playing beer pong

Slowly, more and more people arrived until we had about 30 people at our house!   As the night wore on, mom and Aunt Amanda introduced yet another game they learned in college, called Flip Cup.  This game turned out to be very popular and the non-Americans even bested the Americans in one round!  It was exciting to see the cultural exchange happening.  Mom and Aunt Amanda taught Tanzanians, Germans, South Africans, Kenyans, Canadians, and Brits how to play classic American drinking games.

Mom plays Flip Cup

I must admit, even though I want to seem like an adult, it was pretty overwhelming for a little puppy like me.  So every so often I would sneak away from the party and have a little nap on mom’s bed.

Taking a party breather

So, who’s in for the next party at my house??

 

 

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Tanzania Perks

There are a lot of inconveniences to living in Tanzania, like the unpredictable power and water outages, for example, BUT there are a lot of advantages too.  One big advantage is that my mom can afford to have what’s called a ‘housegirl’.  This is extra-great for me because it means I’m not all alone when mom goes to work.  It also means that mom’s room stays clean, unlike when we’re in Ithaca and the house is generally a disaster-area.

Our housegirl’s name is Anna, but she is our temporary housegirl while our regular housegirl, Agatha, has her baby.  Anna does everything around the house, like cooking, going to the market, cleaning, doing the dishes, and doing the laundry.  She also helps us communicate with the ‘fundi‘ when there’s a problem.  For example, when mom got her new mattress (see my post on TanFoam), Aunt Amanda and mom broke the mosquito-net frame and couldn’t get the mattress to fit.

Me on mom's broken bed (notice the surrounding mess!)

Anna really doesn’t like it when there’s a mess, and my mom has not been good at picking up her clothes, so yesterday Anna organized all mom’s clothes neatly into the closet!  She also makes mom’s bed everyday, life is good here!

Here's the "after" picture of the room

I would keep blogging now, but my mom just brought out a new toy for me (it’s an alligator longer than me with 16 squeakers inside!), so I must go try it out…

Who can blog with such a cool toy?

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Sunset in Africa

Yesterday mom and I went hiking on the rocks in Mwanza overlooking Lake Victoria.  The best time to go hiking is sunset because when you get to the top the view is surreal.

Mom and I overlooking Lake Victoria

I’ve never seen anything like an African sunset.  I may only be 6 months old, but I’ve had the chance to see sunsets in Kenya, Tanzania, and the USA, and the sunsets here are by far the best.  I think it’s because we’re so close to the equator so the sun sets very quickly and this occurs at roughly the same time very day.  In fact, the sun sets so rapidly that you can actually watch it move and disappear below the horizon.  This is perfect for me, since I’m such a young, little dog and have ADHD!

A few minutes later, the sky looked like this...

I think another reason that the sunset here is so beautiful, is that the colors are framed by the rocks and the lake.  You all MUST come see what I’m making such a fuss about!

Sunset at Tunza Beach

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My mom went to Moshi and…

All she brought back was a photo of Kilimanjaro.  So, I decided to pretend that I climbed it!

I climbed Kilimanjaro in my imagination!

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