Posts Tagged With: dog

(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

 

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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.

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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…

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Whimper, Whimper, Want

Me Next!

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 11.07.39 PM

That is all.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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

 

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The Wire, in Swahili!

Last night mom and I were watching the second season of The Wire (yeah, I know we’re a bit late to this show, but don’t blame me, I wasn’t even born when this episode aired) before bed and were both shocked to hear Swahili!  I made mom rewind and watch again, and sure enough, there’s a guy speaking Swahili!

See for yourself:

The Wire, Season 2, Episode 3

Kiingereza

Kiingereza

Fanya kazi

Fanya kazi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve watched the youtube link I posted above, you probably noticed a few things (or maybe not, I might just be more sensitive since I’ve spent the majority of my life in a Swahili-speaking country).

  1. Hooray for HBO and The Wire for using Swahili.  There were words and phrases that I could pick out so at least some of it is accurate.  However, maybe this guy is from Kenya or maybe he’s just an actor learning lines, but his Swahili accent certainly doesn’t sound like anyone I know from Tanzania.
  2. How is it at all plausible that a man from East Africa is employed on a boat that has docked in both Baltimore and Philadelphia and he doesn’t speak a word of English?  Even more crazy is that the boat is supposedly filled with lots of other workers.  How the heck do they communicate in order to get anything done?  I seriously doubt that a native Swahili speaker would ever be hired for a position without speaking ANY English, I mean, English is an official language of Tanzania (although you’d barely know it since so few people speak it well).
  3. The way that the detective responds to the Swahili-speaking man is just downright absurd.  Talk about cultural insensitivity (and I actually really LIKE this show).  The detective literally says, “Yabba dabba dobba doo”.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  This is a black man making fun of another black man using words from the Flintstones.  Need I say more?
  4. Lastly, while I don’t appreciate the delivery of the sentiment from the detective, he does have a point.  How WOULD someone travel half-way around the world and not speak a word of English?

Now that’s quite enough of my ranting for one day.  Just had to stick up for all my East African, Swahili-speaking buddies out there!  Now, back to The Wire…

Ni wakati wa kuangalia The Wire

Ni wakati wa kuangalia The Wire

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A Love Letter to My Brother-from-Another-Mother

Dear Twiga,

Where do I start?  You are my brother, my best friend, and my partner in crime and now you are gone.  Mom tells me that I’ll see you in just 2 months time, but that is ages in our animal lives.

You came to me in August on Nane Nane Day in Tanzania.  I will forever remember you as my Nane Nane Twiga (and it’s also extra special since eight is mom’s favorite number, clearly we were meant to be).  When you arrived, I was the first to find you and boy were you ugly!  But I loved you anyway.

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

I’ve had your back since the very first day and you’ve had mine as well, that’s why we make such a good team.

And you've got mine

And you’ve got mine

I've got your back

I’ve got your back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We do everything together, and you’ve taught me how to share.  We’ve shared food:

Sharing is caring

Sharing is caring

Are you going to eat that?

Are you going to eat that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve shared a bed:

But, then I really liked it

But, then I really liked it

At first I was skeptical...

At first I was skeptical…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we’ve shared clothes too:

Rockin' out

Rockin’ out

You were there for me on my First Birthday when mom wasn’t even there.

My Birthday Party

My Birthday Party

You’ve kept me entertained

Adventure Kitty

Adventure Kitty

Climbing kitty

Climbing kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And best of all, you taught me how to love someone other than mom.

 

Bath time

Bath time

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Cuddle time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone here already misses you, including Agatha, Eddie, and the Maasai.  The Maasai is super excited to keep this photo of you two since he misses you so much.

You and Akwi, our Maasai friend

You and Akwi, our Maasai friend

 

Oh, and here’s a warning: America is really, really cold.  You can’t even imagine how cold it is, even more cold than when it rains here in Mwanza.  A tip to beat the cold, hide in the oven, but make sure that servant Colin knows you’re in there!

 

The oven is warm

The oven is warm

I miss you Twiga, more than I can put into words (or into barks or meows either).  I’ll be there just as soon as I can and then we’ll conquer America just like we did Tanzania.

Love,

Your Brother-From-Another-Mother Tito

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