Posts Tagged With: goodbye

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.

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(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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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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Shipping Cats

I don’t think I ever properly introduced you to my friends and (former) housemates: BlackCat and WhiteCat.  BlackCat and WhiteCat belong to mom and Aunt Amanda’s friend Jilli.  When Jilli moved from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam she needed some animal lovers to watch her cats and everyone knows that Mwanza’s animal sanctuary is located right here at my house! BlackCat and WhiteCat quickly integrated into our household and we all became good friends.

BlackCat, WhiteCat, and me

BlackCat, WhiteCat, and me

Well, I knew there was trouble brewing when Jilli showed up on Friday night with a big cage.  Mom used to put me in a cage when she left for work, but I hated that darn thing and I can’t stand the site of these animal torture boxes.  The cage sat around the house for the whole weekend so I kind of forgot about it, but a few hours ago everything changed.

Jilli put a Maasai blanket in the cage and then mom put me inside to see how I liked it.  Even though this cage is WAY bigger than the one I used to have, I still didn’t like it.  I believe it’s for unmannered dogs and therefore I clearly do not need to be in one ever again.

Nope! Not for me

Nope! Not for me

First Jilli captured BlackCat and put him inside and LOCKED THE DOOR.  This is when I realized that this was no joke.  Jilli was actually preparing to take her cats somewhere.

Stuck inside

Stuck inside

Poor BlackCat

Poor BlackCat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WhiteCat was smart and hid in a suitcase in Aunt Amanda’s room, but eventually he was found and then placed in the cage with BlackCat too.

At least they have each other

At least they have each other

WhiteCat goes in

WhiteCat goes in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as my kitty friends were in the cage, Jilli and the Maasai carried the cage up the driveway, out through the gate, and then into the back of a waiting car.  Where the heck were they taking BlackCat and WhiteCat?

Stop! Bring them back!

Stop! Bring them back!

Where are you taking my friends?

Where are you taking my friends?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started freaking out so mom explained that Jilli was taking the cats in an airplane to Dar es Salaam.  I bet it must be scary for a kitty to be in a cage in an airplane without his mom.  But I suppose BlackCat and WhiteCat will be ok because they have each other for comfort.  BlackCat and WhiteCat will stay in Dar es Salaam for a week with Jilli and then they will do the long flight like I did a year ago.  Mom says that I shouldn’t worry because BlackCat and WhiteCat are very lucky that they are moving to America, especially since WhiteCat was just a Tanzanian street cat that never could have dreamed of such a good life.  Apparently they even get to go to a special kitty hotel in the Amsterdam airport between their flights.

I wish mom had let me know a little sooner that BlackCat and WhiteCate would be making the trip to America.  I could have given them some pointers and told them what it’s like to go on an airplane for many, many hours.  Except that when I went I got to sit with my mom (lucky me)!

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye

I’ll miss my kitty friends, but in the end I’m happy for them and excited for their adventure.  Jilli better let them e-mail me from time to time and perhaps I can even visit when I’m back in America too!

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An Olympic Goodbye

It’s happening again: more people are leaving Mwanza and I’m NOT happy about it.  This time it’s my Miss Courtney, Jason, Ethan, and Amber, to name a few.  In just a few short weeks (although not too short for me since I’m a dog and 6 weeks in my life is like a year and a half in your life) I’ve come to really love all these people.

Miss Courtney has been living with us for 6 weeks now and the house will seem so empty with her gone.  She’s kept me company while mom’s at work and has been helping out at Kuleana Street Children Centre too.  I’m sure all the kids there will miss her almost as much as I do, I mean, look at all the fun they’re having:

Courtney and the kids at Kuleana

Ethan has been keeping mom and Aunt Amanda occupied with all his awesome movies and has also been keeping them in shape with his Insanity work-outs, so here’s hoping they don’t get bored and fat in his absence!  Ethan and Amber are students at Cornell University (the same as mom and Aunt Amanda) and they were here to work at Bugando Medical Center, which is one of the biggest hospitals in Tanzania.  Here they are going into work in the morning:

Amber and Ethan heading into Bugando Medical Center

Lastly, there’s Jason.  He and I have been friends since Day 1.  For some unknown reason, we just clicked from the beginning and now we are best buddies.  Jason works at NIMR like mom and Aunt Amanda, but he’s more of a computer guy.  Look how much fun I’ve had with him and Miss Courtney:

Getting a little lovin’ from Courtney and Jason

So, of course, we did what we always do when people we love leave: we had an epic going away party!  This time we decided to have a party in the spirit of the Olympics since the Opening Ceremony is just a few days away.  I’ve never heard of these “Olympics”, but mom tells me that people from all over the world get together to play games and the winners get treats.  Sounds like my kind of event!

No party is complete without decorations, so Aunt Amanda and Miss Courtney made flags to represent all of our friends while I stood by to supervise.

Party Decoration Time!

We thought it would be fun to form teams, like they do at the real Olympics, so mom and I represented Denmark (mom’s Danish after all, which makes me Danish by default even though my breed lineage is German.  Lucky me, I got to wear my big sister Greta’s old Denmark shirt that she outgrew long ago, it’s pretty special since my big sister Greta was named after the Queen of Denmark!) and Miss Courtney and Aunt Amanda represented Rwanda because they’re both traveling there this week.    Coincidentally, Rwanda is mom’s favorite country in Africa, I hope I get to go there someday!

Team Rwanda and Team Denmark

To get the party started I decided to play DJ and put on some fabulous dancing tunes, such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe“, which happens to be one of Ethan’s (and mom’s) favorite songs right now:

Spinning some tracks

And of course, no going away party would be complete without having a good cuddle with the people who are leaving me.  I love you guys!

Bromance

Courtney Cuddle Time

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Goodbye Hintons

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s leaving season in Mwanza and the next group to follow Mr. Marcel was the Hinton family.  I first met John Hinton at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) when I was there to eat lunch with my mom.  NIMR is where my mom works every day and they also have a canteen there, which is how we all got to know John.  The first thing he said when he saw me was that he would like to take my leash, which was connected to my red halter, and whip me around in a circle for fun.  That sounded cool to me, but mom vetoed this idea and John may have been kidding anyway!

John worked at a place called Bridge 2 Aid.  This organization helps people in Tanzania who don’t have access to dental care.  Specifically, John worked in the community helping to organize income generating activities like sewing.  I think this is a great idea and would love to buy some custom-made couture dog clothes in Tanzania!  Here’s a photo of John playing guitar at his going-away party:

John Hinton, playing guitar

I met John’s son Jimi in Mombasa when I went to support the Mwanza Tossers frisbee team while they played in a tournament.  Jimi worked at a place called Forever Angels Baby Home.  Forever Angels is a home for orphaned and abandoned babies.  It’s so great that these little cuties get so much loving and care at Forever Angels!  Here’s a photo of Jimi, and his awesome mohawk, at the frisbee tournament in Mombasa:

Jimi’s awesome mohawk

Of course John and Jimi couldn’t leave Mwanza without a big party for all of their friends and I was lucky enough to be personally invited to the Hintons’ going-away party.  I think John likes me 😉

So many people showed up to say goodbye to the Hintons

I wore my special Maasai scarf, styled fashionably by mom for the occasion:

I think I’m looking pretty fiiiiiine

There was lots of yummy food and great entertainment at the party.  First, John and Jimi and their band, The Mosquitoes, played some songs for us.

John on guitar and Jimi on drums

Watching The Mosquitoes play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the music, John decided to unveil his new magic trick.  This was all so exciting for me since I’ve never seen a live band or a magician!  The magic trick involved an imaginary deck of cards, which I didn’t really understand, but the crowd seemed wowed by it and so I was impressed too.

John performing his magic trick with Austin

Watching the magic trick with Aunt Amanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole party was so much fun that it made me even more sad that the Hintons were leaving, but I guess that’s just how things work here in Mwanza.  Mom and I are here for another full year, so I’m just going to have to get used to saying goodbye 😦

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Goodbye Mr. Marcel

In the past few weeks, several of my good friends have left, but I’m most upset about the fact that Mr. Marcel is leaving Mwanza.  Apparently, he got a fancy new job and has to move to Moshi, which is another town in Tanzania.  On a side note, I don’t like this “job” thing that humans do.  My mom has to leave me every day because of her “job” and now Mr. Marcel is leaving me forever because of his “job”.  Moshi is very far from Mwanza and this means I won’t get to see Mr. Marcel on a regular basis.  If dogs could cry, I probably would.

Because Mr. Marcel is leaving, he decided to have a going away party.  And because Mr. Marcel is so classy, he had an extra fancy party, with caterers and drink servers.  I wore my party t-shirt and matched Mr. Marcel for the occasion.

We match!

Rocking my Party T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Marcel has a ton of friends in Mwanza and so lots and lots of people showed up to say goodbye.  This included Aunt Amanda and Miss Courtney, my favorite girls in Mwanza.

We’ll miss you Mr. Marcel!

Mr. Marcel’s house is very dog-friendly for me and Farley because he has a lounge with mattresses and pillows on the floor instead of big stuffy couches.  He also has fancy sheets made of Thai silk (which he clearly did NOT buy in Mwanza) that I love to roll around on.  A dog could get used to the finer things in life!  Perhaps if I sprawl out on Mr. Marcel’s Thai silk sheets, then he won’t be able to leave!

P.S. Can you tell that “fancy” is my new favorite vocabulary word?  I really am my mother’s son 🙂

Mmmmmm, Thai silk, I like!

Speaking of dog-friendly, I’m really gonna miss Mr. Marcel’s awesome yard.  I’ve had so many good times there with Farley, at doggie daycare and playing in the pool.  OH MY GOD, do you think that Mr. Marcel is going to take Farley with him to Moshi??!!!  I don’t know what to do without my best friend…

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