Posts Tagged With: home

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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December in Tanzania

Well, it’s December here in Tanzania (and I’m assuming in other parts of the world too), which means I’ve been in Africa for a year!  A YEAR!  That’s a doggone long time!

Last page in the calendar

Last page in the calendar

This is a picture my great-grandma painted for my mom and gave to her for Christmas last year.  But G-G, what’s with all the white stuff, and the clothes, and the tree?  I’m confused since that’s NOT what December looks like in Africa.  Nope, it’s sunshine and nice weather all the time here, in fact.  Look here, just last week, with the sun in my eyes:

I'm not even wearing a coat!

I’m not even wearing a coat!

There’s Christmas songs playing and they really confuse me.  “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”  But the WHOLE year is like this, it’s ALWAYS wonderful.  I don’t get it.

Although, I did overhear mom talking to my grandma and she said that the main reason she likes Tanzania is the weather and the nice environment it provides for me, which must mean that these things are different back at “home”. (I refer to home in quotes because New York may be “home” for mom, but Tanzania is “home” for me).  Now I’m all worried and stuff because I also have heard mom making plans about bringing me “home” for Christmas and how I’ll be in for a big shocker.  I’m scared, REAL SCARED.

But at least mom is trying to make it festive here in our tropical wonderland.  Mom’s friend Colin, who is now in my ginger posse with Twiga, brought her some stockings from America.  Together they decorated them, one for her and one for me.

Waiting for our stockings to dry

Waiting for our stockings to dry

I don’t entirely understand the concept of a Christmas stocking, I’ve never had one before (FYI, big fail on your part mom, for not getting one for me last year!)  Apparently, you hang them up and then Santa comes and leaves gifts in them.  Now that is an idea I can get on board with.  Gifts!  Treats!  My favorite!

We don't have a chimney, but we do have a wall

We don’t have a chimney, but we do have a wall

Unfortunately, mom thought it would be fun to play dress-up with the stockings and since she is bigger than me, she got me into some unfortunate, compromising positions.

On my foot, why??

On my foot, why??

On my face, why??

On my face, why??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my head, WHY??

On my head, WHY??

After all was said and done, I figured I could look ridiculous in the stockings for five minutes if it meant that I would eventually get treats out of the deal.  And we all know how much I LOVE my treats!  Bring on the roasted pig ears!

So, to all you folks stuck in frigid temperatures back at “home”, I scoff at your weather…

Temperatures below 80, pshtttt!

Temperatures below 80? Pshtttt!

…but please, pretty please, be kind to me when I get “home”.  And don’t make me go outside!

 

 

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Dawgie Style

Perhaps I’ve been watching too much of The Wire with mom, but I’ve got to get something off my chest:

Let’s get one thing straight.

I’m a dawg.

I might mostly be a dog, and a lovely one at that, but I’m a dawg at heart.

Because every good dog has a little bit of bad dawg in him.  Ya feel me? (Or feed me.  I’d almost prefer that.)

So take a look.  And don’t forget what you see.

 

Bitches Love Me

 

I know I usually write like the sweet and loving dog I am, but tonight’s a little different.  Tonight I’m a dawg.

And if you don’t like my tone, or if I’m curt with you, that’s because time is of the essence and I’m one bad ass mother-loving pupper.

Mother-lovin’

Bad ass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what does it take to be a dawg, you ask?

First of all, you gotta be, act, and live hood rich.

Take a hot second and look at my crib.

Pup pimp lights:

 

Pup Pimp Lights

 

iADawgTunes:

 

iADawgTunes

 

And more bling than I could fetch a stick at:

 

Mercedes Benz Couch

Gold Trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let’s not forget my main pig.  She cooks good, looks good, and loves good.  Mad love 4eva piggy baby.  You always gonna be my main pig.

 

Piggy loves good

Piggy looks good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But to be a real dawg, you can’t just live da life, you gotta love da life.

Go on and marinate on that a minute.  (And marinate something for me while you’re at it.  Daddy gotta eat.)

I don’t just sleep in, I sleep until 3.

 

They ain’t no alarms in this crib

I sleep when I want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t just have a posse, I coordinate with my peeps.

 

We only got gingers in this crew

Tito n Twigz out da house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I don’t just have threads, I look better than you ever will.

 

I got mad threads, yo

 

So, now you see I’m not just a dog, but a mighty fine dawg.

Ten pounds of dawg-gone, dawg-walkin’, dawg-talkin’, mother-loving dawg.

 

Word to my mother

 

And if you don’t agree with me, you can go on and shut the pup up.

Mad dawg love to my peeps and pups.

Tito out.

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The Battle, a Postscript

Today mom was cleaning her room (Newsflash: this NEVER happens) and she found the tiny baby of the cockroach with whom we did battle last week.  Apparently it died because it missed its mom so much after we killed her.  Just to give you another idea of how huge the momma was, here’s a a photo of the baby that mom found today:

The dead baby cockroach next to mom’s hand

Now I’m gonna have cockroach nightmares after this reminder of our battle with the nastiest bug ever.  I think I’ll go hide underneath my stuffed animals for a while…

 

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Battle of the Bedroom

Last night mom and I had an epic 6 hour battle with the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen.  Let me tell you, that sucker was HUGE!  I’m talking the size of a mouse huge.  It was so big, I was afraid of it.  It was so big I could hear the patter of its little feet as it scampered about MY room.

We didn’t get a photo of the ACTUAL cockroach, but this gives you a good idea of the size

I was the first to spot this disgusting intruder.  I alerted mom by letting out a low growl and staring down the creature as it ran from underneath my bed and across the room to hide underneath mom’s bathroom shelf.

 

At 10pm mom got up to go to the bathroom and I accompanied her as protection against the evil cockroach.  It was then that mom noticed that the cockroach was stealthily climbing up the wall of the bathroom behind her.  What mom did next was the fiercest thing I’ve ever seen!  Wielding just a shower head, a butt washer, and her iPhone flashlight mom battled the vicious cockroach.

Our weapons:

Cockroach Weapons: iPhone flashlight, Shower head, Butt Washer

Using these weapons, mom dislodged the cockroach from its perch on the wall, forcing it to floor of the bathroom.  She then sprayed it from both angles with the shower head and the butt washer.  Once it was a safe distance away, she proceeded to drown the cockroach for 5 minutes until she was sure that it was good and dead.  At this point, we were both feeling safe so we went to bed.

At 4am mom woke up to go to the bathroom and, lo and behold, that damn cockroach was STILL alive and had made its way to the far end of the bathroom.  So again, mom wielded her weapons and forced that cockroach back towards the drain, again attempting to drown it.  This time, mom wanted to make good and sure that the cockroach was dead so she also sprayed half a bottle of permethrin directly onto the cockroach and then drowned it some more.  Last but not least, mom grabbed her flip-flop and beat the cockroach to a pulp ensuring that it would never come back to haunt us again.  That woman has mad skills!

And there ends the epic story of our 6-hour battle with the biggest cockroach either one of us had ever seen.  BRING IT.

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Africa is Home

Yup, Africa is my home, which is probably why I haven’t been posting much lately.  You see, once you get into a routine and make a place your home, it all just seems so normal and ordinary.  It’s interesting how one dog’s “extraordinary” is another’s “ordinary”, isn’t it?

Africa is Home

So what is ordinary for me, you ask?  Well, every morning I wake up on my TanFoam mattress after a (usually) good night’s sleep.  What might disturb my sleep: only the occasional power outages that kill our fan.  And the fan, well it kills two birds with one stone: it cools us off in the sticky African heat and it provides white noise to drown out the howling dogs, mosques, roosters, loud music, and other varied nighttime noises.

Oh yeah, I also disembowel stuffed animals on the bed, too

Most days my mom leaves me early in the morning to go to work and I get sad.  Mondays are especially bad since I’ve just gotten used to having mom around over the weekend and then poof, come Monday she’s gone again.  But at least I’ve got Agatha, my house girl, and Twiga, my kitty, to keep me company during the day.

Bros for life

When mom finally gets home from work, the exciting part of my day begins!  We always go on a walk around our neighborhood of Isamilo.  On every single one of these walks I’m haggled by passersby about what kind of animal I am or if I’m available for the taking.  Luckily I’ve gotten used to being the weirdo here in Mwanza so these comments just roll off my back as I trot along.

Keep on keeping on

When we get home from our afternoon walk, it’s usually almost sunset and since we’re nearly on the equator, the sun rises and sets more or less at the same time every single day.  The sun sets fast in Africa so if you’re not quick you’ll miss the beautiful sight!

Quickly setting…

The vibrant African sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it, a play-by-play of my daily life here in Tanzania.  Not so extraordinary when you’ve lived it for more than 9 months.  I bet you don’t think your daily life is very interesting either, but I’d beg to differ.  I’ve been in Africa for so long that I can’t even remember America.  Mom says it’s cold there and that there’s a thing called snow, but I don’t recall any such thing.  America and its snow sound exciting and adventurous, but then again, everyone says the same about living in Africa.  So I guess it’s just change that makes life interesting, huh?

I reckon I’ll need a new snowsuit when I get back

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