Posts Tagged With: Maasai

Security Update

Following on mom’s harrowing mugging experience, we’ve continued to take security at our house even more seriously.  Mom lives in constant fear, which is really hard for me to watch since I love her so much.  It’s funny, here in Tanzania, people are more afraid of me than they are of her.  I mean, I suppose I do have big teeth and four feet with claws, but COME ON people.  Mom weighs like 54kg and I weigh like 8kg.  But, whatever works when it comes to security, right?

So, my friend Colin came to visit last week and he brought us some signs to put on the gate.  I’m pretty proud of these signs because they officially make me a guard of the house!  Look and see what I mean:

English

English

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Swahili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve got them in English and Swahili and there’s also a picture of me looking really mean just in case the burglar can’t read (Side Note: only about 60% of people in Mwanza can read so this was really smart of Colin to include a picture).

It was a team effort making this Security Improvement.  Colin and the Maasai guard worked together to complete the task:

Colin hanging the Swahili sign

Colin hanging the Swahili sign

The Maasai hanging the English sign

The Maasai hanging the English sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I practiced showing my teeth while the humans hung my signs.  I look really scary, huh?

TEETH (and tongue)

TEETH (and tongue)

So to all you loiterers, thieves, burglars, and other bad guys take a second, look at our signs, and STAY AWAY!

Bad Guys Beware

Bad Guys Beware

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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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Reason #3 I’m Becoming Tanzanian

I have a pet monkey.  Yup, you read that right, a PET MONKEY.  Now, mind you, this was not my idea.  It was my crazy mom and Aunt Amanda who decided that this was a good idea, but you know, I’m going to try and embrace it as the man of the household.

Mom and Flimpong

Aunt Amanda and Flimpong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here’s the story: Mom’s friend Missy is moving back to Canada and she needed a home for her monkey, named Flimpong, and her dog, named Bob.  Being awesome friends, mom and Aunt Amanda volunteered to care for Missy’s animals until they could find a more permanent home since our house has such an amazing yard and also because my mom loves animals.

Of course, no one alerted me regarding this decision so I was caught completely off-guard when these new animals arrived.  If I had known I would have at least put on a shirt or something.  Anyway, first I met Bob, who is your regular-old Tanzanian dog.

Hey there Bob, My name is Tito

Next it was time to meet Flimpong, the monkey.  More specifically, Flimpong is a Vervet Monkey, which I discovered after doing some research about my new housemate.  Flimpong is also a boy, like me, but he is two years old, which makes him older than me, although if you take life-expectancy into account, I believe I’m definitely more mature than this Flimpong character.

Family Meeting

I haven’t had much experience with monkeys before, so I wasn’t quite sure how to behave.  I mean, I’ve always been very well-liked by other dogs and kitties too, but monkeys are a whole new story.  So, I just treated Flimpong like a dog, but I’m not sure this sat well with him.  Apparently, monkeys like to slap other animals (and people too) so Flimpong ran around trying to slap me and also poor Twiga, who had no idea what to make of this whole situation.  Needless to say, Twiga was not impressed.

Twiga is NOT a fan

So here’s what I’ve learned: monkeys CAN be fun, but they are also terrible in new social situations.  I mean, who slaps a cute kitty like Twiga?  But, Flimpong is capable of playing like a dog.  For example, Bob, Flimpong, and I played a game of tag for at least 30 minutes, which was excellent exercise for me (God knows I need it)!

TAG! I’m it

Flim (I’ll call him that for short) likes to climb, as you can imagine monkeys do, but he also has to be connected to a rope so he doesn’t run away.  This results in a lot of interesting situations where Flim just gets all tied up in knots.  Now, at first I thought that monkeys would be smart, like humans and that Flim could simply untangle himself, but no!  He definitely needs assistance.

The second day he was here, Flim climbed all the way to the top of a tree in our yard and got himself stuck up there.  Aunt Amanda tried and tried to figure out how to get him down, but she just couldn’t do it.  So, we had to call in the Maasai for help.  The Maasai are warriors and they kill lions and such, so they’re really quite fearless and this was showcased when our Maasai came to the rescue of poor Flim.  The Maasai climbed a rickety ladder and then jumped onto some tiny, flimsy branches in order to free Flim from his tangled mess!

Agatha and the Maasai saving Flim

While Flim doesn’t quite have the intelligence of a human, he certainly does show some of their strange characteristics from time to time.  For example, he sits like a human man watching football and also likes to eat banana bread!

Banana bread time

Flim’s man pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it.  I’m even more Tanzanian than I was last week just by virtue of obtaining a pet monkey.  I mean how many of my American canine friends can say the same, right?

 

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Celebrating Me and Miss Courtney

My mom’s been under the weather, and being the awesome dog-child that I am, I’ve been taking care of her and haven’t had time to update my blog, and for that I profusely apologize!  Anyhow, mom’s better and I’m back!

This weekend, we had a party to celebrate my 10-month birthday and also to welcome Miss Courtney to Mwanza.  Miss Courtney is Aunt Amanda’s little sister and she’ll be staying with us for several weeks.  It’s only been 2 weeks, and I’m already smitten.

Me and Miss Courtney hanging out before the party, LOVE HER!!

For the party, Aunt Amanda decided to make a special drink, like they do on shows such as Jersey Shore.  Because this was a party in my honor, Aunt Amanda decided to call her new drink “Tito Juice”.  The drink consisted of locally-sourced Tanzanian products all whipped up in a blender.  If you want to make your own Tito Juice at home, you’ll need: a watermelon, a pineapple, lime juice, Konyagi, and a blender.  After the juice was made, I got to taste it and boy was it yummy!  I’m proud to have my very own cocktail named after me.

Enjoying some Tito Juice

And did I mention, mom got me a very special outfit for the occasion, a tuxedo!  I was probably the best-dressed mammal at the party.  Because I was so fancy, mom decided we should have a special dance together with our fancy outfits on.

Watch us get our groove on

Our party got pretty big as the night wore on, and also because it’s summer here in Mwanza.  During the summer, the mzungu population explodes because students are on break and come here to do internships or research.  I met one especially fun boy named Jason at the party Saturday night.  He brought sunglasses and let me wear them so I could look super cool.

Super Fly with Jason

Our party got crazier and crazier as mom and her friends played their strange games with beer.  Luckily, our Maasai guards were on hand in case people got too rowdy.

Our Maasai have our backs

Overall, it was another successful Mwanza party thrown by Aunt Amanda and mom.  And lucky me and Miss Courtney got to be their guests of honor!  Won’t you come join us next time??

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Aunt Amanda’s Birthday

Aunt Amanda is getting old!  Yesterday she turned 24 YEARS old, and I’m only 8 MONTHS old.  I can’t imagine someone living that long, and you know what?  My mom is even OLDER than Amanda!  She better not die before me.

To celebrate Aunt Amanda’s birthday, we planned a birthday party for her on Saturday at our house.  We had all the necessary equipment for a proper birthday party, such as beer, Konyagi, lots of cups, and ping pong balls.  As a special surprise, Mr. Marcel made me a fancy outfit for the occasion.  He dressed me up like our Maasai guard so that I could help keep the order at the party.

Mom in her Africa dress and me in my Maasai outfit

Towards the middle of the party, mom and Catherine disappeared to prepare a surprise for Aunt Amanda, which was a cake with candles and making everyone wear a birthday crown while singing Happy Birthday, even I was included in the surprise.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

The night went on and on, these people stayed FOREVER, so eventually I just put myself to bed.  I guess, since I’m still just a puppy, that I’m not old enough to stay up that late at night.

In the morning, when mom and I got up, I was shocked at the state of our house.  There were cups and bottles EVERYWHERE.  But, since I’m a good little puppy, I helped to clean up by licking all the sticky stuff off the floor.

Licking up the aftermath

Then mom reminded me that we have Anna and that she would help to clean everything up.  This is why we love Tanzania!

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