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Archive for April 25, 2009

Day 47

So being a farm girl from Iowa, one would assume that I would be used to having animals everywhere but I wasn’t really prepared for what everywhere meant.  And here it means everywhere.  Chickens in the house, chickens in the yard, chickens in the matatu.  Wherever there is a free bit of grass there are sheep, goats and cows tied up.  In all of the ditches, on every side of the road, in people’s yards; animals are their lawn mowers and their garbage disposals.  I’ve had people try to talk me into eating meat here because it’s free range aka healthy but I’ve seen way too many animals getting their lunch via the garbage in the ditch.  I can’t believe they don’t have more animal deaths via plastic bags.

april25_goats_and_cows

Previously, I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with cows because I have been chased multiple times in multiple settings by very large cows.  Here the cows are smaller, not quite as intimidating and are very used to people because they are regularly herded down the road to the next open patch of grass.  I’m always amazed at the boys herding the cows; they are young, tiny things, like seven or eight, moving five head of cattle down the road with a switch made out of a tree branch.  Animals aren’t just a country thing here, goats wander about downtown; I’ve seen cows moved down the highway creating a traffic jam.

There are also a ton of stray dogs, as well as all of the dogs people keep as guards.  They aren’t really viewed as pets here; they get scraps maybe but mostly just scavenger.  Their main job is to bark at all noises that could be potential intruders, meaning they bark all damn night.  It’s a symphony of barking dogs.  We have two at the home I live at.  At first I was nervous that their barking meant someone was trying to get into our gate but after continuous nights of barking I know that their job is to just sound ferocious.  And they have very ferocious names: Jimmy and Tommy.