WH Chronicle No. 12.5

Nov 7, 2012

By the time you read this we will once again be homeowners, but it was not without a long and tedious saga.  The gruesome details of lenders and liens should be avoided in polite company, and discussed only within close proximity of a solid waste disposal system.    That aside, we have been squatters inhabiting a portion of our yet to be purchased home.  Kaghondi has had the luxury of living in 3 different domiciles since his arrival to this country.   Currently, we are living like rich Africans with all 5 of us (not counting the cat, dog, bird and fish) residing in the two bedroom side of our new duplex.   Luckily, there is plenty of room because we have a bare minimum of furniture; our mattresses on the floor; just 5 plates, 3 mugs, and a variety of paper utensils.  I can vacuum the dog hair from the entire place by utilizing only one electrical outlet.  It is liberating to have a reduction in inventory; at least as long as the weather stays warm.  Regardless, Kaghondi says he is happy because all of his accommodations allow him to sleep when it rains—unlike the thatched roof of his first home that dripped mud during a heavy storm.

Tom and I are thrilled to be in the new house and on to new adventures, though it was entertaining moving around.   We teased about the method of transporting pets to each new location.  First the dog and cat, then take the cat back,  and get the fish and the bird, return to the bird to the first location with the dog—wait, no, the fish, then get the cat, etc.  Good thing we didn’t have a cabbage and a canoe. Our non-perishables and non-living stuffs are still in storage and are to be delivered next week.  Outside of a few couches and a box of dishes I couldn’t possibly recount the numerous contents, or even the reasons that I own them.  Perhaps there is a garage sale in our future.  

As we enjoyed Halloween, Kaghondi commented on some of our unusual traditions of decorating with plastic skeletons, ghosts, blood, and tombstones.  “People in Tanzania would kill you if they found that in your house.  They would blame all the ills and calamities occurring in the village on your communing with the dead.”     He also asked, “If this is a children’s holiday, why do the adults dress up?”   I’m not sure I have a good answer for that one.
Kaghondi and his 'wig'. 

Flower Power Girl

Kaghondi is an astute observer.  One day he asked, “Do you [Americans] have dog ambulances?”  It cracked me up at first, but it wasn’t too long before I realized that it is a legitimate question.   We have driven by doggy daycares, dog hospitals, dog clothing stores, dog bakeries, dog toy stores, dog walks, dog parks, etc.      And, after a quick Google search—I learned that, of course, we have dog ambulances.  Why wouldn’t we?   Kaghondi told me about a lady that married her dog recently as declared in grocery store tabloids.  I have no doubt it all happened with a Milkbone wedding cake.  In Vermont there is a Doggy Chapel boasting all creeds, breeds and no dogmas. 

So I asked him about pets in Tanzania.  He explained the he was once sad about losing a dog that helped him with the goats.  But to talk about dogs the way we do would be a sign of craziness in Tanzania.  Imagine visiting about your pet in a country where most people have lost children, battle malaria, HIV, and starvation. And when searching for a trivial parallel in our society,  something so insignificant that you might be embarrassed to mention it, I find that those subjects are already surrounded with interest groups, websites and nonprofits.  Even if I were to describe to you the effectiveness of our dishsoap on olive oil, we could spend hours surfing the 4.5 million websites related to this.  When that topic gets old I can then tell you about our whistling-impaired parakeet and the $2,500 prothesis that the vet recommended for her.  

After seeing “Just Married” on the windshield of a car, Kaghondi asks, “Do they do the same for ‘Just Divorced’?”

Culinary adventures:  Kaghondi eats everything.   His friends in Tanzania ask, “Have you eaten ‘Taco’?” while bursting out in laughter.    ‘Taco’ means ‘butt’ in Swahili.  
He answers them cheerfully that his favorite place is ‘Taco Cabana’; which poetically translates to ‘butt squeeze’.   He also touts eating a ‘chuychanga’ (at Chuy’s) which translates to 'baby leopard'. 

“Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.”  Samuel Butler

“Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?  I’m halfway through my fishburger and I realize, Oh, my God.  I could be eating s slow learner."  Lynda Montgomery

“Halloween was confusing.  All my life my parents said, “Never take candy from strangers.” And then they dressed me up and said, “Go beg for it.”  Rita Rudner

"America is the only country that has gone from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."  Oscar Wilde

Dreaming of 'Bark Mitzvahs' and 'Muzzle Tovs',

PS You all will be glad to know that all meat-scented doggy condemns have been recalled.  Choking hazard.  Seriously.

My favorite parakids!

Who's taking care of whom on 6th Street?
Kaghondi and Take 6

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