21 November – Romongo, 8:44pm
We have a puppy! So much cuteness! I was sitting outside after dinner when a man rode up on his bike and my host dad paid him for the little bundle of shivering fur he was carrying under one arm. Poor thing was obviously terrified, so I went over to pet it. He was initially pretty hesitant and didn't want anything to do with any of us, and was crying and fighting against the leash tethering him to the chair (his first experience being tied up). I went over and started to pet him when he wasn't struggling, letting him fight it for a moment before pushing him towards the chair a little and resuming my petting. After a while he fell asleep and I curled up near him on a mat, dozing in the cold in order to stay next to this dirty little pup who just seemed to embody how lost and out of place I felt at first, complete with the kids laughing at his struggle against the collar and leash. I wanted to take him to my room but didn't want to make him bond with me first when I'll be leaving, so I left him asleep on the mat, bid my host father goodnight and went to my room. I was dozing when I heard a howling over the television in the house across the street, and went outside to find the pup crying next to my father's room. I asked if I could take him for the night, and happily carried him into my room.
I wrapped him in my sheet, mindful of the likelihood of bugs. He seemed good for a little while, but then got antsy and started to wander. I tried to confine him to one side of the bed, but after falling off twice I just put him on the ground, tethering him to my bedpost to stop him from wandering too far, and giving him the extra sheet to sleep on. He proceeded to pee in his water, pee on my floor, and howl and whine all night, waking me every 30 minutes or so. I was not a happy camper, especially because I'd gone to bed quite late as well. This morning he at least waited to poop until he was past my door frame, but I vowed that, cute as he was, he would not be sleeping with me again. He clearly feels comfortable around me though, and escaped the kids playing with him to curl up on my flip-flops in front of my door that I'd closed to force him to make new friends.
I also gave him a bath, trying to remove the clumps of dirt on his ears especially. He shivered uncontrollably the whole time and I felt terrible, but it absolutely needed to be done. He slept in the sun while I did my laundry, then sat outside in the front yard doing TDAs and finishing a book. I also tried to de-tick him, but damn if the poor thing isn't infested. His gums were barely pink, and even after taking off so many little bugs there are enough left that I'm a little worried for him. He has a number of large ones deep in his ears, and I can't hold him steady enough to pull them out, but I got a number of the ones on his ears (the “dirt clumps”), between his toes, on the bottom of his feet, and scattered across his body (they look like skin spots until you realize they're not pigment). I must have taken off over 100, but there are still tons, mostly very small ones except in the ears where they're pretty large.
Around 12:30 people started coming over and we made a giant, delicious pot of mac and cheese! We sauteed some onion and tomato first in a little oil, then added water and pasta, draining it carefully before adding 6 VQR slices and some Nido, and lots of salt. Delicious! Followed up with some popcorn that we shared with the kids. Sat and talked to Emily and Anna for a good while and had a lot of good conversations on PC, training, health care, BF, politics, etc. I'd missed talking about science! After they left I started being harangued by two of my kids and their friend, all around 3 to 5 years old. Mostly just talking at me in Moore and laughing when I didn't understand, or demanding water or bonbons or cookies or popcorn. I hate language barriers – it's so frustrating some days! Even if I know the word in Moore or they know it in French I still don't know what they want me to do or understand about the word.
And after dinner (and helping fill the storage hut with millet) I immediately begged to go to bed. I even pawned off the puppy, although I did feel a little bad about forcing him to go with the kids. Time for real sleep! Oh, today was election day. No big hoo-haa, everyone voted and then went to the fields.