Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shopping for Post, Pets and Hair

(10/11/10 - These pictures are from last week, Moose has probably doubled in size since I bought him/her. They're best friends now and both sleep with me and Moose is the sweetest, most cuddly cat ever now, and he eats bugs!!)

Sunday, September 19th

Tomorrow I head to Challa-Ogoï! I’m so so excited. Stephanie, Michael and I will be sharing a van ride to our posts. I am dreading what a packed ride it’s going to be because I have a ton of stuff. We each have a mattress, bicycle, large metal chest, water filter, two buckets, luggage, plus whatever we may have bought to pack into one van. I am trying not to dwell on it.

So, surprise, I have a kitten and a puppy! Yesterday, Saturday, I met Jenny at the Grand Marche to buy stuff and get a kitten with her. I got there first and bought a ton of tissu (material to get clothes made), and other supplies I think I might need: toilet paper, a bucket, a plastic bowl, a scrubber, popcorn, flour, sugar, pasta, margarine, tomato paste and cookies.

When Jenny got there we walked to the lady I knew had kittens (in the meat section) and they had us sit down. Well, they brought out TWO kittens and they were adorable. They’re from the same litter and Jenny’s is probably double the size of mine. She didn’t think I should by mine, but I kind of want to save him or her. She’s so flipping cute: orange, gray, black and white and really really tiny. She’s kind of mean, but I imagine she’ll get used to me. The zem ride home was horrible, she was super pissed off and wouldn’t stop hissing and meowing. I would too if I was shoved in a box.

She has gotten nicer and nicer and is already purring when I pet her. However, I also got my puppy today! Now my kitten hates me even more! But, he is SO ADORABLE!! He is pretty small, but sturdy and healthy and clean. He’s black with white paws and a white tip tail and some tan areas, for example, two little tan eyebrows. He’s so cuddly and friendly and calm. Kristen has been calling him Indy, for ‘Independent’ because he just kind of does his own thing while his three siblings play. I haven’t decided what I want to call him yet, but I like human names for dogs, so I’m probably going to change it.

I also got my hair tressed today. It took SIX hours, but it looks sooo cool. I wish I had a camera because I can’t really explain it. It’s definitely my favorite tress style thus far.

Jenny left for her post today, so crazy! She is way up in the NE corner; we’re about six hours apart. We parted ways last night in a monsoon of rain, I walked back home in knee deep ‘mersa’ water as I like to call it. I can’t believe I’m leaving tomorrow, SO excited!


  1. Hey :) I just stumbled upon your blog and was wondering about your pets - are you planning on bringing them back to the states with you when you return? I have a cat and a dog here that are going to be staying with friends/family when I go, so I'm used to having the companionship and would love to have a pet where ever I am, but I don't know about bringing one back and adding to my menagerie :) That's probably the last thing I need to worry about at this point, but I was just curious :)

  2. Hey! So are you an applicant, nominee or invitee? It's funny that you ask about pets because that's the first thing I asked someone about after finding out I was coming to Benin.

    I know of at least 4 returning volunteers who brought their dogs back to the states, this summer. Some people give their pets away to neighbors, new volunteers (especially their replacements) or someone they trust.

    If mine live I definitely want to try and bring them home. It's expensive, but I've already grown really attached to them in the past month.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, I'll have internet until Monday!

  3. Thanks for your reply! Your guys are so cute :) I am a nominee right now, primary teacher training for SSA in February, if it all continues the way it should :). My medical packet is being sent on Tuesday when I pick up my last two labs - I will be so relieved. Is it common for pets not to live long lives (I'd imagine there's little room for error when it comes to vet care?) Does having pets make it harder to travel or stay away overnight? Thanks again!

  4. Sweet! That's exciting, for what region?

    It's common for your neighbors or people in your village to eat your pets, at least here. Or, I know people who's dogs and cats have died from weird illnesses, worms and/or messing up with worm medication and other vaccinations.

    I had family mail me worm medication from the US, as well as good flea medicine. Peace Corps actually requires that we get our pets vaccinated against rabies, and if you want to bring a dog home you also need the kennel cough vaccine.

    I pay a trusted neighbor girl to take care of my pets, some volunteers just raise their dogs like Beninese dogs and let them roam free. Mine are inside pets, so I pay her to visit, let them outside, feed them, etc. Also, I can lock two rooms, some people only have two room houses where one room leads to the back, so there's no way to keep anything separate/private. It all depends on your post!

  5. I'm nominated for Sub-Saharan/non-Francophone Africa :) Thanks for all your insight, I swear questions keep popping up that I never thought about when I first started this process, but I love having the blogs to read and get so many different views on things. It seems like everyone has some valuable information that is helping me sort through all of this!