Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Animal Farm

This entry is about animals in my life. It's very different than living in the States in a city. I live with a ton of farm animals and this is their story.  My family has pigs, chickens and guinea pigs near the house.  Their goats live far away in the mountains but we have those too.  But all around, there are donkeys, cows, sheep, horses, dogs and cats in addition to what the family has.  And as a general animal lover, it's been fun. However, there are antics of these animals of which I was unaware before moving here.

First, I thought roosters crowed like once when the sun came up in the morning.  Not true. They crow all the time- day, night, and constantly. Annoyingly. Donkeys also make a shit ton of noise. They bray all the time and show all their nasty teeth while making one of the most horrible noises I have ever heard.  Oh, and the pigs. The goddamn pigs. They get tangled up in their little leashes and make noises more deafening than donkeys and roosters combined. And they are filthy. I understand why groups of people don't want to eat the damn things. They do roll around in shit and eat anything.  And they're really, really ugly. The ones around here are hairy and it's all wire-y and nasty.

But the animals are not just annoying. I do love living around animals. They're funny. Watching baby goats and sheep play is really hilarious. They jump around and are so cute. They really make me happy. And baby cows are awesome. When they come out, their white fur is like bleached white. It changes to like a vanilla color as they get older and more weathered. But baby cows like to play with other baby cows. Also, very cute.  I really can’t tell you how many phone conversations with other volunteers I’ve had talking about baby animals at site.

Our chicken, Catalina, likes to lay eggs on top of our family's cupboard in the kitchen. It takes three weeks to incubate the eggs and then once they're hatched, she'll still sit on them for a week before introducing them to the world.  But baby chicks are also pretty funny to watch. I like to name all the new baby animals and my host siblings think it's pretty funny beacuse that’s something they don’t really do maybe because so many of them die.  We have a lot of names from the Little Mermaid and Lord of the Rings.

And I actually killed my very own guinea pig the other week. The knife was so dull that I had to saw at its neck, which sucked. And as it was bleeding out, it peed on my foot. Nice revenge. But it sure was tastey.

And my kitties are growing and doing well. Getting kind of big, but are healthy and happy. I can't get them spayed here yet, but I bought a birth control shot and my nurse at the health clinic came into my room and gave my cats the shots. Ghetto pet care but I'm doing the best I can...

In general, I am really enjoying living among animals with which I’ve never lived befote in the States. I eat meat here but see how happy most  of their lives are in the campo which aligns with my values fine. But I’ll probably go back to not eating animals or animal products, but I really like the taste.