I walk past this paddock all the time, but today I noticed something special: Ankole cattle. This breed of cattle, native to East Africa and known for its peculiarly large horns, is absolutely beautiful.
I remember seeing them years ago when I was driving through Uganda. Little did I know I would come to work in the International Livestock Research Institute and be surrounded by scientists studying to understand, improve, and protect indigenous breeds of cattle like these Ankole!
My sister and I paid a visit to the elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. I guess it’s technically the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, but most people generally just call it the “elephant orphanage.” I had been to the nearby Nairobi Safari Walk before, which also has an orphanage, but this is a whole new ball game. Baby elephants are the cutest!
No, scorpions are not furry. Neither are snakes. I guess some spiders are, but now I’m bringing back toomanymemories from Tala. I don’t think those wild animals will be bugging me any more now that I’ve moved to Nairobi. Instead, I have two wildly energetic dogs constantly disturbing me, Peanut and Mascha. Peanut’s probably a black lab and Mascha is… furry. My roommate recently inherited them when his mom passed away, so last month he flew back to New York and arranged to have them brought to Kenya. They’re a great addition to the house, and I’ve missed having dogs as pets (since the only other interaction I’ve had with dogs was them chasing me in Tala while I was carrying groceries on my bike. On a bumpy dirt road. At night).
Peanut is the friendlier of the two, but he’s also the youngest and a bit more excitable. He likes to come sit on my bed when I’m on the computer in my room. If I leave for more than a minute or two, he’ll jump up and run to find me. The other night he was sleeping on my bed and I didn’t want to disturb him but I wanted to sleep too, so I just climbed under the sheets. I kicked him off the bed in the middle of the night when he refused to scoot over and was hogging all the blankets (and I was starting to get cold). I don’t think he took it personally because he still runs to greet me when I come home from work in the evening!
Mascha is from Russia… she’s furry and used to the cold, so she likes sitting on the tile floor. She’s a very interesting dog. Sometimes I walk into my room and find that the sheets are disheveled. I’m not the messy type so it left me wondering the first few times until I caught Mascha red handed once. I watched her hop onto my bed and start peeling the blanket and sheet away until she had revealed the sweet, soft inner sheets and was finally happy to sit down. She’s very eccentric, just like her owner (my roommate). He even speaks to her in Russian — I’m not sure what he says, or even if she understands, but it’s pretty hilarious and gets her revved up.
As I sit writing this Mascha has wedged herself in between the wall and the couch where I am sitting, and has rested her head on my foot. Haha, crazy dog…