Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fun With New Words

My students eagerly introduced me to a new word the other morning on my way to class. "Gilboa!" they say. What's that? I ingenuously ask. And they show me exactly what a gilboa is.

Apparently the students were cleaning out a bamboo stand at the school when they found him. One of the professors promptly took matters - and a shovel - into his own hands and everything was back to normal after a few minutes.

After plenty of photos, Gil the Boa was cooked up for dinner. The bamboo stand is safe once again.

The Little Things in Life

There is one significant part of my life here in Mozambique that I haven't mentioned up until this point. It seems a bit frivolous, but I now can't imagine and day without it. It is the Mozambican love of my life.

And his name is Khanimambo. Khani was born on the bed of my friend and fellow PCV Anna early one October morning, and was orphaned shortly after that. At two weeks old, he was adopted by Clancy and I and came to live with us here in Chokwe. He was then dubbed Khanimambo Shanaynay Mundzuku, or “Thank You Very Much Tomorrow” in Xangana.

Though very much a Mozambican (he gets cold when the temperature drops below 80 degrees), Khani grew surrounded by all the comforts of an American kitty. When finally weaned off milk out of an eyedropper, he was introduced to a diet of sardines and xima, giving him a better protein intake than many children around here.

He quickly became a well-known face around the school. After seeing us keep him in the house, feed him and even pet him, the neighbors dubbed Khani our "bebe." Students will often ask in passing, "Hey, how's Khanimambo?" Really, they think we're absolutely nuts, but Clancy and I are okay with that.

But like any other cat, he likes to play - with bugs and frogs and lizards, with feet, with computer cables, with his own tail, with anything else he can find.
And though he has staked his claim in the guest bedroom...

He can sleep pretty much anywhere.

Khani also enjoys walking you to school, crawling onto your lap while you're trying to grade papers, sporatically attacking your hair, purring nonstop and generally reminding you not to take yourself too seriously.

As far as cats around here go, he's got it pretty good. But I think it's a fair trade. Now all I have to do is train him to be quiet for the 24-hour plane ride home...