Lila is still gone. She disappeared almost exactly 2 years after I moved in with my host family in Campo 9. Lila had been living at the office, which has a huge grassy yard, surrounded on all sides by brick walls. I don’t know if she somehow escaped while the cleaning lady was raking the leaves off of the sidewalk in the front of the office. She may have also jumped through the iron gate at the entrance we use to lets cars into the yard. The first 2 feet of the fence are far too small for her to squeeze through, but she could have jumped through the bars above that because they are spaced farther apart. It is also possible that someone stole her. She was very friendly and would come up to the gate if people were on the other side. So someone could have pulled her out through the gate. Naturally I feel like shit about it because I could have put chicken wire on the portion of the gate with wider bars, but I didn’t because I didn’t think she’d try to jump out. The yard was so big, and there was so much noise, cars, dogs, etc on the other side, I didn’t think she’d feel the need to leave. She always did have a bit of a Harry Houdini complex.
Even though she has been gone for over a month, I still have a habit of keeping an eye out for her when I walk around the neighborhood and the office. If she jumped out, she could jump back in right? But really I hope that she died a quick death. I’d hate to think she is out there in the bushes somewhere, scared, hungry, thirsty. I’d also know how miserable she would be if someone stole her and the put her in a tiny cage. Its better for her to be gone than to suffer.
Recently I was the proud babysitter of 3 other dogs, 4 including Tucker. All under the age of 11 months. Yep, that’s a lot of puppy. Fortunately they were all really well behaved. Mo went into heat a few days before I was going to get her spayed, so she and Tucker had to stay apart. But other than that, they all got along swimmingly well. The most irritating part was keeping them all fed. I live 25 minutes, walking, from the grocery store so hauling kilos of dog food, rice, potatoes, carrots, and eggs got old really fast. Then I had to prepare the food. Tucker and Moe eat rice, potatoes, carrots, and eggs, which meant tons of chopping and boiling. Zoe and Indy ate dog food, but I always added a little of oil and egg because Zoe was terribly skinny when she came to me and Indy is a bit picky. Evidently when Indy’s mom leaves him at the vet when she goes out of town, he doesn’t eat for the first few days. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem. I also had a hard time making sure the dogs didn’t eat each other’s food. But it all worked out in the end. All the dogs when home chubbier than they came, which is my measure of babysitting success. And Julia bought me some pretty earrings and a Peruvian had from her vacation, which was a nice bonus.
End of Winter:
Winter is coming to a close here. There is always that moment of hesitation when I start to do dishes at night, expecting the water to be so cold my fingers will be numb by the end. I can take a shower ever other day, or every day, joys! If I want to because I don’t start to become hypothermic the minute I turn the hot water off. I do have to start paying more attention to what I wear unfortunately. During the winter time I’ll often wear my pajama shirt to work because I never take my jacket off. Who cares what I’m wearing underneath if they’re never going to see it. J We should still have some cold fronts that come through the next month or so, but by this time in November, I’ll certainly be complaining about the heat. Thankfully the winter has been quite tolerable.
The end of winter also means the return of mosquito. I woke up two days ago with 4 new bites on my right foot. Time to put up the mosquito net.
For the past two years I’ve attended the big Peace Corps volunteer Thanksgiving bash at a hotel near Encarnacion. While it’s a lot of fun, it really isn’t worth the 380 mil price tag for the event, at least not more than once. So this year I will probably be hosting a small Thanksgiving at my house. I’m also looking into going to Brazil for Christmas and New Years.
When I signed on for an extra year of Peace Corps, I also got 1 month of home leave. I’ve decided to take it during the month of February of next year. I’ll probably spend a couple of weeks in Texas, a couple in Georgia, and I’m thinking of maybe jumping up to Philly to see family there. Who knows. I’ll let you in on the specific dates when I know them.