Relationships are a funny thing—some take the time to get to know the person—some don't care if they know 'em or not—some don't even do relationships. The Peace Corps warns us about relationships because of the HIV, as well as many other diseases and problems. Yet people fall in love, marry, or just have an experience that they'll probably regret later on. Me, well, I am in the “pause” of menopause, yet I think I just had an “experience” in a relationship. You know, when it's New Years Eve, and it's stormy outside, your in a foreign country, a rural village with more cows than people, things just get stirred. I've only known him for a week---Ok---don't jump out of your skin---don't put me on the gossip circuit---don't start calling me names---just let me explain! My porch is covered by an awning, and last week it was windy and pouring, and the porch was flooded. At the time I didn't have my wild beast Keoki so I didn't care. So on this stormy night, I kept opening my door to see if Keoki was getting wet. Why I should even care is beyond me—people in Africa don't bring in Lion and Cows when it's raining, or their dogs for that matter. It's around 9pm and I've been up and down 3 times checking on him. He looked so cold---so lonely--actually, he was sound asleep for the first time all day on the nice cardboard boxes I made for him. But I woke him up and asked if he wanted to come in to share a glass of some nice South African wine with me, to keep us warm, and to celebrate the New Year coming in. His ears perked! Hey sure, I've already told all my friends about the meat and chicken your giving me, their sure to be envious of South African wine. In he comes, tale a waggin---let's make a toast Keoki since it's almost the New Year---here's to a nice 2 year relationship and then we'll call it quits. Sounds good to me! He's so happy, and I bring him into my room not knowing what to expect. A little leary about this, I set down some card board for him and close the door because he'll rip up everything I have, which is virtually nothing—but still—it's all the nothing I have. He's ever so curious and through my mosquito net, he starts biting my toes. How romantic boy! Somehow he weasles his long nose under the net and climbs up on my bed, biting my arms, legs, blanket, whatever he can get a hold of. Hey, Keoki, your a little aggressive here—after all it's our first night together, can't you be a little gentle? He finally settles and plops right at the foot of my bed acting like he's king tut! An African dog sleeping with a Lekgoa! Wow! 10,9,8,...2,1—the ball has dropped, confetti is flying, people are kissing---and I'm sleeping with a dog in Africa! This is the weirdest New Years of my whole life!
At first it was comforting having a dog on my bed, then I looked at him and thought—what if he has to pee—what if he wakes up in a strange bed, with a strange women and decides to attack—what if he has a disease---what if he has a girlfriend---he's not even my type—he's so ugly! Yikes, what a BIG mistake I've made! Every move I make, he pops up---clearly, this is gonna be one of those long, regretful nights. I'm cracking though because I don't know what to do—his royal hyness looks so happy. The God's though are on my side, the rain stops, and I tell the dog I'm putting him back outside, but I'm now scared to open the door because there are always people lurking around and it's late. Getting him out of bed was not easy—I tell him that it's been great, but my parents are coming home soon and he's got to get out fast, so 1,2,3, I open the door, and guess who won't budge. Finally I shove him out, he turns back to look at me through the barred door...wondering if all white women are so fickle. See ya Keoki, I'll call ya sometime!
It's funny the things a Peace Corps Volunteer will do under such lonely and strange circumstances! My New Years resolution: I resolve not to sleep with strangers!
Happy 2012 to everyone!
P.S. The South African wine was delicious!