Hyena Town

Well, we are finally in the new town. I typically call it a village, but it is really more like a small town. A main highway runs through it and there are some shops on that highway carrying basic supplies, but other than that it is pretty much countryside.

We were told we would leave Monday to come, but nothing in Africa ever happens on time and I was warned not to get my hopes up that we would actually move Monday, so we didn’t really plan for Monday. Come Saturday, when we got to see my supervisors for the first time, we realized that we really were leaving Monday. My friend and I ran around the city trying to buy supplies and get everything we thought we might need to get started out here in the countryside. We weren’t really sure what we could and couldn’t get, but knew things like milk products, meat, most fruits and veggies, and any specialty items weren’t available here. Seems weird that in the countryside things like milk and meat aren’t available, but because they are less developed those items aren’t readily available unless you want them fresh from the animal – that isn’t always an option for us healthwise. They tend to have a limited diet of vegetables (onions and garlic mainly) so anything beyond that, we needed to bring.

We did in fact leave Monday after visiting every grocery store in the Capitol (you can never find everything at one store, they all carry something different and often don’t have the items you need). By the time we got here, it was late afternoon, so we got the stuff out of the truck and slept on a mattress in our new home. As our welcome gift, the power was out most of that first night. We spent the next two days cleaning and painting. The house had been empty for the last 8 months and it seems that many different species of spiders had decided to make it their home. That and a few layers of dust and grime made unpacking an extra fun challenge. Every surface had to be cleaned before anything touched it and then we also ended up painting most of the house, so it was a painfully slow process.

Wednesday we slept in our own rooms for the first time and that was also the night the hyenas decided to make their initial appearance. The name of the town we live in literrally means “hyena” in the language here and even though I fed hyenas earlier this year, nothing compares to the sound that a hyena makes. It is so eerie! That night I swear one was right outside my window. It was a little creepy trying to sleep in a new place with a hyena howling (if that is what you call it) outside the window.

All in all, the town is quiet and peaceful and things are smaller scaled and slower paced and I don’t mind any of that! The internet seems to not work the way I anticipated it working, so the blogging situation could get interesting in the near future. We will get busy with the work here soon, but I think for this week it has mainly been settling in and getting oriented to our new surroundings – hyenas included.

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