Since we’re living in an area that’s populated by a fair amount of people, we don’t actually see many wild animals (though we see tons of goats (mbuzi), cows (ng’ombe), chickens (kuku), ducks (bata), and dogs (mbwa). And many different birds (ndege). And lots of bugs (wadudu)). But every now and then, we stumble upon something cool. The western entrance to the Serengeti National Park is on the road to Musoma, and while driving by on the way to language school, we saw lots of zebras and wildebeests, and that was really cool.
Then a few days after arriving here, we saw a monitor lizard that was over three feet long dozing without a care in the world while sunning itself on a path. I actually thought it was dead at first, but it was indeed breathing and would readjust it's snoozing position over the TWO DAYS it was just laying there. Lazy bugger. (Full disclosure: Katie was the voice of reason when I stated my intention to poke it with a stick.)
Anyway, that’s been about it for animal excitement...until yesterday! The day started in the typical way. Woke up. Went to mass. Ate breakfast. Zoned in the room cramming for class. Then start class at 8:30am. I was slowly strolling to class in a bit of a stupor when something caught my eye- some movement in the distance. Lo and behold, a monkey was running down the driveway about 100 feet from where I stood, right through our campus. It was perfect, too, tail up, in a slow run so we got a good look at it as it passed. Being the adult that I am, I handled this is the most mature way I could, by rocking up and down on my toes pointing an yelling “A MONKEY!! EVERYONE LOOK!! IT’S A MONKEY!! A MONKEY!! OOOOO A MONKEY!! MONKEY!!” Luckily, I was not alone in this excitement. Thankfully, someone had a camera to capture this moment on film:
I can assure you that starting the day with a real live monkey running across your yard is a pretty badass way to kick off the day. But there’s more…
Later that day, my MKLM colleague David comes running in the building yelling that our fellow student Sister Maria has caught a chameleon. So off I went to see a real live, wild chameleon. Pretty cool little critter. It tried to look scary, but I eventually mustered up the nerve to hold it, and it was very docile and chill. Really neat experience.
We head back down to Mwanza for a break on Saturday, so we’ll pass the Serengeti again. Maybe we’ll have a few more animal sightings to report.