Heather in Senegal

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Taking a bike on a subway will never again feel like a hassle, for I have now taken a dog in a sept-place. Alexis left Kolda, and her dog, Guinness, was far too accustomed to Toubob life to be left on her own, so Kristal volunteered to adopt her, and I volunteered to handle transport.
I tried feeding her a tasty bowl of milk and Nyquil before the trip, but she expressed her distaste with a colorful puddle of puke. She was one very awake and frisky puppy when we went to catch a car, and while we were at the garage she slipped out of her leash. Many men and I set off running after her, though after she trotted right past a few men I realized I was the only one actually trying to make contact. Eventually she stopped to relieve herself and I pounced.
I expected the worst in trying to buy a seat for Guinness, and accepting this ahead of time led me to being taken for four times the correct price. Clearly, resignation doesn't help matters. I should've just demanded what was fair for two seats.
Guinness and I sat in the back with one other person. She was beside me, on top of me, bouncing on me, trying to nuzzle people, vocally expressing her views on the road's swiss cheese condition, and occasionally making ominous moves towards the window. Luckily, she's an extremely good natured dog, so pinning her to me and grabbing her by the face to hold her mouth shut brought me no bites.
We spilled out of the car in Kristal's road-town six hours after we'd left the house. We looked at each other with the tired but proud expressions of victorious athletes too beat to do more than acknowledge the win. Then she stretched, yawned, and lay down in the sand. I wanted to do that. Kristal and I sat in the shade, waiting for the heat of the day to pass before we started walking to her village. We attracted a crowd of little girls. We greeted them and chatted briefly with them, but mostly continued our conversaton in English. The girls watched us, and when there were so many that it was hard to get good views of us, they sat between us so we had to lean and twist just to see each other's face.
The day cooled, and the three of us walked out to the village. Guinness, off a leash and in the bush for the first time, was a picture of delight. She ran in the fields, frolicking like her life depended on it. She kept tabs on us, never getting too far away, but for the most part we only saw her when she was an orange and white arc leaping over the weeds.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Ellia said...

I'm so glad you're posting again! I love reading your Senegal stories. Plus reading about your adventures on the road with dog reminded me how glad I am that I'll have such a take-it-in-stride travel partner. I'm so excited about our tour--aren't you going to tell the nice people about it?


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