>> Saturday, July 14, 2007

It should go without saying that I miss Hector a lot. However, it does help the transition that my training host family has lots of furry friends that are there for me when I need a helping paw, claw, or fin.

Cutest in the whole bunch is probably Lyca and her eight (!) puppies. They were born on June 7 and already there are only 2 left (in Nicaragua puppies are given away a lot earlier than in the US), but I took plenty of pictures of them as tiny little puppies and as rambunctious trouble-makers. Four are black, three are light brown, and one is a chocolate brown.
There are two other dogs, but the Internet is acting up and it's taking forever to upload... you'll just have to imagine Ricky and Muñeco. Ricky is the proud dad of those puppies and is a really cute collie-looking sort of dog. Apparently Ricky is quite a stud and has a lot of "families"around town, but I'm sure he's particularly proud of his eight puppies.
The last canine friend my family has is Muñeco. He isn't really particularly cute or friendly; he just lays around all day and chases bikes, cars, or people who walk by the house. There's also a hierarchy of the family dogs: Lyca lives on the porch and sometimes gets to be inside the house. Ricky lives outside but sometimes gets to be on the porch. And Muñeco always stays outside and never even gets to go on the porch. I don't know how or why this hierarchy was established, but all three dogs seem to accept it so who am I to question their system?
Guido the cat gets to roam freely inside and outside, but mostly he just sleeps in weird places all the time.
Lola the lora (parrot) is certainly one of the most interesting animal family members. After spending the first night with my host family, early in the morning I heard someone screaming "¡Marisol! ¡Ramón!" and I couldn't figure out what was the matter. I later realized it was Lola yelling for them because she was really hungry for her breakfast (usually a mango or a banana). Lola knows a lot of words including "Mi amorrrr," the names of all the family members, and she yells "¿Qué?" quite frequently as well, as if she's having trouble hearing what someone said. Most often of all she yells "Lyca!" because my family members are always yelling Lyca's name when she barks incessantly. When it was pouring two days ago, Lola also left her shelter to sit out on the clothes line to give herself a bath... she was cooing and whistling and was happy as a lark (?) even though she wasn't very pretty with wet feathers for the next 24 hours.
 There's another lora that lives next door; although I have never seen it, I feel like I know him or her very well because he or she is always squawking uncontrollably. In addition to squawking, the other bird also makes other animal noises, so the most irritating thing is that it will bark exactly like a Chihuahua for really long periods of time. At first I thought it was an actual Chihuahua barking wildly until Walter told me it was a bird and distracted it from barking by whistling a tune that the bird then repeated. Since then, I've also heard the lora making sounds like a horse and a rooster... I'm not sure if it's really smart or if it's experiencing some sort of obsessive compulsive or multiple personalities disorder.

The other pets my family has are a tank full of fish (guppies I think) that Walter caught somewhere. I tried to take a picture of them, but it really didn't turn out well and they're just pretty run-of-the-mill fish.

However, there are other honorary animals that make themselves at home in my family's house: salamancas. They love to hang out on the long florescent light bulbs in the living room and they eat the bugs that fly nearby. For this reason, I love salamancas very much. They make a funny squeaking sound that sounds a lot like a mouse; the sound is a little bit irritating, but they're not bad. They also come in a lot of different colors: white (sort of albino), black, and a purplish color. Sometimes they crawl around on the walls in my room at night as well, but I'm never really afraid because I'm in the safe confines of my mosquitero.
And the final category of animals are animals that my family does not own and do not live with my family, but are constantly roaming around the streets in town. With the exception of cows, bulls, oxen, and horses, no one really pins up any sort of animal, so they're always just walking around freely. Somehow they always seem to remember where they live so they go home at night (I think), but from dawn to dusk it's a free-for-all. For example, huge chanchos (pigs) are always rooting around, roosters and chickens run around clucking with a row of chicks in tow, dogs run freely, and several times a day farmers move their herds of cows and bulls from one side of town to the other.
The other day I told Williamcito and Claudia I wanted to take pictures of animals around town, so they were trying to "help" me. This is Williamcito trying to calm down and corral a goat so I could take its picture. The goat definitely wasn't relaxed by Williamcito's herding attempts, but I love the picture even more because of it:
I think that's a pretty good summary of all the wildlife that resides in my town... I needed to get it all chronicled here ASAP because I can guarantee that I'll be missing all the sights and sounds of the free range pigs, horses, and cows when we move to the big city, Masaya, next week!


Janie 7:06 PM, July 14, 2007  

Ahh, they are so cute! I'm glad you've got plenty of furry (and feathery)friends in Nicarauga to keep you company. I will give Hector an extra snuggle and pat on the head for you!

Douglas 2:19 PM, July 17, 2007  

My favorite post yet, Holly. Thanks for keeping us informed!


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