The Living Landscape

This is Michelle, officially checking in for the first time with a writing credit. (Although, be assured, I’ve been consulted on the content of the previous posts!) For all y’all out there following our little adventure, I thought I’d toss in some details to color the scene. So, check this out…

There are a number of different kinds of animals wandering around that make up the living landscape of this area – cows, goats, chickens, roosters, dogs, and storks. Let’s go through them…

IMG_0109Cows. They’re all different colors, just like at home, but they’re all leaner. And eat grass – on the sides of roads! Some families that own one cow give it a name – some have people-names but most are named for their color. Black, white, spotted, etc. (Those names sound much cooler in Lugandan!) And sometimes there’s a herd of cows, also on the side of the road, usually with someone following behind them – you know, herding.

One time, we saw a cow, all by itself, wandering down the roadside. It had very large horns. Apparently, it knew where it was going! And there’s one cow that we see on our walk home every day. It’s spotted and tied to a stake near the road, picking at the grass. Sometimes there’s a pile of trash burning next to it.

115_2117Goats. I LOVE GOATS. But, no, I’m being smart and not petting them. Even though I want to go up to EVERY goat that I see and rub its little goatee!!! So, there are also goats around all over – walking on the sides of roads, chillin’ in fields, tied to stakes outside of homes – little ones, big ones, pregnant ones – black ones, white ones, brown ones. I love all of them. And sometimes we can hear them calling to each other. SO CUTE!

There’s a spot on our walk home, just past the cow, where there are often goats (one or two) tied to stakes. Sometimes they give us passing glances but are definitely more interested in their grazing.

115_2113Chickens and roosters. Maybe this is a weird thing for people to believe about me – but I kind of love hearing the roosters crow in the morning. It’s such a lovely sound in the morning. But, they can be heard throughout the day almost anywhere. For some reason, it always makes me smile! Both chickens and roosters are also pecking around outside of homes and on the roadsides, bopping their little heads and clucking.

There’s a small grove of banana palm trees that I love to pass and there are usually several chickens pecking under the green bananas.

Dogs. They’re kind of mangy. And they seem to not belong to anyone. They roam the roads and back roads, trotting around or sleeping in the grass, sometimes alone, sometimes with other dogs. They’re all sort of the same kind of dog – like a golden lab but with shorter coats, shorter snouts, pointy ears, and short tails. I’m guessing that they’re mutts but they all look pretty much the same! Sometimes, late at night, I hear what sounds like a pack of dogs howling and barking in a frenzy!

Then there are the storks. They’re HUGE! They look just like they do in the illustrations and cartoons – with long necks, long beaks, and an enormous wing span. It’s impressive to see them glide in the air over the city and light on a tree branch. So graceful!

Just a few of the living sites here in this little section of Uganda!

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