I’ve been home from Ghana for a week. The past 7 days can be summed up by the following 9 words: dog bites and attempts to convert me to Islam. Let me elaborate a little..
The day after I got back to Azrou I was walking through town with my dog when another dog got real vicious toward us. In an attempt to keep Kika safe, I out myself in front of her to block the street dog. The dog snapped at Kika and Kika snapped back, except she snapped her fangs into my thigh.. on accident. Pain rushed to my leg and my pants were soaking with blood. We rushed home to take a look at the damage. It was a pretty nasty bite– real deep, a lot of blood, and immediate bruising. The next thing I knew, 3 of my female neighbors were in my house pouring bleach into the wound and beating it with a shoe in order to get the “microbes” out of my body. The scene resembled something out of the exorcist. I was screaming and crying and snot was pouring outta my nose, my roommate was trying to tell the ladies to go easy on me, and the ladies were ignoring everything while working hard to get all the bad blood out of my wound. It was awful.
Two days later the same exact thing happened. Same.Exact.Thing. Dog bites, bleach, beatings, etc.
My doctors in Rabat demanded I come in to the city for 4 days while I get a series of rabies shots, but I put up a pretty big fight against it. After negotiating with the boss of all bosses here in Peace Corps Morocco I was allowed to go in for the first shot on Thursday, return home, and go back into Rabat Sunday for the second shot. Hamdulilah I am all vaccinated (for the 3rd time since being here,) and the dog bite debacle is over.
A day after the second bite, Kika killed a chicken. My roommate, myself, and our two dogs were out on our evening walk in the countryside. Kika likes to chase all the farm animals we come across, but she’s never harmed one. This particular chicken met its end when it ran into a fence and was stuck there. Kika seized the moment and grabbed it- by the time I got it out of her mouth it was on its way to the afterlife.
I don’t think Kika is a bad dog or turning vicious or anything. I think she was trying to defend herself and me from the street dogs and my dumb ass got in the way. I’d do it again too– if Kika gets seriously hurt I have nowhere to take her for treatment.. she could potentially be a goner. I have doctors here, so I’d rather risk a bite than have my baby hurt. Am I nuts? Would you do the same thing if you were raising a pup in a developing country? This dog means the world to me. As for the chicken murdering goes– she’s a dog and I know many dogs who chase an kill chickens. My childhood dog killed plenty of our pet chickens!
Back to Kika being hurt– thank goodness she didn’t get bit, but yesterday she woke up with a limp that proceeded to get worse throughout the day. She currently won’t put any weight on her one leg and its really stressing me out because I have no idea what to do for her. She is bound to the house unless going potty, and I’m thinking about icing it to see if that helps.
Kika has taught me that I can never have kids. I stress so much about her health, kids would certainly send me over the edge.
Moving on from dog drama…
My neighbors have been giving their best shot at converting me to Islam. I know some volunteers can’t stand attempts at converting them, but I have been really enjoying it! I have been spending many evenings at neighbors houses discussing Islam- the good and the bad. These particular neighbors are really open to any questions I have, so I’m not ashamed or shy when asking about things I don’t understand. It feels much more like a super long open conversation about Islam than attempts at converting me, but the neighbors make it very clear they pray for me to come to Islam one day. I always respond, inchallah, “if god wills it.” Who knows, right? Last night my landlord showed me a few YouTube videos of western women coming to Islam. This usually officially takes place in a mosque, and the new Muslima will proclaim Allah as the only God and Mohammed (peace be upon him) as his prophet. In these particular videos, the people in the mosques witnessing this all started crying and praising Allah. The videos were powerful and awesome. And my neighbors get SO excited when Westerners come to Islam.
There are so many things I love about Islam. I should probably write a separate post about all that I love about it, but one of my favorite things is: if you do something nice for somebody they will respond “Allah r7m lweladin,” which means May God Bless your Parents.
I’ve been enjoying learning more about Islam. I’ve especially been enjoying learning about what it means to be a Muslima woman. My neighbors are great examples are what Islam is all about and I am grateful that they care enough about me to share such an important part of their lives with me.
Ramadan ends this week- either Thursday or Friday depending on the moon. Which means party time! No, really, the last day of Ramadan is l-3id, and we get to go to the hmmam, buy new clothes, get henna, wear make up (remember the photo from last year?) and spend time with family and friends. Last year I spent the holiday in Ifrane with my host family. I’ll most likely do that again, but perhaps I’ll stay in Azrou and celebrate with neighbors. My two best friends, Omar (8) and Ibrahim (4), keep begging me to spend l-3id with them, so we’ll see.
I’m looking forward to getting back onto a normal sleeping/eating/ doing anything schedule.
Be well, friends.