Reflections, Thoughts and Opinions From Africa.
|Happy New Year, WDCers! May our minds be filled with inspiration, our pens/keyboards flow effortlessly and easily onto the page/screen and may some of the dreams we have for our work be realised.
A New Year is like a new notebook... all those pages just waiting to be filled with words. I doubt I will be blogging every day, but I do want to try and write regularly. So whether my scribbling sits here or in one of the many pristine notebooks I have collected over the years it's still writing. I don't make New Year's resolutions; I prefer to think of them as setting personal targets. Like trying to walk 10,000 steps every day. I have a Samsung proFit watch Ivan bought me in Dubai in November, and it tells me how many steps I've walked every day. As long as I can get my morning walk in it's easily achievable. I'm still 1,200 steps short of the target, but I am sure I can make it up before going to sleep in the next couple of hours.
We had a quiet New Year's Eve... well, quiet apart from the appalling number of fireworks in our neighbourhood. It was one of the reason why we chose to stay home - our Giant Schnauzer Solo is terrified of fireworks, thunder and lightning. We were also dog-sitting a big brown mastiff-type dog called Jessie, who lives in one of the houses in our complex. Last year poor Jessie knocked frantically at our door shortly before midnight, desperate to escape the fireworks. Jessie's human parent visits her daughter who lives in Zambia just north of Zimbabwe.
My next door neighbour is the Minister of Health, a man whose political connections to our ruling party mean he does not even possess a medical degree. He decided to have a huge party, with a disco and fireworks. He started the fireworks at 10 pm, and for the next four hours there were periodic "booms" and "bangs"... the music was dreadful and his speeches so loud I reckon the entire neighbourhood heard him.
I took Jessie back to her home at 7.30 am and Solo and I set off on our morning walk. Just near the university I was stopped by Givemore, a security guard. He was holding a pretty little brown and white dog. He told me she'd run into his guard house at 2 am, and he kept her with him until he got off his shift at 6 am. He'd been trying to find her home since then, and was being hassled by people who wanted to take the dog from him - dog theft is a huge problem in Zimbabwe, with many animals being stolen to sell or to be used for breeding or as bait dogs in dog fights. He asked me to help him take her to the local veterinary clinic. So we walked back to my house, and I left Solo at home while we delivered the little lost dog to the vet. After dropping Givemore in town I returned home, and wound up rescuing a chameleon trying to cross the road near our house. He's now in the mock orange bush near our entrance, hopefully safe from speeding cars and electric fences.
I don't mind rescuing animals, but I am hoping this isn't an indication that I'm going to spend 2019 saving little creatures. Not that I mind, but it can be terribly upsetting if said animal is injured, sick etc... and when the dog has not been claimed (like little brown and white ) that is heartbreaking. I posted her photograph on several lost pets' pages on Facebook, because there is usually a good response to their notices. I hope she is claimed soon. Scrolling through the page I see there are many lost and dead dogs, which makes me furious. If you cannot take care of your pet for a few hours one night a year you do not deserve to have a pet. To those people who leave their dogs outside when the fireworks starts, resulting in terrified canines rushing onto the street and being hit by a car... SHAME ON YOU. YOU do not deserve to have animals in your life.
Fireworks are a scourge and should be banned. In a country like Zimbabwe, where foreign currency shortages mean there's bread shortages, no coca colas in the shop, fuel shortages and serious shortages of medicines we spend our money on fireworks. I'm sure I'm not the only person questioning this logic... or are we simply becoming a more and more inconsiderate species?