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Maple and Me

November 15, 2010

Meet Maple.  He’s my puppy here in Mzimba.  We’ll not really mine, technically he belongs to my housemate Eunice, but we both acknowledge that he’s actually my puppy.   I picked him out from our litter as the one to keep, I named him, I’m the one he comes running to when we come home, go outside etc.

Maple’s not like most other dogs in Malawi.   He gets pats instead of pokes.  His breakfast is served to him on a metal plate, and the other dogs are kept at bay until he’s had his fill.  He’s happiest when he has some form of contact with my feet. And yes, I can guarantee that he’s had all his shots.

Maple’s not quite treated like most Canadian dogs I know either however.  He sleeps outside and isn’t allowed in the house.  He doesn’t know how to sit, stay, or heel (although I’m contemplating teaching him at least how to sit).  He’s been left to his own devices since he was born.   No fenced in yard, no leash or chain.  He doesn’t get chew toys or tennis balls.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve got a lot in common with Maple.  We’re both living somewhere in between two cultures.

NB-  There’s been a lack of blogs around here lately as things have been busy and changing!  This is actually an entry I wrote a while ago and just never got around to posting.   My big news is that today I will be leaving Eunice and Maple, and moving to the village for a little while at least.  I thought it would be timely to post this now as a good bye tribute to some very good friends.  Stay tuned for more current updates about my new home and what’s been happening at work

Maple's mom Hannah watches Wintson give him his first bath

coming soon.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 11:12 am

    Best wishes for your move today! What an exciting change in your life. I hope that the benefits of interesting experiences in the village will far outweigh the drawbacks of commuting complications, etc. And thanks for this post about Maple 🙂 .

  2. Pat Dunstan permalink
    November 15, 2010 3:10 pm

    Good morning, Alyssa ! It’s always good to hear about your life so far away. Reading the tweets , you realize that much progress is going on where you are and I’m happy for you. Good luck with your move. I’m sure you’ll miss adorable Maple. I wonder, is he named after the maple leaf here at home?
    Yesterday was a big day here with us. The mens’ chorus sang at St. J.-40 men,some choir, some congregation members, some friends from the community sang 2 songs and had a breakfast to gether in the lounge. It was awesome, I thought. And while all this was going on, our daughter Darcie was in labour with her 3’rd child . At 6:30, wee, adorable Matthew was born and joins a busy household with 2 older sisters, Sydney and Jordan. Lucky us !! Uncle Darren was home from Wed. to Sat. to see his new nephew but the little guy took his sweet time arriving and Darren will have to return. (Darn!)
    Keep up the good work. Take care of your dear self. Love, Pat

    • November 16, 2010 9:40 pm

      Congratulations on your new grandson! Thats very exciting news, thanks for sharing, hope you’re enjoying lots of cuddles with Matthew.

      • November 16, 2010 10:08 pm

        ps the name Maple comes from the fact that he’s the same colour as maple sugar

  3. November 16, 2010 6:38 pm

    It’s not the same but, the more I live here, the more it makes sense to keep the dogs outside. They’re such a huge safety net. They protect your livestock, your family from potential thieves, snakes and other threats to your safety.

    I love the dogs here in Africa, but I also sleep well knowing they’re just outside keeping watch.

    See you soon!

    • November 16, 2010 9:45 pm

      Agreed! When I first arrived, I found the dogs howling at night pretty freaky, but once I had my own dogs, then it was comforting. strange how that works.

      Indeed, looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, its been a while!

  4. Holly permalink
    November 16, 2010 7:20 pm

    Maple is adorable! Good luck in the village. We love you!

    • November 16, 2010 10:09 pm

      Thanks Holly, love to you, Mark and Ranger too!

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