New chickens and a bit of rain

I’ve been trying to post something for the past couple of weeks, I’ve even started to draft a post about a lovely weekend away at the start of the month, but somehow I haven’t been able to finish it. Internet has been slow, my thoughts slightly scattered, and I just couldn’t concentrate. But hopefully that’s passed now! Last weekend proved more emotional than I expected…

One of our guards, Pascal, invited us to his wedding. A very nice and surprising gesture, especially that we had barely exchanged a few words with him before, mostly because he’s a night guard (so we would greet him and go to bed) and speaks very little English or French (and we don’t speak Kinyarwanda… yet). Anyway, we weren’t sure whether we would actually go. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see what a local wedding looks like, but I’d rather go to one where I know someone! Therefore, we decided that in case we don’t go, we would give him a present beforehand as he was going on leave for 3 months (yep, that’s quite a lot of leave!). I did some research on what to give for a Rwandan wedding but it was a bit inconclusive so I consulted Alphonse, our housekeeper. He said it depends on how well you know the bride and groom and their circumstances. Normally people give all sorts of household appliances, pots and pans, glasses and plates – so rather typical and practical presents. But since we had no idea what Pascal needed, we decided to give him some money. Alphonse said that the right amount depended “on our pocket” and it turned out that the best way to calculate it is by crates of “fanta” (which is what all soft drinks like Coke, Fanta and Sprite are called here). In the end we decided on the equivalent of 3 crates plus transport. That also buys two new chickens and Alphonse declared it a very generous sum, given that we don’t really know the groom. Speaking of chickens – our two lovely hens have just come to an end of their egg-laying days. This means that we should give them away for someone else’s dinner, which I feel quite emotional about (I do eat meat but it’s different when it’s your own animal that is about to become a meal!) I got attached to them (they’re lots of fun!), and would love to keep them, but chicken is a precious commodity here so that would be rather selfish. So we thought – let’s give one chicken to Pascal as an additional wedding present, and the other one to the other guard who has been very helpful and friendly, and fed our cat when we were away. And thus, on Saturday, Pascal came to collect his chicken and money (he seemed very happy), and we were left with one bird. Now, chickens are highly social animals so you should never keep only one as they will be very unhappy. We asked our colleague at work who knows about chickens if he could get two new ones for us on Monday. He said he would but we won’t be able to keep the old one and let it mix with the new ones… Alas, the time has come to say goodbye to her as well then! She’s the more difficult one to part with. For a chicken, she’s actually quite smart and has a lot of character. We put some wire around our patio fence so she wouldn’t wander all over it and poo wherever she likes. However, we didn’t have enough of the wire so there are gaps here and there. One day she sat on the steps and watched the cat as he was walking on the outside of the fence and slinked through one of those gaps. She followed, and from that day I kept finding her on the patio, clucking happily! She would also always run like a maniac towards me whenever I walked into the garden as she was always hungry (a bit like me). Ah, she’s been very entertaining to watch and I’ll miss her… The new chickens look good and healthy though, although they’re a bit quiet and still settling in the coop. Hope they’re as fun as the other ones were, and give equally yummy eggs for the next couple of years! I’ll certainly be spoiling them with treats 🙂

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There was also an unusual occurence both on Saturday and Sunday nights. We were watching TV and suddenly we heard this strange humming noise coming from the outside. Rain! It was very short on Saturday and made the air smell very strongly of dust but yesterday lightning and thunder also appeared, and it rained quite heavily for about 20 minutes. As it’s still dry season and rains shouldn’t be coming for another month or so, we were quite surprised by this! And what’s even stranger, Alphonse, who lives a half-hour walk away, didn’t get any of it and didn’t even realise there had been any rain at all! In Pretoria during winter, which is basically dry season that lasts from about April until September, there usually was a thunderstorm at the end of July or early August. Just one, sometimes two, short and intense, and then it was back to blue skies every day. It’s a bit hazy and cloudy during the dry season in Kigali so often it looks like it might rain. And literally just this minute it started to rain again, really heavily! I wonder if the rainy season has arrived sooner than expected? We’ll see!

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3 thoughts on “New chickens and a bit of rain

  1. Pingback: My little zoo :) – Marianna in Africa

  2. Pingback: News from the coop – Marianna in Africa

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