there's something about kittens

as i write this, Bry's recently ex-kitten is purring on my chest.  Bry has been gone for a couple of days and her cat misses attention

how many Togolese does it take to kill a 7 inch snake?  As many as can find big sticks

when is a Togolese convinced that a snake is actually dead?  one word-- hamburger.

seriously, i watched a snake killing the other day and this one woman refused to accept that that the thing  was dead even though its head was mush

a snake-killing gave rise to one of the best ethnic cracks Ive heard in Togo.  I was drinking tchakpa with a friend of mine who is a primary school director.  Across the road from us, a couple of guys found a snake in a roll of thatch and beat it with sticks bigger than they were.  They brought it over for the director and me to examine.  A cluster of jumpy kids hovered over my shoulder.  Every time the snake twitched, they jumped.  Anyway, I was like "so are you going to eat this?" cause konkumba eat everything except for crocodiles.  The director was like no.  but then he was like "but if this was chez Lamba, the kids would already have it skinned and over a fire."  this was hilarious.  Lamba live across the river.  they and konkumba dont get along very well.

i found out that this weed that ive been pulling out of my garden by the armfull is actually edible.  I was at the nampoch marche with my friend a couple nights ago and I tried it. he was like "its konkumba salad"

since my nook decharged the other night, ive been watching this TV show-- "homeland."  its pretty good.  good acting, psychological and stuff.  i cant get into the plot though.  I feel detached from the terrorists-want-to-attack-the-us-and-we-have-to-stop-them motif.

since i promised kittens  . . .

they are cute. highly adorable. and do all kinds of kitten things.  like crap all over my my house.

it is funny to watch them when Ninghan brings in a lizard (often bigger than they are) and they try to eat it. 

last night i was sitting on my porch when Ninghan ran across the compound and jumped up on a 5 ft wall.  then she snatched a mouse out of one of the thatched roofs

then she took it inside for the munchkins to play with

having 4 kittens, ive decided, is a lot like having a kid.  they crap everywhere, yowl a lot, and keep you up all night

another thing that bothered me about "homeland" was that i couldnt recognize any of the cars in it

fyi- the kittens arent naturally pink.  the trim in my house is red, and the paint rubs off (it also scrubs off the floor along with kitten crap). 

continuing on the poop vein, Jacques drug me over to another compound yesterday afternoon to drink tchakpa.  there was this kid, maybe 2-3 asleep on a mat.  we sat there drinking.  he peed himself and woke up.  his mom brought over a bowl of rice to eat, and yelled at him to wash his hand first. they ate.  then he got up.  stood there looking at me-- and crapped on the ground.  plop plop plop.  his sister didn't even blink. she went and got some sorgham heads and scrapped it up. i tried not to read anything into this

ive been waging war on ants this week.  since it started raining, ant hives, colonies, whatever, periodically swarm.  there is this one kind of big brown ant that seems to prefer to live in concrete/mud brick walls- like my house.  i go around the outside of my house every couple of days and spray their holes.  im afraid of their burrows opening up on the inside of my house sometime.  that would be miserable

the same stuff that i used on ants, and that makes me afraid of 6-foot tall mutant ants/cockroaches coming to murder me in my sleep, is the same stuff that my friend Djabab sprays on his plow cattle to kill tumbu flies

village rumor has it that my oldest host sister, N'tido, is pregnant.  A fact that ive been hoping was my imagination for the past 2 months.  Ugh.