Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Goats like broccoli.

Several people have asked me what I’ve learned in Swaziland and I never have anything specific to answer. But this week I learned that goats, when invading a garden, choose broccoli over lettuce. They nibble on green peppers, spit out tomato leaves, devour half a rosemary bush and pick at the green onions. But they leave the broccoli eaten down to the dirt.

I woke up at 4:00am on Monday morning (this has become common…apparently my body can only sleep 12 hours a night for so long) to find that my garden had been raided overnight. Judging by the goat droppings, I knew who to blame for the munching, but I was baffled because the gate, which I KNOW I closed behind me, was still closed. And goats don’t have fingers!!! So I fumed about it all day, blaming various human and non-human creatures, and inspecting my fence to see where they could have possibly gotten in. And then Monday night, as I dashed out in the rain to get my wash off the clothesline (aka barbed wire fence) I caught them in the act! Turns out they figured out that if they push on my gate hard enough (one goat on either side) they can bend it up in the middle enough for the baby goats to sneak under in the middle. I caught them before they got in and, in the pouring rain and the dark, I reinforced it and chased the goats away. Honestly, though, after I figured out how they snuck in I was more impressed with their intelligence (well, at least trickery) than I was angry about the broccoli. Besides, now I have somewhere to plant cucumbers and watermelon. (I don’t actually know if I can grow watermelon in Swaziland, but I think I have to try just to prove to my sister, who mowed over my watermelon vines when I was 8 or so, that I CAN grow watermelon. They’ll be delicious.)

Also, I have scabies. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about it. Suffice it to say that I feel like I have razor burn over about 40% of my body, including my hands. It’s excellent. When I called the PC Medical Officer about it, she said it was a common “occupational hazard.” Okay, well I’ll take that over bilharzia, which is apparently why volunteer previously assigned to my community left after 4 months (according to the head nurse at the clinic). But just to be safe I’m never touching a child ever again (just kidding).

That’s all. I’m going to try to post some photos. Hopefully it works.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Ha! You better post pictures of your watermelons. Or I'll find someone to come mow over them again!

I almost forgot about that! Better watermelons than hair, right? :)