Saturday, September 21, 2013

Злая Собака and other tales

June 27, 2013

In the morning, the weather had not markedly improved. It was chilly and drizzly. The dog doesn’t have a doghouse. Either they’d let him off of his chain or he’d worked his collar off. Either way, he’d spent the night up on the porch where it was reasonably dry. Oddly enough, I was the first person out and about in the morning – and as such, I got 70lbs of muddy, wet, playful dog focused entirely on me as I slipped and slid my way through the slick mud (er, баткак, haha) on my way to the outhouse. I am amazed that I didn’t wipe out, and that I managed to remain mostly paw-print-free.

After breakfast, Aidai and I made our way to the school. (We have the keys to the school building and to the classroom, so I don’t have to worry about being locked out!) The dog came along with us. As we entered the school’s courtyard, he bounded towards the group of students waiting in front of the door, wagging his tail. The girl closest to him panicked, screamed, and tried to run. Immediately the dog’s demeanor changed; he saw her as prey. He grabbed her pants near her hip, snarling, and had her down on the ground in an instant.

Now, I’ve broken up more than my share of dog fights in my life (I used to work at the pound, and my mom currently has eight dogs; fights happen) but this was my first time breaking up dog-on-human violence. Still, it’s the same concept. I shouted, then hauled off and slugged him with my purse. Luckily, this wasn’t anything like a pit bull going in for the kill and that was all it took. He let her go and backed away. I pointed at the gate and shouted, “Go home!” (in English) – he knew exactly what I meant and promptly slunk off looking properly chastised. The girl’s pants were torn, but she hadn’t been bitten, and she totally just shrugged it off (as did her classmates and, later, Rita). So I guess he can be a злая собака (evil/angry dog) at times.

By the time classes ended, it was raining and the power was out yet again. After lunch we all retreated to our various rooms for nap-time. There’s not much else to do in Bar Bulak when it’s raining and there’s no electricity.

I awoke a little after 3pm to discover that the sun was shining and the power was back on. After having some tea, Aidai, Jarkynai (who is 2) and I took a walk. We set out along the main road, and walked to one of Bar Bulak’s two small stores. While it didn’t have much more of a selection than the stores in Toguz Bulak, it did contain juice (only sometimes available in Toguz Bulak), bathing suits, and maxipads. And here I now have plenty in case my body decides to throw another two-week period my way. Ahh well. Aidai pulled four freshly-laid eggs out of her pocket, and traded them for three ice cream cones and a pack of gum.

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Approaching one of Bar Bulak's two stores

Then we met up with some of her friends, and clambered around the barren, scree-covered slopes across the road from our homes for a while. Because when you climb steep, barren, scree-covered slopes, you should always bring along an infant, a toddler, a foreigner, and a dog. (This dog belonged to one of Aidai’s friends, and was also quite friendly, at least with us.)

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Aidai climbing with Jarkynai on her back

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Ryskul (neighbor/student) leads Jarkynai up the hill

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Another neighbor, plus Aidai with Jarkynai on her back

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Friendly dog

Then, of course, clouds began to roll up. I left the children to their antics and returned to my room before the next round of rain hit.

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