Its 4am and i’m woken from sleep again, Jessica’s cold wet nose rubbing against my cheek. Her breath is warm, and stinks of kibble. her snooze for the night seems to be over, and i’m fearing her playful bark is on the edge, and will wake the other 4 dogs from their slumber. “jess, go lay down” i whisper. i’m not ready to wake up, even though this sofa is less then comfortable; mostly because 2 jack russell’s lay at my feet, and 2 cats have curled up in my nest behind my bent legs. it’s a hopeless plee- Jess is ready for the new day.
I get up, trying not to wake George who is also on the small couch, and start to make coffee. the second my feet are on the floor, all the dogs are standing, waiting to see where i’ll go. i’m surrounded by the heard. Indy the alpha dog, towers above the others, growlig a friece low growl, like a lion hunting for prey, to warn the others who’s in charge. Jess follows close behind, her tall slender legs, elegantly struting to the kitchen like a super model on a catwalk. Whipsy is next, slacking behind the pack, giving the two bigger dogs some room, as he is the adopted child of the bunch. The 3 jacks bring up the rear, prancing on thier stubby little legs. as we pass j-birds cage, i hear “brrriiinnggg, brriiinnggg, hellO, helloO”. Joey is awake too, so i let him out and he hops behind the dogs, and now the 4 cats who have also offered to help me make my morning coffee.
The 7 horses are restless in their stables as the sun comes up, stomping their feet and rustling in the dry hay that line the barn. i can see each of their heads nodding a hello from the kitchen window as i stir an extra scoop of sugar into my Joe. Its barely light out, and cold, but i sit out on the back veranda by the pond watching the coy fish jump for their food- sucking each pellet in, with puckered lips. “blub.blub”. the quarter moon is still out, and a few stars, despite the sunrise casting a warm pink and orange glow across the horizon. the view is amazing from my perch, staring across the acres of palms, ancient paper trees and lemon orchards that make up the backyard. i love it here. its been awesome to pretend Buhleni farms is my home for a couple days while the Vincents are away on holiday.
A family friend comes by in the early morning to check in on the horses. he has adopted a goat, who he cared for since it was a newborn, who had lost it’s mother. i’ve never seen a relationship quite like this guy and his goat. he pulls up the driveway in a large silver truck, and i see the white goat first- appearing to drive the car; but he is just sitting on PK’s lap- along for the ride. He jumps out, greated by all the large dogs, and toffee, one of the Jacks who thinks he is a big dog, and followed by the goat, who doesnt stray from his side. PK asks if he can leave the goat with me for a minute so he can run to the bank- no problem, if i can handle 6 dogs, 4 cats, a bird and 7 horses- why not add a goat? He gets in his car, promising to be right back, but the goat looks worried. as he drives off, the goat starts screaming. then running. wailing BAAAAA BAAAA BAAAA all the way down the drive way. i can barely believe it, and follow after trying to call the goat back. it runs full force down the long driveway,followed by the 4 dogs, and then me. “goat!? goat?! come back!” i feel slightly retarded as a group of Swazi’s working on the farm gather around laughing. this IS funny. who knew goats had such personalities? eventually the truck came to a stop, and a hand cuold be seen waving out the driver side window, urging the goat to go back to the house. after a few minutes, the cause was lost, the door was opened and the goat jumped into the driverseat. i laughed all the way back to the house.
it’s been an entertaining couple days living on the farm. its pretty much the same as working from MY home, but there is way more to entertain me here. if its not the dogs, or the birds or one of the staff members, its customers coming in to rent the chalets. i feel busy, and happy to at least have new scenery.
Work has also picked up this last week. i’m working on a large project for a major company here in Swaziland, an annual report with over 100 pages to design and layout. it has kept me very busy. i’ve also started doing a little marketing consulting for a volunteer tour company called ALL OUT AFRICA. i’ll be handling their online marketing and encouraging volunteers to come to Africa or at least check out their website. i’m sure you will all find out much more about this in the near future- especially if your my facebook friend 🙂 but on a serious note, let me know if you are interested in volunteering, ALL OUT has some pretty awesome volunteer programs.
life in SD continues to suprise me everyday. i love it here. and i love that i have such awesome friends who give me all kinds of reasons to feel welcome, trusted and sane.