Monday, November 21, 2011

Did That Really Just Happen?

Did that really just happen?

Did I really just see that?

Are you kidding me?

I have had many funny, weird, and otherwise bizarre experiences here. The following are some of the more memorable ones (so far):

I was in a car, driving on a rural road, when I saw a few trucks parks on the side of the road and a group of a few men standing around. The car slowed, and as we got closer, I saw what they were doing. The men had come across a dead cow and were butchering it right there on the side of the road. The men were walking away with large hunks of the cow and putting them in the backs of their trucks. The severed head sat on one truck's tailgate. I looked over at the driver and we both shrugged. Nothing about what we saw seemed abnormal.

Every year a certain type of caterpillar appears. The locals call them mopane worms and are highly prized as a delicacy. The caterpillars also happen to be quite beautiful. They are about 2-3 inches long and have bright orange, blue, or yellow streaks down the length of their bodies. I was walking home one day after work with a woman from the organization and noticed a particularly large mopane worm in our path. I stopped, crouched down, and pointed to the caterpillar. The woman got a big smile on her face and reached down to grab it. Before I could do anything to stop her, she had twisted off the head and squeezed the insides out on the ground. She then held it out and offered it to me to eat. I politely declined and was mad at myself for pointing it out in the first place.

I was standing on an already over-crowded bus when it stopped to pick up a few more passengers. One of the men we picked up crammed in and stood next to me. I looked over and he had a chicken in a plastic grocery bag under one arm. He had put the chicken in the bag and then tied the handles so that just the chicken's head was sticking out. The chicken spent the ride slowly opening and closing its mouth and I tried  to stay far enough away from it to keep from being bitten. When the man got off the bus in a small village, he set the bag with the chicken in down next to him while he collected his bags. The chicken just sat there, in the bag and didn't try to get out. 

I was in the dreaded middle seat on a bus, sandwiched between two rather large women. The temperature was in the 90's outside and both women fell asleep quickly. After a rather uncomfortable hour, I felt sweat dripping down my right arm. It was from the woman to my right.

I was taking my normal walk home, where I usually talk to the neighborhood kids and give them high fives. One little boy had just finished a bath, and when he saw the kids crowding around me, came running out -  not wanting to miss out on giving me a high five. So here I was surrounded by small children and this little naked boy, about 4 years old, comes running up shouting "high five!" I almost fall over from laughing, but I do give the kid a high five. I stand up and tell the kids I have to go home and they scatter, except for the naked boy and another little boy. As I turn to leave, I see the other little boy point emphatically to the naked boy's penis and start laughing.  

I was with several children and we were all hunched over, drawing pictures in the dirt. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a small boy walk over and stand behind several of the children. When I looked up to greet him, I noticed that his pants were down around his ankles and he was peeing on the other children. It took several seconds for the children to process what was going on. Once they turned around and figured out why they were getting wet, they all started bawling. The small boy pulled up his pants and scurried off before I could catch him. One little boy who had been peed on was so distraught that he ran over and tightly hugged my leg.