Chicken Wars – Part Two 

May 22, 2017

We’re now into Week 4. We’re immersed into life here in Uganda, met some lovely people, – read the All Nations blog entries here – and.. the feud continues with the neighbour’s chicken. I’d spent time forgiving the chicken for stealing our precious tomatoes. Peace reigned, until the next morning…

After spending several hours painstakingly hand-washing my clothes, I carefully hung them up on our line. Later, I came out to collect them and was greeted with the sight of the chicken trampling on my clothes in the dirt, coolly pecking at them on the ground! My team mates may have witnessed me flying around in a rage shouting at the chicken… I am still trying to figure out how the chicken got them off the line and how it could possibly find my still-soapy-from-not-been-wrung-out-properly clothes tasty. I’m pretty confident they don’t taste of tomatoes…

If I wasn’t so afraid of the angry pineapple man (its owner), it would be chicken for dinner! So far, Chicken 2 , Laurie  – or should I say ‘Aunty Glory’ my new name from the kids nearby – 0.

War has also been declared with the other roaming wildlife in our village. Cockroaches. We had an important meeting with our village leader and on entry to their yard I sat down on a mat offered by his wife. No sooner had I sat down than I spotted a giant cockroach right next to the mat, inches away from me, on its back, waving its legs. Now one thing I’ve learnt in Africa is that cockroaches are very hard to kill. I was confident of the ability of this cockroach to turn itself over and make a run for me. The village leader’s wife was to my right, the cockroach was to my left. I ended up constantly swivelling my neck awkwardly, firstly to acknowledge what the wife was saying, and then one eye on the cockroach. I’m pretty sure she thought I had some strange twitch but I hoped she just assumed it was a British trait…

At one point, her toddler came up to the cockroach and started poking it with a stick. The boy looked at the stick, looked at the cockroach, and then looked at me, and we locked eyes.  I summoned all my abilities to glare at him ‘don’t even think about flicking that towards me’ – and we  reached a silent mutual understanding because he backed away. Laurie 1, Toddler 0.

I continued to attempt to focus on the village leader’s wife, praying desperately I wouldn’t be forced to do my being-attacked-by-a-cockroach-freak-out-dance in her yard and permanently destroy village-team relations and be banished back to South Africa. Finally our translator motioned it was time to go. I scrambled up from my seat and bid farewell to the cockroach. Narrow escape. Laurie 1 Cockroach 0…

There have been several other large, flying cockroaches in our lovely house. Fortunately Morgan and I have a mutual agreement – she kills the cockroaches and I make her coffee every morning. And – I have to admit that the chicken has one small use to mankind. It does eat the dead cockroach bodies (as well as my clothes). Maybe I’ll let it live another day….

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