Monday, March 14, 2011

Critters with ulteriowr motives...

I like to think of myself as a fairly 'tough' person. I'm not afraid of snakes, scorpions, spiders, or other animals in general. I like to think that if you leave nature alone it tends to leave you alone. But then I came to Unity state and am living at the UNMIS team site. Within the chain link and barbed wire fence there is a strange ecosystem of animals and insects that seems to have gone crazy. I'm afraid that nature is considering not keeping up its part of our little bargain.

What makes me think this? Well, nothing in particular but let me give you some examples:
  1. There are packs of mongoose (mongeese? mongi?) roaming the grounds. I like mongoose (singular). I've never seen them (plural) travelling in packs but the team site is ridden with them - they travel in packs of 40-50 and have been seeing taking on the packs of feral dogs (will get to that in a moment). Now, in general, they stay out of my way and I stay out of theirs but when I go out for a run they sometimes sit along the path watching me. Sizing me up, I think...and that makes me a little nervous...considering they eat snakes and all.
  2. Packs of Feral Dogs - yes there are packs of 'street dogs' that roam about scavenging from the garbage dump and duking it out from time to time with the maribou storks (will get to that in a moment). The mongooses are not fans of the dogs and so they have these street fights where the mongooses won't back down and neither will the dogs. It's a sobering sight to behold, I tell you.
  3. Maribou Storks - I know that these are supposed to be the majestic birds of east Africa but I'll tell you what they are: lethargic and large. We're talking as tall as me with a hard beak as long as my arm. These also like to hang about the running path sizing things up. I don't like birds as tall as I am that aren't afraid of me.
  4. Killer bees - Well, I don't know if they're actually killer bees but they're really, really aggressive and a friend of mine who went for a run got attacked and had to run into the burning trash pile to get them off her.
  5. Mice/Rats that won't die - Despite my best efforts to poison all that enter my container they don't seem to want to die. I'm not sure how many of them there are but there are too many cause I'm running out of poison and they keep coming.
Now, taken individually none of these things might seem scary but altogether it makes me suspect a conspiracy - and one with sinister implications for me at that.