Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Auntie, the monkeys are biting today.

I live in a small complex about a one mile walk from campus.  There are three buildings which house about 30 flats and the buildings surround a parking lot.  Everyone is very neighborly because we are all professors at University of Botswana.  We don’t necessarily know one another’s names, especially because most all of us are expatriates and there tends to be a minor language gap at times, particularly with spouses who do not work outside the home.  But we know who lives where and wave at one another regularly.

We also know which pets and kids belong to whom.  And apparently they all live right around me and have decided I am their friend.  I am frequently in my kitchen washing dishes when all of a sudden a baby doll falls seemingly from the sky, landing in my front yard. There is a Pakistani family with little (about 2 or 3 year old) girls living above me and each day when I return from work I find tiny shoes, toys and other accoutrement lost during their afternoon playtime on their balcony.
There are also about six boys, probably between 4 years and 8 years old who live across from me.  I inevitably see them each day when they kick their soccer ball in my yard. Sometimes I think they do that on purpose when they see my door open because they will open the gate and enter the yard to claim the ball, but then hover around the door and attempting to be sly ask if I can give them some water.  After two broken glasses I decided it may be time to buy small plastic cups since this seems to be a pattern.

However, one of the benefits to living here, and being friends with the kids, is that they always provide me with an update on the state of the neighborhood.  Today as I arrived home I was told, “Auntie, the monkeys are biting today.”  I am frequently called “Auntie” by the kids because it is much easier than them attempting to learn my name.
These are actually not monkeys, but baboons.  Here is a family taking a stroll.  Make note of the little one catching a ride:

This was a really big and fast one.  Here he is trying to state cool by sitting in the shade:

And here is a little one after he stole someone’s lunch:

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