Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bush Meat

Yesterday, we went running at Mt. Febe. We have run consistently for the past two weeks, running usually four to five times per week. On the drive to the top of the mountain (where we park), we saw two men, each carrying a machete, followed by a pack of six dogs. We parked the car in the lot and began our ten minute descend, passing the two men we saw on the way up. They still had their pack of dogs following them. It was a strange sight. They wore boots and clothes with dirt stains. Their dogs were very skinny and stayed close together. After ten minutes, we turned around and ran back up the hill. At this point the two guys had stopped their walk down the hill. One of them stood on the side of the road talking with the passengers of a taxi. As we neared him, we saw that he had some sort of dead animal in his hand! He held it by the hind legs, probably trying to sell it to the passengers. The other man, sat in the grass on the side of the road, surrounded by the dogs. The dogs lay next to him. As we walked by, we saw that the man had taken his machete and opened up the stomach of the second animal. The insides of the animal spewed out onto the sidewalk. It was very disgusting; we run past with our heads turned the opposite way.

Later, we talked with the guard of our house, Johannes. He told us that it was probably porcupine and that the men were hunting for these animals in the nearby jungle. The guidebook tells us that there are many bush meats that are sold illegally in the market, including gorilla and snake. I’m not quite sure if this bush porcupine is illegal or not.

Last night, the police stopped us for the second time. It was the same routine, with several police officers stopping all types of people. He asked for our identification and the registration for the car. He then stated that one of my headlights was out and he wanted to take my registration card. I guess the card wasn’t good enough, so he returned my card and proceeded to tell me that he would take my driver’s license instead. For some reason, he wanted to check the trunk of the car, which he found nothing. After some debating with his colleague across the street, he finally returned my things and let us go on our way.

I have attached some photographs that I have taken around the city, a view from my room, and of the two new adventurous teachers that I hang out with frequently, Amy and Izumi. I hope all is well.


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