Attack of the Izikhomo


A belated welcome to SA 32 who have been in the country for about a week now! Welcome to the PCSA family, we are happy you are here. The arrival of the new education volunteer cohort means that SA 31 has moved from Bantwana/children status!

Speaking of Bantwana, it is calving season in the Drakensburg. I am not sure why calving season is in the winter (giving birth in the mountain cold when the grass is sparse is not how I would like to welcome a baby herbivore into the world), but it means the cows/izikhomo are even more out of sorts…then usual.

If I leave for work around 8:30 AM, the cows have a feeding session right in front of the gate. Usually I can bypass the herd and start the decent to work. These days if I get too close to a calf by accident, the cows lurch towards my bag. Honestly I feel like Anna from Leap Year (except I wear gumboots to dodge poop piles). I may live with chickens and cows. Still not a farm gal.

leap year cow scene

Sunday night went to a whole new level. I live on a hillside and there is about a 2 feet wide pathway around the entire house (for general access and a fire break). Exhibit A:

My "backyard". Yebo that is the buffoon of a bovine behind the following story

My “backyard”. Yebo that is the buffoon of a bovine behind the following story

My corner of the house happens to be a gentlemen club for chickens and fight club for the neighborhood dogs. After 3 months at site I have learned how to differentiate what vistor is on the dry grass by the sound of their footsteps. Usually they are small enough that I can figure out that there is no threat. This particular night I am alone in house and hear large footprints. It is about 9 PM and dark. The stomping continues, and at this point I have to assume that it is a human. With burglar bars on all windows, little harm would be accomplished but I still get my PC airhorn ready just in case. The noise gets louder and suddenly I am staring straight at a white cow head through the window. I screamed and the bovine scurries off. When lost cow makes another appearance in the window for the night, I decided to go to bed.

Earplugs usually manage to block out most of the animal induced, nocturnal, cacophony but I wake up 2:40 AM Monday morning to growling and rattling on the wall. Apparently the dogs realized they were slacking on the job and now decide to terrorize the poor cow. Cows cannot help that they are large, and thus make a sound every time they move. Also, they snore. I could not go back to sleep. I was convinced that the bovine was leaning up against the house. Well I finally get out of bed at 6 and the cow appears to be on the hillside, not next to the house. The sheer enormity of the animal just made it appear otherwise.

We are six months in. Eventually I will get used to this (but maybe I need to find longer curtains).

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