Dear beloved bleeding heart liberals…take a deep breath….exhale. Allow me a moment to explain. NO…I’m not talking about His Honorable former Vice President Dick Cheney. He has not endorsed me as a Peace Corps volunteer, nor as a regular ole’ American for that matter. Not that I’ve asked….I can’t really see why he wouldn’t…I’m quite nice when you get past my harsh, cruel exterior. I might have to lie about my political affiliation, but I’m always up for a challenge! Anyway…shall I get to the point?
Cheney, or as its spelled in Shqip, Qeni is the word for Dog. My host family has a dog who essentially acts as the farm’s police officer. If he has a name, I don’t know it. The idea of animals as pets is nearly completely foreign to Albanians. (Then again, I’m completely foreign to them too!) Anyway…Dick Qeni Kateshi, or DQK as I’ll refer to him from now on is no cuddly man’s best friend! He looks like a cutie! And sometimes his tail even wags suggesting playful delight, but take a few steps in his direction and he’s clearly sending a BTFU* message. I can just tell he’s thinking, “I could gnaw on that American femur for days and days.”
Everyday, when I come home DQK, who is on a short leash near the chicken coop, goes ape shit! Barking and jumping and making all kinds of noise. Seriously, the way he reacts would make you think I’m wielding a machete and have a peg leg, hook arm and bad teeth! (PS, I floss here more than I did in the US!) God forbid I want to sneak into the house to pee quickly without the very warm and well-intended barrage of questions about how my day went and what I’ve learned and if I want to eat….always always always asking if I’m ready to eat. (accepting all website links that offer deals on elastic waistband pants!)
SIDE NOTE: The pee-pee dance IS a universal form of non-verbal communication. Well, at least it is among the women who live in my host family! I’m grateful for these simple pleasures.
But today…the tides have turned. When I walked through the gates, DQK didn’t even make a fuss! I don’t know if it’s because he was exhausted after two days of rain or the fact that all members of my family greet me with kisses on both cheeks and often multiple times or if he’s just getting used to having me around. And I could CARE LESS! I’m just pretty stoked that DQK has finally accepted that I’m here and settling in to the whole fam damily. That’s right Albania…, just got my DQK endorsement. I HAVE ARRIVED!
Oh! Leigh….you’d have NO shortage of work here! I’ll make up a room for you once I get my own digs. You’d be rolling in Leke before you know it. Well…that or dog shit. But…it’s all about the experience!
*BTFU…Back The F %$@ Up!