This morning, I woke up to go to school as any other day. I went downstairs, boiled the water for my tea, and sat down to my baguette with apricot jam. I was already sweating, as usual, when I heard a long, deep baa, louder and clearer than normal. My family does have two sheep, but they live in shacks behind the house, and their bleating always creates a muffled reminder that they have not yet been consumed for dinner. However, this particular morning, the noise was closer than normal. My initial reaction was whether there was a goat in the house, but the voice of reason in my head refuted this thought, no, the goats live outside. But sure enough, as I finished my baguette, I looked behind me and there stood one of the family goats- looking directly at me, bleating, not five feet away. My host mother, trying to hold back laughter (I was legitimately laughing hysterically at this point), attempted to escort the goat out of the house, but he refused to leave, apparently finding the house to be extremely comfortable compared to his smelly shack. After a bit of a struggle, he was back outside in his natural habitat, but I was still chuckling at the fact that I just witnessed a goat break-in.
While this was a positive experience of animals being in places where they do not belong, one night last week, I was pleasantly eating dinner with my family when I came across a small, round, black bug crawling around in my food. Unfortunately, this was an especially awkward experience because we all eat out of the large bowl together but the bug was conveniently located in my section of the bowl. So, I could see it, but no one else in my family noticed and continued eating as normal. It is considered rude to not eat what you are served, so I felt obligated to eat what was in front of me, trying to deftly avoid my bug friend and all that it had touched.
Not related to animals or food, yesterday I went to Lac Rose with some other students on the program. This is a lake that at times is pink (rose means pink in French), due to the reaction of microorganisms that live in the lake with the sun. The salt content is also 10 times higher than that of the ocean, so people float. Unfortunately, because it is just the end of the rainy season, the lake was very much blue as it is now mostly filled with rainwater. However, later on in the dry season, the lake turns pink, which is quite a spectacle. It was still nice to get out of Dakar for a day to breathe some fresh, if salty, air.