Friday, October 12, 2012

Wild Dogs

Day One- 
The dogs here are not like American dogs. They are treated poorly by lack of food and teased by children. People throw rocks at them and can be abusive towards them. The dogs run the street and I have been warned not to go out at night because that is when the dogs come out. People are out at night, the Samoans are just cautious of me going out at night because I do not know how to handle the dogs yet.
Whenever you are walking on the street a dog can come up to you and start to bark or possibly try to attack. If that happens you yell Haulo! (Spelled wrong but I am still learning!) Haulo means to go away or shoo! The dogs will then stop in its tracks and walk the other way. If you (even just) pretend to pick up a stone, they will go away. Some children walk around with sticks to hit the dog if the dogs start to bark or come at them.
My first day I decided to go running, I was warned I should wait for the sun to come up but that was too late in the day because I had class. So I go running. I ran up and down the street and was too scared to run anywhere else. There were two dogs on my rout and every time I ran past their house they would bark, I would yell and then they'd leave me alone until I came back again. Only once did the dog start to run with me. I do not mean run with my in a cute way, I mean stalk me while I ran next to it. Barking the entire way. I stopped in my tracks, started to pick up a rock and the dog ran away. 
That was my first experience with the wild dogs...
On the way home from our FIRST day of training, there are 13 of us walking. I was in the back of the group chatting about how much fun this is or how tired I am and then 4 or 5 dogs start barking at us and starting to run towards us. Now, most of our group is girls and not all reacted the best way in this situation. There was chaos, running and screaming. I already handled the dogs so I turned around and yelled, "HEY!" (I forgot the Samoan word) it worked. It was actually really funny to see all 5 dogs stop and turn around instantly as if they did nothing wrong, sadly it was too late. From being pushed one of the dogs had bitten my ankle. Blood and instant pain.
I am okay. I was okay later that night. Luckily there is not any rabies in Samoa so all I have to worry about is covering it up with a band-aid and I am not allowed to run for the rest of the week. Now that it is over and done with it is not a big deal and actually funny. 
This was the first day of training! Day number 1! 
My feet are so swollen here! I can't see my ankles! 
It got so much better! 
Exciting day for us PCV. We had the Ava Ceremony, got to know each other as a group a bit better and was introduced to the staff. It was a long day from 8-5 with all the speeches, settling in and the time difference was a killer for some of us.. OH, can not forget to mention my wonderful new scar!! My first Samoan experience story which I will have mentally and also physically with me forever. 


  1. Well, since we talked about this on the phone I don't have to come down there to bring you back to a safe environment and wrap you up in bubble wrap. As long as this is the worst that happens then I guess I 'm okay with you being there. I love your writing. So descriptive - I feel like I'm watching a movie of this happening. Thanks for sharing this now and not on the first day I talked to you. Be careful and now that you know first hand the viciousness of the dogs there you'll be a little more aware of how you need to behave around them.

  2. I'm embarrassed to say I would have been running, arms flailing just like Grover. I'm so impressed that you kept your wits about you missy! Thank goodness you are okay and rabies was not an issue. First day of training?!?! I'd say! What a day to remember.

  3. Mom- Think how boring my blog would be if I was wrapped in bubble wrap...
    Aunt Kim- I always start things out with a BANG! Or I guess in this case a bite.