Friday, March 15, 2013

My Furry Little Friends

Hola! I'm Ariel and this is my first trip to Tijuana with the Esperanza group. I am a junior at the College of Wooster majoring in History. This week has been eventful-full of surprises and adventures. I spent the whole week at the same site and enjoyed getting to watch the house progress over the course of 5 days. I made quite a few friends this trip- both human and animal. Traveling in foreign countries presents a number of interesting contrasts to the United States; one of these is the presence and treatment of animals. I have always been an animal lover and seeing so many strays wandering the streets definitely tears at my heart a little. I'm aware of the number of diseases that stray animals can carry yet that rarely stops me from picking them up and giving them a little love. The animals were everywhere, including the worksites. One day, as I held one cat, another girl assured me that it had fleas and I sassily responded that it surely did not have fleas. It was too clean and happy looking to have fleas. Duh.

Two orange tabbies greeted me at the site on Monday. They were both were boys and had stubby tails, an uncommon practice in the U.S. They spent most of the day lying on the tops of the cinder blocks while I slaved away. No surprise- they came around during lunch and meowed and purred when I pet them and I (maybe) gave them a tiny piece of my food. Each day they appeared around the site as I worked and I was always comforted by their presence. Our last day at the site was full of emotions; we helped a family complete a house to live in, saw a very pregnant dog give birth to 10 puppies, and I said goodbye to my tabby cats. My memories in Tijuana will always be of the people we helped and the small bond I made with my furry little friends.

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