Wednesday, April 29, 2009

markets and kittens

So, really, the markets have nothing to do with the kittens, but I just wanted to talk about both...
Markets first. This morning I went to the local markets (not many white people do....and those that do stand out very clearly amongst the sea of entirely black people) with Ashlyn. Now, that is always quite the feat. You have to understand that I buy my weeks worth of fruit and veg. On top of that Ashlyn is only 3 so she is kind of a bit clingy - she understands that she has to walk and cannot be carried, but she is forever pulling on my skirt. Then you have to understand that it is always hot and sweaty and often very crowded. And then you have to understand that, especially as a woman you always feel a bit vulnerable out there.
So here I am with Ashlyn, carrying 5 bilums (bags) full of heavy fruit and veg, dodging people, and food and puddles. And then as I walk around I notice this strange man following me. Everywhere I go. Whichever way I turn he is there. It makes me nervous, but it is hard for me to hurry with Ashlyn and all that stuff. He is freaking me out a bit. Every now and then someone tells him to back off, but he keeps returning like a bad smell. I am not too worried about him doing anything to me in the markets as I am pretty sure that if I started yelling a horde of people would come to my rescue. My nervousness is more based on the worry of him following me to my car where there would not be quite the same protection.
Anyway, I was feeling myself getting a bit shaky and in the end that really frustrated me so I started getting annoyed and angry. Why should this fellow be making me feel so nervous? SO I don't know why, but I decided to turn the tables. When I was purchasing a broccoli and he stood a mitre away staring at me, I decided to follow him instead. I turned around, stared at him and then walked right up to him, looked at him with no fear in my eyes (at least I tried to act that way) and said loudly enough for all close to us to hear (but not so loudly that I was shouting): "No ken bihainim mi! Mi les long yu bihainim mi!" Which translated means: "You may not follow me. I am annoyed/upset/angry by you following me (and I want you to stop!!)." Don't know where that came from as I don't usually do stuff like that. All the sellers looked at me and at him in surprise, and then looked ready to get rid of him for me. He looked surprised and then hung his head in shame, and quickly disappeared and I did not see him again. Phew!
I spoke to Julie about him (the lady who helps me in the house a few times a week) when I got home and she said he often hangs around the market and looks out for "rich" people and tries to intimidate them so that in the end they give him some money. Hopefully I showed him that he was not going to intimidate me!!
And then to the kittens: The gardener's cat (The mother of our cat) decided to have her kittens in our house. She does like our house (as do all the gardener's cats) as they all realise that there is food to be had at our house (they rely on catching mice and bugs to survive). And Ashlyn seems to think it is her duty to share all our cat's food with all the cats. So anyway, the mother cat is familiar with our house and just the other morning came running in and hid under our stairs where she gave birth to two kittens. Our cat (Moonbeam) was also born in our house in a similar fashion. That's the reason we received him for free. The gardener decided that since the mother cat had chosen our house to give birth, we deserved a cat. Hence we got Moonbeam. And you guessed it! Since we were the privileged family which his cat decided to use as hosts to her kitten birthing, we get to have another cat. The kids are excited, we're not so sure... but then it seems we feed all the cats anyway...mmm.
There is one male and one female kitten. This time if we take a cat, we will be opting for a female. And the female one is definitely the cutest! We will see. Anyway, while they are both in our care we will continue to enjoy them. Check out the photos below to see just how much they are loved!!

today Ashlyn decided to make them a bed and treated them like babies

there they are - all tucked in and sleeping - even with a toy!


HH said...

So glad you plucked up the courage to face this man, Natalie! In all situations, we know ourselves to be safe in Father's hands. He was also protecting you that day and gave you the courage to speak out.
The kittens look adorable, no wonder Ashlyn is in love with them. Cute babies bed she made for them, with a toy and all :)

Ruth said...

Hi Natalie and family,
I was happy to discover your blog address in our latest issue of Mission News and look forward to learning more about life in PNG as we follow your blog! May God bless you in all your work!