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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2009-03-22 20:29:33
Subject: Sunday March 22, 2009

    Today was the first day we've been allowed to visit Walter at the Air Force Academy. Visiting hours were from 7 AM until 4 PM. The base is about 35 miles away, meaning two hours of driving the Honduran highway under construction. He looked good and reported that he is the top student in his Academy year. The academy really stresses academics, hence the name academy. Walter has a 92% average right now, which affords him some privileges. This was also the first day that the cadets were allowed to eat something besides academy food. Walter requested food, a lot of food. When Paula asked what food he wanted, he replied "everything". As you can imagine, we could not bring everything. We tried to bring some of his favorites such as BBQ pork, Pringles, cake, Coke and various salty snacks. We were pretty sure we had enough for he and all of us visiting (our family and the older boys). We did cut it close when about nine of the cadets did not have visitors because their parents live 8-12 hours away by bus. Therefore, many of those cadets asked Walter if he could spare them something to eat. We were blessed to share BBQ sandwiches, chips, cake and Coke with his fellow cadets.      On Thursday Night a sow went into labor and I observed for awhile. Typically one or more piglets are born in a sac, which must be broken by human intervention. On this occasion there were no sacs to break, so I did nothing but watch and wash the mother down so that she could settle and cool down a bit. Seven pigs survived the birthing process. We used to have the homes full of pigs of every age, now the homes are almost full of mothers and their piglets while most of the older pigs are outside. We still need to fence off another field for pigs on the open range. I want to be able to plant a swine food crop where the pigs are currently since they have it so well dug up and fertilized. When the crop is ready, we'll just let the pigs back in and they can harvest it on their own. Having the swine outside also greatly reduces the effort needed to clean up.      During my night with the swine our dog Fudgey accompanied me. Rolman came towards the end and we returned to the house an hour and a half after the last birth. Fudgey has turned into quite the shepherd dog and knows how to round up pigs. He also tells us when they are outside their legal fence boundaries. During our birthing vigil, Fudgey was barking up towards the house and I heard dogs in the distance (maybe half a mile) bark in reply. I figured Fudgey was just gossiping with the neighborhood dogs UNTIL we returned to the house. Near the house I noticed that the storage barn door was left open. Near the door I noticed a strange little creature. I was only curious about it rather than alarmed. It was slow and Fudgey did the classic doggy hit and run attack. The creature turned, bared its teeth and made a low volume clicking/hissing sound. I called Rolman over to see the creature. Rolman told me it was a "wasalu" and we should kill it because it eats chickens. I had not heard the word "wasalu" before, but judging by the looks of the creature and the fact that it eats chickens, I figured it was a weasel.     I told Rolman to go get the rifle and that I would keep the light on it so that we wouldn't lose it. Meanwhile Fudgey was quite offended by the odor that the creature transferred during Fudgey's initial attack. Fudgey rubbed his body into the grass in attempt to remove some of the wreak. It was a pretty stinky wasalu. Rolman returned with the rifle and I let him shoot it a couple times. Something, probably this weasel, had attacked a turkey a few nights before but did not kill it. Next morning we determined that this weasel finished the job on the turkey while we were attending the pigs. It was a good thing we caught it before it killed off other turkeys and chickens. After all this it seems that Fudgey was barking at the weasel attacking the turkey rather than other dogs. I spent my first couple years here with an extreme displeasure for canines, but I am learning to like certain ones again. However, Fudgey does have his moments when I want to disown him as well (such as when he makes sport of our own chickens when a neighbor dog initiates such endeavors).

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