Sometime around 4 am, the roosters start.
It doesn't stop until sunset. Sunset. But they're at their worst around 6:30 am, right as I get up. Then, it's a constant stream of cock-a-doodle-doos.
There's a freshman rooster in one of the yards behind us. His goes more like, "Cock-a-doodle! (doo)" like the doo is an afterthought. He'll get it someday. When I'm first waking up, it's kind of funny.
I moved in here on Tuesday to stay for a week while John and Kerry, the missionaries here, are away in The States. The first night was restless, mostly on account of the roosters, but also the heat and a new mattress. But I'm getting used to it now. Having a whole house and a car for a while is nice.
I'm also taking care of their dogs, Jeb and Maggie. They're two golden retrievers that show me that dogs do, indeed, have very different personalities. Jeb is a moose who is big and clumsy. He's always having to back out of spaces, and dogs are typically no good at this. His brain is attached to his stomach. Maybe it's in his stomach. All he ever wants is food. Maggie wants nothing to do with food. I have to sit with her and force her to eat. I think maybe she fills up on bugs and lizards while I'm out.
The first day I came back from camp to get stuff ready for Club Alas (think Awana) and Jeb and Maggie were inside the gate to the driveway waiting for me. I had an armful of stuff (read: pair of athletic shorts, bag with a donut, keys, books, ice cold soda-pop) and had to creatively maneuver the key through the bars into the padlock. I popped it, slid the gate open, and Jeb immediately bolted down the street. He stopped close enough to lure me without trying to put all my crap down. When I got close, he bolted again. And again. Not funny. I kept a few choice words between my mind and my tongue. He ran into a fenced-in-parking lot and darted between the cars while I chased after. He's got technique. He's done this before. I finally caught up with him and dragged him back by the collar, telling him along the way just how uncool and unacceptable all of this was. I wasn't sure how to punish a dog so I simply withheld petting him for the rest of the day. That'll teach. He was constantly begging for it before. Naughty dog.
Living in the barrio changes my perspective of it. It's this noisy place full of people and their dogs and chickens and horses and radios and cars and houses. I had ideas about it before I came, mostly gleaned from TV crime dramas and movies. And I had been to the barrio before. But living in it for a week, I'm starting to understand it a little more. And at the same time, I realize there's a ton I don't know about it.