Sometimes he won’t shut up

Talkie, talkie, talkie

By now, some of you are familiar with Bhasha. He likes to talk. This is his face when he’s babbling at me.

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I’ll miss that dog

Asleep. As always.

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So, so lazy

Oh you mutt

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Cooking on fumes

Waiting for the refill

In rural Sikkim, we do a lot of waiting for deliveries — food, newspapers, volunteers. Natural gas, our primary cooking fuel, is a particularly important delivery. (More photos below.)

Unfortunately, it only comes once every two or three months. When the truck shows up, villagers line the road for miles.

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Not exactly paint by numbers

My buddy Phurba

Sundays are a day off, which usually means we drum up arts and crafts projects for the boarding school children to stave off boredom.

This particular day, we’re painting our own Buddhist prayer flags. See below.

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Dog day portrait

Fuzzy, cute, smelly, dirty, little guy

Bhasha portraiture continues.

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Lazy mutt

Lazy

More portraiture of my adopted dog that I’ve named Bhasha. He spends much of the day sleeping. In the dirt. On the stoop. In the road.

Tough life.

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My pet dog

Bhasha is a lazy mutt

Meet Bhasha, a stray that hangs around the school where I teach. He’s a scruffy guy, the kids pay marginal attention to him and he’s a bit wobbly, which suggests developmental issues.

He also “never learned to bark,” according to the school principal. But he does grunt, whine, howl awkwardly, guffaw and make other noises that approximate communication.

Sucker that I am for things that are not quite right, I have adopted him. At least for the six weeks or so I’ll be here. He gets my leftovers at meals and he frequently tries to follow me home at night and on jogs. I’m also apparently the only staff who can get him to shut up or sit down with resorting to violence.

He didn’t have a name, according to one teacher. He was literally “no-name dog.” But as he’s always trying to talk in something other than dog-speak, I’ve named him Bhasha, which means language, in Hindi.

For those of you who know that I haven’t always been a dog person, this is a surprising turnaround. Expect more pictures of the scrappy little guy in the future.

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