Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Monday, August 16, 2010

A nice story from South Africa

This is a nice story from the blog " In the Trenches". This blog shares the real-life story of community planning and architectural humanitarian work with NextAid in an impoverished and AIDS-affected rural town called Dennilton, in South Africa. Chris Harnish, an Architecture for Humanity Fellow, on sabbatical from Deborah Berke & Partners in New York City, will do a weekly written and photo blog sharing his experiences while living on site for six months with the local partner organization. Posted by Chris Harnish:
There have been neighbors living in my roof since January or so. A family of owls has set up camp in the protected gap between the overhang of the front porch and the main roof. When I mentioned it to Jabu, his first reaction was 'let's get them out of there'. I told him I liked them and he said 'ok, then we will capture them, put them in a cage and make them fat on mice and rats.' When that didn't take he just resigned himself to asking about them regularly. Apparently owls and Zulu culture don't get along very well. 'The owl is a creature of the night' Jabu told me.
With a bit further research I discovered that an owl calling from your roof means there's going to be a death in the house, unless you burn your house down. A friend in Durban knows a woman who has burned her house down twice for fear of the creatures. (Whether I believe the story or not is another matter... .who knows?). I haven't heard the screetching call from my roof. Usually I just hear it when I step outside to brush my teeth at night. One too many steps from the front porch and a loud, spooky screetch gets me shuffling back inside, laughing and cursing a bit.
It's a married couple of owls, and they have just become parents of triplets. The young ones are very well behaved, except when a parent returns in the evenings with food. Then the squeeling and shuffling of feet on the corrugated metal becomes quite the event. My guide book says it takes three months after hatching for an owl to fly. By my calculations the should be airborn in late June. That's gonna be awesome.

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