This week, the Elmer Fudds of Reunion celebrated the season opener of the one and only endemic mammal living on the island that I’ve ever heard about: (no not the “wabbit”) the tenrec. They are small, ugly, and maybe blind as well, rather like a shrew. As far as animals go in this region, Reunion got the short straw. Madagascar has lemurs, Mauritius has antelope (and had the dodo), the Comoros have flying foxes, and Reunion has what? The tenrec.
Wait, but that doesn’t mean there are no NON-endemic species. Au contraire. Reunion has feral dogs like mad. You’ll see big packs of them running through the city late at night, little dogs, big dogs, cute dogs, nasty dogs, all living happily together, as diverse and yet as harmonious as the people of Reunion claim to be. There’s one dog that always chases me on my bike in downtown Saint-Louis where one of my middle schools is located, and usually he catches me by surprise, choosing different street corners to leap out at me, barking and going mad like I’m the mailman or something, and give me an unwelcome early-morning panic. But yesterday I was prepared. Entering Saint-Louis, I preemptively unsheathed my secret weapon (water bottle) from it’s holster and prepared for the sudden attack. This time the dog had foolishly put himself in one of his most predictable spots, and I saw him from a mile away. Bottle ready, aimed, and fire! Right into his mean, feral eyes. It was one of the most gratifying early morning bike rides I’ve ever had.
Back to hunting, I am on the hunt as well. Job hunting. It’s a weird process to be undertaking from 10,000 miles away. Not to come across as a little desperate, but if anyone comes across any interesting job, internship, or fellowship opportunities for a recent college grad who knows a little political science and economics and speaks French and German, drop me a line! Ok yeah, I’m desperate. Kind of.