The Adorable Goddaughter came down from Brussels for the weekend as a surprise for me and met me Saturday at the airport with her mother, who is my closest childhood friend. I will see her again for our planned lunch on Wednesday in Brussels, on my way to the conference at Leuven. The Adorable Goddaughter (well, one of them, I have another in the U.S.) is a veterinary student and, because she hitched a ride down with The Boyfriend instead of taking the train, she brought her pet bunny. Said bunny is a girl rabbit named Lefty (did I mention that the Adorable Goddaughter, who is half Indian and half French, speaks English, French, and a touch of Tamil?) who looks like a tuxedo cat, except that she's a bunny. She has long floppy ears and white front paws and is mostly black and she travels in a cat carrier. The vet students love her. She speaks Rabbit and French.
Veterinary school in both the French and Belgian systems is a combo of college and medical school and six or seven years long and they don't let you touch a live animal at first, it's all hard science and then embryology and dissections of dead critters. Then you start doing internships and working with the real live creatures. The kids (by which I mean the vet students) are all very fond of animals (one of my more cynical pediatrician friends would say that vets love animals more than physicians love people; this is based on her observations in the medical world; but I digress) so this rabbit is very popular, which doesn't mean she is not the butt of jokes about rabbit stew.
At the end of the weekend I finally met The Boyfriend, who is almost as adorable as The Adorable Goddaughter and is also in vet school. He is half French and half Cambodian. Stay tuned for a post I have been mulling called "Living a Hybrid Life." It is good to be back among my international crew. These are my people, the ones who are not fully of one or another culture but who are somehow both.
I have taken photos of the aforementioned rabbit, non-digital ones, and may post them eventually, though I'm thinking not since the photos are all of her with the Adorable Goddaughter. I generally shy away from posting photos of family members, especially the younger ones, out of concern for privacy and safety.
And speaking of animals: several blogosphere friends (one of whom, the Byzigenous Buddhapalian, is also a friend from my West Coast days) have reminded us of Laika, the space dog who perished up there for the sake of human experiments. Consider this a post under her saintly patronage. Paul's post is here and there are two by MadPriest, here and here. Oops, now there are three; MP just posted one more, which is worth a look too.