(from the Kibuye Kids)
The kids at Kibuye love their guinea pigs. If you’ve ever had one you will understand just how loveable they are, how fun it is to play with them, and how great it is to look after them. Guinea pigs make great pets because they help little kids learn responsibility, they are cheap to own, and you get to watch part of God’s creation up close. When the guinea pigs you own are about to have babies, guinea pig ownership becomes a science lesson.
Kibuye kids have owned and loved guinea pigs as far back as the summer of 2015. The Miller family came, bringing Twix, Zeus, and Galaxy. It was only the Jason Fader Family, Millers, and Aunt Alyssa (Pfister) in Kibuye that summer, because the others were in America. The guinea pigs thrived. It wasn’t long before one of the pigs gave birth to twins, Panda and Bamboo. Everyone was excited. Later, Twix gave birth to Pistachio and Mustach-io. They were so cute! Galaxy seemed to be the father. As summer neared its end, Zeus got pregnant and gave birth to three babies. The kids named them Mocha, Peanut, and Moosetracks. The next day, there was a dog attack. All of the guinea pigs died. A while later, four new guinea pigs – Milky Way, Natalie, Colonel Popcorn, and Dr. Pepper – came to live in Kibuye. Milky Way and Colonel Popcorn had spiky hair. Colonel Popcorn had a signature pose – he would stand erect, two front legs straight and look kind of off to the side, in a very colonel-like fashion. All of these guinea pigs have somehow met Jesus, in his zoo in heaven where the kids are certain their beloved pets wait for them.
Micah Watts remembers the first time he visited Kibuye. While playing Capture the Flag, he heard the guinea pigs saying, “squeak, squeak.” He enjoyed holding them and playing with them on that visit. Now he lives in Kibuye with his family, and he got his own guinea pig, Imbeba (mouse). Unfortunately, shortly after, she got sick and died. Elise Cropsey and her brothers, Micah and Sammy, purchased a guinea pig, Abraham (named for Abraham Paternoster), at the same time that Micah Watts got his guinea pig. Later, they found that he was a she (Mrs. Abraham). Later, she fell head over heels in love with Charles, Matea and Alma’s guinea pig. After a couple weeks, she got pregnant. The Cropseys didn’t want other people to hold her, so they made a signed notice that said, “Please do NOT hold the pigs.” The notice was signed not only by them but by the guinea pigs too. They put their paws in mud and stamped them on the notice. Later that week, a dog attacked the cage. Mrs. Abraham was never found, but Charles was – an answer to Aunt Becky (Baskin)’s prayers.
Carmel, Benjamin, Clover, Chocolate, Twitter, and Oreo (the bunny) came to live in Kibuye at the same time as Mrs. Abraham, Imbeba, and Charles, bringing delight to Maggie, the Baskin kids, Abi, Anna, and Madeline who was not an owner but an awesome caretaker. When not being held by the children or adults, these guinea pigs enjoyed playing in tubes and Styrofoam boxes. They liked to burrow into the grasses in their cage and play tag with one another. It was so cute to watch! Anna felt like Twitter was the best guinea pig she had ever owned, because, when she held her, she made a twittering sound, and they could have long conversations. When Anna was sad, she could talk to Twitter and be comforted. Unfortunately, the cage that was home to these guinea pigs was insecure and was often knocked open. Despite efforts to secure the cage with bricks, the cage was knocked open, and the guinea pigs escaped. Rumors immediately began to form about how this may have happened. They were never found.
Now, the children enjoy playing with their new guinea pigs – Peanut butter, Christopher, and Frank. Everyone was thrilled to discover Peanut butter’s pregnancy! Aunt Rachel (McLaughlin), the team’s OBGYN, was asked to do an ultrasound on Peanut butter. She said, “yes.” Everyone met on January 13th to proceed up to the hospital to perform the sonogram. When they arrived at the hospital, Aunt Rachel got her machine ready and looked around on Peanut butter’s belly. When the first ultrasound machine didn’t reveal an image, she brought out a stronger one. The audience saw a spine and a head that confirmed her pregnancy. A happy bunch went home from the hospital.
During the first weekend of February while the team was away on a retreat, Peanut Butter had three babies! Feeling more than ecstatic, Anna, Abi, and Madeline became the proud owners of Nutella, Speculoos, and Elsa.
The Kibuye kids’ guinea pigs are loved, cherished, and treasured even after they die. The memories of past and present guinea pigs remain with the kids always. There are always new memories and fun times enjoyed with the guinea pigs, and the kids look forward to owning even more if possible.