Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

This post is going to work out to be in reverse chronological order, but I think it works better that way with the title of the post. :)

We celebrated New Year's Eve here. Well, not on those rocks, but where I was when I took the picture of those rocks. We had to go early and buy tickets. It was a restaurant on Lake Victoria in Mwanza. It was pretty. The rocks are cool

But you can see how I think blue skies make the photographer. No blue sky, not a good picture.

The doors have holes poked in them and at night they light up. I know some people like interesting doors, so I took a picture because I thought of you.

This is the hospital where Dad works. I thought it looked very nice.

Nice landscaping.

A few food posts. This is a ginger beer they have. It's called Stoney Tangawizi. It's good. It's made by Coke.

At the hospital cafeteria one of Mom's friend told us to get the fish. So we did. That's the Tanzanian equivalent of to on the left (called ugali or something like that here. Made from manioc flour) and a fish head. Your eyes do not deceive you. It is served with a giant fish head.

We both didn't eat much and then went home and ate with Dad some delicious coconut milk curry.

For dinner for NYE we also had naan. I just had to show you bc I know some of you really like it and I thought of you.

I saw a snail today. He was too cute not to photo.

And here's Mom. There's a giant fish fountain in Mwanza. So we took our picture there after I ate grasshoppers. But those pictures are on Mom's camera.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Photos from Spice Tour

We took a tour of a spice farm today..... Very interesting. This is a cinnamon tree.
This is a vanilla vine. Each piece between the leaves is a vanilla bean
We had lemon grass tea.... tasty!
We ate fresh coconut...
There was a "lipstick plant" that we used...
End of the tour picture. One of the guides made these leaf hats, bracelets, etc. Pretty PFUN!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conversations with Ania

(After opening her presents from Santa)
Ania: I must have been on the GOOD list!


Me (after she tried to give Alina some "guidance"): Ania, you're not the boss.
Ania: Mmm hmmm, I'm the boss of my baby and my duckie.

Masai Show

There was a Masai Show.
First they sang. Or chanted I guess you could say.
I'm including the picture below because it is the sharpest and you can see the colors the best.
But what they really can do is jump. High. It is not easy taking a picture of someone jumping in the dark. For jumping you need a fast shutter speed. For the dark, slow. You can imagine...
But I tried.
Then I asked them if they wanted to take a picture with us. :) They said they did.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Photos from Stonetown

Today we went to Stonetown, the heart of Zanzibar. We're staying on the NE coast and Stonetown is about an hour away by car.
They have these amazing doors here that are carved out of wood.
This is one of 2 Christian churches. Zanzibar is 90% Muslim, 7% Christian and 3% Hindi.
We went on a tour of an old slave trading post. This is a monument by Clara Sornas called Memory for the Slaves.
This is one of the 45 mosques. I think blue skies can make anyone a good photographer.
Here is the pool where we are staying.
And some trees outside. Trees that do silly things make me happy.

Merry Christmas from Zanzibar

Merry Christmas!!!
I've tried a few times posting this, so this is going to be short. If it works I'll post more. Yes, it really is that beautiful here. More so.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's Happening in My Neck of the Woods

I was going to post a few days ago but decided it was better to give V and Mary top billing for a bit. We made it to Zanzibar. The beach is beautiful and worth all of the mishaps we had to get here. These photos are from the BpF.

I'm learning to make tea. Hopefully when I get home I'll be a good faki and can make tea for you. Faki is the person who makes tea. It's kind of hard! You can't just set the timer. In fact they say I'm very American because I want to know exact measurements and time to make the tea. Tea making is not like that. I want to tell them it should be! My tea is not good so I don't want to make it too often because I like the good tea. But I should make it so I can practice.

Here are the pictures from when we fixed the school pump.

The tube goes this deep to get water. I think it's 50 meters.

All of that standing water is gross and we are working on that, too. It's from the pump. When you pump water not all of the water goes into the bucket, but some leaks out. The drain area is broken so this happens. It smells like a feed lot.

The school garden where they are rebuilding the fence. We will plant trees in here for a living fence. I hope it works.

Here they are bringing wood and then then students' fathers attached it to the posts.

This is how they make bricks. It's kind of like how you make pasta. You mix the cement and sand and make a big mound like with the flour in pasta. The water is the eggs and mix it the same way, bringing everything in to the middle. They have a mold and make one brick at a time. This is what we are going to use to clean the standing water from the pump.

Oh look! There's me hauling water on my head!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vittoria's Favorite Song

Vittoria's current favorite song is "Railroad Lady" by Willie Nelson (I could not be more proud). She calls it "The Home Song." I promised that if she sang it for the camera, I would put it on the internet. Here it is.

Mary is Funny

I got a new phone, so I dumped all the pictures I took from my old one onto the computer. I was looking through the pictures and didn't realize that I had some gems. Probably the best, though, is this video. I have no idea where I was or what I was expecting when I took it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some sad news...

Alina is losing her bottom front 2 teeth (a bit early, but not unheard of)... that's sad enough because my baby is growing up! :( But even worse than that is that Ania's top front tooth that did not have a root canal is dying and will need to be extracted. So I guess the race is on to see who gets a visit from the tooth fairy first! Alina has until January 4th to lose hers or Ania will beat her!

On an unfortunately-most-likely-related topic, the dentist did recommend some fingernail paint-ish stuff for her thumb that should help her kick that habit. Tonight is the first night of trying that, we will see how it goes!

Just so this isn't a completely text post, here are some pictures after my real estate Christmas party last week where they both got their faces painted.

Alina got a unicorn
Ania got Hello Kitty