Archive for April, 2012

30
Apr
12

passport photo update

Passport photos have been taken!  David waited from 8 this morning.  Finally, when our turn was within a few hours he came to get us.  Thank you David!  It was touch and go for a while as they in no way believed the girls are only two weeks apart in age (no one believes that!).  It took some convincing on David’s part.  Scary!  Naturally, tomorrow is a holiday here (anything that can delay this process right?!) but passports should be ready Wednesday afternoon!  So exciting.  Also, David says our missing paperwork is coming along quickly!  Good news today!  No pool today.  Bad news today!

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30
Apr
12

passport photos

We were to be picked up today at nine for passport photos that were to be done last Friday (remember I paid extra for the passports to be done Friday, not for the photos to be taken that day) for passports that were to take three weeks (maybe up to six weeks) making them done March 28ish.  Ahh, it’s a good thing Congolese are delayed and never late.  Anyway, it’s now eleven and still no word about the photos.  Our neighbors here at the guest house have adopted two little kiddos, both under two years.  They arrived here from Indiana on Saturday and will be leaving Thursday.  Their attorney told Bibi she was very concerned for us.  People here in DRC would rather see kids on the street than with a white family, she told us.  In Lubumbashi, though, many people told me that what I was doing was wonderful and thanked me and said it warmed their hearts that the kids were so well looked after in my care.  Maybe it’s the ones who’d rather see them on the street who are heard more here……..?  I agree kids should be with their families.  Sadly for my two and so many millions of others, that just isn’t possible.  Kids need to be with a family.  What’s wrong with mine?

30
Apr
12

phone

Keta made a long call last night on her phone. It was a really long call, maybe half an hour.  If (when) she ever talks to me like that, she’ll be grounded!  Her “phone” was a lace and trace orange.  She was gesturing to help get her point across, and talking loudly.  She was shhing Francine and pointing to her phone like, “Can’t you see I’m on an important call?  What do you think this is at my ear, an orange?”  Francine kept trying to get another of the lace and trace toys to work like a phone, trying the sandwich, the stop sign and the kite.  Never happened for her.  Somehow tonight she was able to get a small mirror to work, so I’m not sure what the problem was with the lace and trace sandwich.

 

30
Apr
12

Fruit and attempted murder and stuff

Fresh fruit and veggies are in very limited supply here.  The grounds (of the box) has several papaya trees and a few coconut trees.  My mom was confirming with one of the grounds keepers that they were, in fact, papayas.  We were delivered a papaya and asked forgiveness as coconuts are hard to climb up and retrieve.  Could we wait?  The girls don’t love it, but I do!  Fresh fruit, yumma!

This morning there was an attempted murder.  At least that’s what I thought when someone threw herself on my very asleep self.  It’s easy to mess up with Keta.  She was saying good morning I reacted like someone was trying to kill me.  My reaction was just for a split second, but it was long enough.  She’s trying so hard to learn to cuddle and hug and learn what kind of touching is appropriate.  It really hurts those around her.  It’s sad, but physically painful too.  She mashes her head into my nose as hard as possible and grinds her sharp little elbows into whatever.  She laughs when someone, “Goes boom!” and either hugs tight enough to cut off blood supply or refuses to hug altogether.  Little steps for her, everyday.

Last night Keta and I stretched out a slinky and shook it a bit up and down.  Francine stood between us with her leg in the air like she was about to hop in and start jumping rope.  It was hilarious because as Bibi says, “You could hardly slip a piece of paper under her feet when she jumps.”  She sure knew what to just before that jumping part though.

30
Apr
12

rations

Last Monday when we went grocery shopping we understood that all the paperwork might not be ready for the Tuesday appointment (beginning the final part of the process to get home), but everyone responsible (here in DRC) promised it would be.  We have so many people hoping and praying for us to get home soon and we believed that if a person has a part in getting kids home to their families, that person would do all he or she could to make it happen as soon as possible, to help us out.  We knew that it would work out!  We bought food for about a week and a half, knowing we’d have to make one more small grocery purchase to see us through.  We were wrong about people here having the best interest of these kiddos in mind, about helping us out and doing what they said they’d do.  I have two very hungry and growing fast (thankfully!) girls who swim everyday making them even hungrier.  They’ve never been able to request more and it breaks my heart to not be able to give them as much more as they want.  I know this way is ok since they’re both doing so well and they likely don’t recognize what being full feels like anyway.  Makes me sad.  Keta is getting better at eating.  At first, she’d just inhale her food.  Eat fast or lose it!  She’s taking more time and getting more coordinated with a spoon.  Francine’s a bit more relaxed about the whole thing.

I am so looking forward to being able to run to the store for more eggs or bread or whatever if they happen to eat three meals worth of supplies at once.

30
Apr
12

plugged ears and napping

Common practice is to plug your nose when in the pool or other body of water, if you’re a kid.  I won’t name names, but one of my sisters still plugs her nose when she jumps in or goes underwater.  Hi Lindsay!  🙂 My daughter on the other hand plugs her ears.  Keta swam a few laps today with the assistance of her tube and nothing else.  She did great!  Francine rests her head against the back of her tube and just about falls asleep.  So relaxing!  It was time to try floating on our backs.  Francine went first and although she didn’t come close to floating on her own, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the water.  She was so relaxed I think given another few minutes she would have been out.  Her sister, on the other hand, was stiff as a board and tried to hold both her head and her legs out of the water.  She did not relax and enjoy and she thought her ears needed to be plugged.

 

 

29
Apr
12

prison workout

As a teacher I’m accustomed to being on my feet all day.  I also walk my dog (miss you Milo!) run on a treadmill a few times a week, ride my road bike for exercise and my slow bike for transportation.  Although not a health nut or in the best shape of my life, I’m pretty active.  The new box (which doesn’t feel like the new box anymore, just the box) doesn’t allow for that kind of activity.  In Lubumbashi we could walk around the grounds and around town just a bit.  Here, we can’t leave the grounds at all.   Here the grounds are lovely, but small and surrounded by a tall wall with razor wire on top.  All of this allows us to sleep at night, but not be really active.  I’ve started what is basically a prison workout, I googled it.