Archive for May, 2012

26
May
12

mom

How many people have a mom that is happy, even thankful, to drop everything and spend two and half months in a box in Africa without ever experiencing a moment of local culture or seeing any sights?  How many people could get along well enough with that mom to not want to hurt each other while they slept, going through this wonderful and extremely stressful extended period in such close and difficult circumstances?  Crazy amazing that anyone does.  We might be even after I pay for the therapy the trip will require.  Not really, I’m pretty impressed with our ability to hold it together.  Of course we’re constantly reminded of why we’re here and seeing two strong and healthy, thriving little girls makes it a gift, a blessing rather than a sacrifice or hardship.  Although we hoped to be home weeks ago, still hoped to be home earlier than ten weeks, now hope to be able to catch that ten week flight, if we had to do it again, we would, happily.  If this does stretch past ten weeks though, we’ll be taking turns crying in the shower.

We’re having outside fun with a bowl of water and towels.

25
May
12

bored

As a middle school teacher one of the things I hear from time to time from students–complaints about being bored.  Drives me nuts, and it’s not like I teach English or history or something else that is actually boring.  Just kidding fellow teachers.  Gripping, those nouns and verbs and all that stuff that happened ages ago.  😉     I teach science and science is fun.  Here in prison I’m exploring levels of boredom, which I am almost never at home.  At home, there’s that boredom when there’s stuff to do and you just don’t want to do it.  There’s that boredom in the middle of the night after a great three or four hours of sleep when it’s too early to get up.  That’s all I can think of that applies at home.  Here, not the case.  There’s the it’s nap time boredom and I just finished my seventh book on the Kindle this week.  There’s the this is going to be the exact same day as yesterday and the day before that and the day before that and the weeks of days before that.  There’s the we’re heading into the weekend when no one is working toward getting us home boredom, the only person I’ve had a conversation with in person for almost nine weeks is (it could be any single person for that period) my mom.  I’m so thankful she’s here!  Beyond that there’s a mind numbing boredom that defies description.  Then the girls wake up and it’s on to the next same thing we did yesterday afternoon, but somehow the boredom is gone and suddenly it’s the end of another day.  Today’s excitement…..hiding toddler squeeze food lids, a dozen of them, for Keta and Francine to find.  It’ all pretty wonderful for them and with them.  A tough time for them for sure, but when have they had more love and attention and food and toys and other great stuff?  Pizza tonight and Keta wants, “Big pieces!” and Francine wants, “Five, five pieces.”

We did just have the pizza.  Ordering was a bit of a fiasco, but worth it!  Keta did have big pieces, several, in fact.  Francine had five and loved it.  They both wanted pics of their pizza bellies.  Francine thinks her pizza belly bunt, belly button for those of you who don’t speak Francine, is hilarious.  Good times!

The new grounds crew.

25
May
12

first love

I had heights and weights from a few to several months prior to travel plus ages that I was pretty sure weren’t right, but I hoped were close.  It made deciding sizes of clothes to pack difficult and sizes of shoes an obsession.  With one exception for each of the girls, I packed hand me down shoes, easy to pack and easy to leave behind if they didn’t fit.  Francine’s tiny baby feet fit into most except the one exception.  Keta’s not tiny baby feet did not.  She ended up with one pair of flip flops and the exception to the hand me downs, a new pair of Geox tennis shoes from my favorite shoe store and summer employer, The Jackson Bootlegger (miss you!).  The flip flops no longer fit at all.  Thankfully the Geox started out too big.  She’s grown into them nicely.  Francine’s feet have grown a few sizes too, so I got out her Geox.  These new shoes are her first love.  She likes her new shoes more than she likes to sit on my lap or fix my hair, more than she likes her post nap cuddle, maybe more than she likes her snacks.  She shows everyone we’ve Skyped and puts them on as soon as her eyes are open in the morning.  It scares me, this love of shoes.  Thankfully we know people, have some connections.  Remembering fondly my closet, I can say she comes by it honestly.

Pajamas and the new shoes, ’cause I guess you just never know.

24
May
12

live entertainment

Today we spent hours outside watching the clean up of some coconut trees on the property.  We were given three small but delicious coconuts.  Yumma!  The girls re-enacted Bibi smashing them into one another to get a small crack in one and me pushing a spoon inside to pry the two sides apart.  There was a flood of coconut water onto the table.  Keta acts out the whole thing and explains most of it in English.  It was a fascinating show, the work in tree, not our coconut disassembly disabilities.  The expert didn’t wear shoes but wore a strap across him that he had made out of tree parts to keep him in the tree.  Happily, it worked.  The girls had a lot of “boom!”s and “whoa!”s for the guy who struck poses for the photos as the massive amounts of coconuts and branches hit the deck.  We don’t see that in Colorado, with coconuts anyway.

23
May
12

new shoes

We finally got news.  Sadly, not the good kind.

So the news wasn’t bad really, just not good.  Here’s brief recap….  Our embassy appointment is on April 24.  Fantastic, we’ll be home two to three weeks after!  Just after my birthday and maybe in time for mother’s day, plus no where near our worst case scenario departure date, perfect!!  No the appointment isn’t on the 24th, but everyone knows we’re here and is working hard to get us home.  We can kind of start embassy process and continue as corrected paperwork comes in.  No we can’t.  Embassy appointment moved and moved and moved.  And moved.  Each time we think, “Great, home soon.”  Never the case.  Finally embassy appointment and we hope to do post embassy stuff at the same time as visas are being processed.  Sorry, no we can’t, but we should have visas this week.  No we won’t, but we should on Monday.  Ok no, but we should on Tuesday as a phone wasn’t being answered in Lubumbashi, Wednesday at the latest.  Nope and nope.  The post visa stuff should take six business days and of course next week there is a holiday, so even if we get visas today we likely won’t be done with this red tape by our worst case scenario staying here ten weeks departure date.  I know everyone is just giving us their best guess and I really want that best guess, but this it-will-happen-no-it-won’t-yes-it-will-no-it-won’t for well over a month is really a morale killer.  Girls are fine and we’re all healthy and together.  Blessed.  But really, get us out of here!

new shoes story later

23
May
12

chickpeas and leopard high heels

Still.  No.  News.  I’ve had these kids for eight weeks.  One of the adoption hearings was in December of last year, the other shortly after.  So anyone with an issue has had time to say so.  No one has a problem with me having these two girls as daughters, taking custody of them, keeping them in prison.  Why is there a problem with me having them as daughters at home?  Isn’t that where we belong?  They will be the same girls with the same background whether we go home now or weeks from now (or weeks ago).   Vast numbers of people are massively concerned about piles of paperwork, but not so much about the welfare of “the child” that all the paperwork concerns.  It’s hard to make sense of.  OK.  Enough blah blah blah yuck stuff.

At home I eat a lot of rice with chickpeas simmered in a spicy sauces, Ethiopian, Indian, whatever.  No need to decide, have another tomorrow!  I’m not picky about my spicy sauces.  I have home-made flat bread with it and a nice dollop of thick tangy yogurt.  Delicious!  If I can have chai or green tea, even better.  Our recent grocery excursion allowed me to make this, sort of, here.  The girls love it.  I didn’t ask them if they wanted Indian food, I just gave them a small bowl of it.  I told them that what they were tasting was flavor and that color, that means there’s a spice or two.  I think it’s a new favorite.  Well, second favorite after pizza maybe.  I’m thrilled with it and Bibi played along.  No matter, we haven’t had plain noodles and toast for about four days! 🙂

Oh yeah.  We’re hurrying to unload the groceries from the trunk of our ride.  Apparently we were too enthusiastic in our bag grabbing.  We ended up with a pair of extremely high-heeled leopard shoes, size ten or larger.  The girls were helping unpack and put away groceries and were shocked (and delighted) to see the shoes.  Oops.  Sorry driver’s wife.

 

I was hoping in the time it took me to write this post I’d have some much anticipated news.  Nope.

 

21
May
12

there she is

Still no visas.  Maybe tomorrow.  After that, just one more hoop, just one more bit of red tape before I finally get to take these girls home.  They’ve waited a long time, and I don’t just mean eight weeks.  Sadly, the one remaining step takes six business days and if my luck holds there will be a holiday or two in there and my paperwork will get lost at least once along the way.  🙂

Everything, when spotted, gets a, “There she is!” out of the girls.  We  (some of us anyway) use it a lot when someone hides their eyes, “Where’s Keta?” or when someone comes around the corner or turns over in bed or turns to face someone.  Where is my photo book, there she is.  Where is the motocar taking us to get egg-ees and bread, there she is.

We had a successful grocery run.  You’d think Santa Claus had been around as excited as Keta and Francine were to help unpack the bags and see all the treasures.  How is it possible to be that excited about eggs, bread, apples and a roasted chicken?  They were thrilled.  Easy to please, those two.  Bibi and I invited our good friend Ms. Stella Artois for dinner, so we’re excited too.

I don’t know what this was about.

Happy girls!