Thursday, January 31, 2013

Currently...


Loving: The mango in Tanzania. I previously thought the Philippines had the best mango in the universe. I had tasted Mexican mango and Hawaiian mango, but I never liked mango until I had one in the Philippines. Yesterday, I was dicing a mango for Eva and it was actually difficult for me to share it with her. She was standing at my feet, reaching up at me asking me for another piece faster than I could cut it. She loved it as much as I did. It was so sweet and juicy that I slurped up the juice leftover on the plate afterwards. Am I a horrible mother or was it just that good?

Wishing: Someone would hurry up and invent one of those human teleporter things so that I could see my family whenever I want. That will forever be the most difficult thing about living away from home.

Craving: Yesterday I was craving food from the Thai restaurant down the street from my house back in Hawaii. I'm not sure if there are any Thai restaurants here, but I would love some spring rolls and volcano rice right about now.

Missing: A lot of things. I miss being able to get in my truck and drive to the beach, or for a hike, or to the mall, even if I don't plan on buying anything. I miss hanging out with my friends whenever I want. I miss eggs that don't taste like fish. I miss Monster energy drinks. I miss Hawaii.

Reading: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I know, most people usually read The Fountainhead before they read Atlas Shrugged, but better late than never.

Watching: A lot of bootleg DVDs. My recent favorites have been Django, The Words, and Savages. We have the AFN network on our TV now (which is military-based cable for people living overseas), but it sucks so I hardly ever watch it. The commercials (which are all public service announcements) are sort of entertaining in an extremely annoying way.

Worrying: There quite a few stressors I face on the day-to-day, but I try not to dwell on them. I'm in East Africa... Hakuna Matata, right?

HK

Throwback Thursday: Coney Island

I'm usually more of a rural-type of girl than city girl, but I always have a blast in NYC and wonder what it'd be like to live there. Last time I was there it was the summer of 2010, and I was visiting my childhood best friend who was living in Brooklyn at the time. She happened to take me to Coney Island for the first (and only) time in my life. I loved all the shops and art and weird people. I adored all the colors. While I was there, I got my fortune read and had loads of fun just being silly. Here are a few pictures from my adventures on Coney Island...
Have a throwback/flashback post from this week? Share it below!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Touching Babies, Part 2

Remember when I wrote about touching babies a while back? How it's perfectly acceptable to touch strangers' babies where I come from? Well apparently in Tanzania it's on a-whole-nother level. For example, Daniel and I were eating dinner at a restaurant one night, when, without asking, one of the waitresses scooped Evita out of her highchair and carried her away. We watched the waitress take Eva to the payment counter, where some of the other girls were standing. They smiled at her, talked to her, laughed with her. They reached into a jar of cookie biscuits and gave her one. They passed her around when they had run to a table, or what not. Eva was having the time of her life. And me? Well, I was too. I was able to enjoy a quiet dinner and drink with my husband for the first time in a while. I like the sense of community child-rearing here. I feel like it provides for endless learning opportunities. For both of us.

Monday, January 28, 2013

quick update & a group giveaway

The past week has completely exhausting! I can't count the number of times I've moved before, but never have I had to unpack a house AND look after a baby. A walking baby, no less. Most of our stuff is finally washed and put away, and I finally feel like we're settling in. I can't tell you how nice it is to have my kitchen supplies, television, and clothes after almost 5 months without them. I can't tell you how happy I was when I looked out my window and saw this truck:
So I don't have any adventures to post about today; I've pretty much been confined in my house unpacking and organizing. However, I happen to be participating in a reader-appreciation group giveaway. It is hosted by 6 different bloggers, and there will be 6 different winners. There are some pretty sweet prizes, so check it out...

 use the link below to make your entry easy to count. And good luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eva: Week 46 (and 4/52 of 2013)

Evita Pilar, it seems like so much has happened in the last week. You are now walking all over the place. You can stand up, walk across the room, pick something up off the ground, and toddle all the way back across without stopping. You really got the hang of it! On the downside, you also got your first black eye this week when you fell and hit the side of the bed. :( It wasn't too bad and you only cried for a second, but you have a little bruise and raspberry from it. The pain was probably nothing compared to the THREE TEETH you have coming in. I think I can finally say you have your "first tooth," because the tip of it is completely protruding from your gums. It is the bottom left tooth, and the other two teeth that are starting to poke out are the two teeth to the right of it. You also added a new word to your vocabulary... "dog!" Funny it's another animal, huh? On Tuesday all your stuff from Hawaii finally arrived in Africa, so you've been enjoying playing with your old toys (and boxes). I'm so excited about all these changes! 

Eva by the Day:

New this Week:
-first tooth
-first black eye

Most of these pictures were taken in a hurry this week (I've been busier than ever), but this is my favorite for week 4 of 2013:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday: South Point

Sorry I haven't responded to any e-mails or comments in the past couple of days... our stuff is finally here! I've been extremely busy unpacking and trying to make this place feel like home. I have a few pictures to share for this week's Throwback, which is sort of a continuation of last week. This is South Point, the southernmost portion of the United States. It is located on the Big Island. Feel free to link up your throwback/flashback posts from this week! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ras Kutani

On Monday I went on the kind of adventure that I wish I could go on every day. The kind that feeds my Wanderlust gene. The kind that makes living in a place with no Monster energy drinks or Target all worth it.

A week after moving here I made my first friend, who I later learned is also a blogger... Destiny? I think yes... I don't have to feel so weird about taking a million pictures or spending too much time on my computer. Anyway, she SMSed me on Sunday asking me if I wanted to go to South Beach (apparently nobody here calls it "texting"). I, of course, was on board. Overboard, even. Last time we tried to go it was a big fat fail because of the insane traffic.

She swung by my house on Monday morning and we headed out. When we arrived at the port, the guard/ticketmaster told us in rough English that only the driver could remain in the vehicle on the ferry- the passengers had to get out and walk. After a few minutes of pleading and bribing, we lost the battle. I, and two of our friends, hopped out of the car and walked to the pedestrian-loading zone.

We were guided into a huge pavillion, packed with at least 300 people. We happened to be the only mzungus in sight. As I looked around, I felt like I made eye-contact with everyone there- because they were all staring at us. I, of course, was wearing tiny shorts and a v-neck (totally not appropriate for these types of situations, but I thought I'd be in the vehicle for it). I reached into my pocket and slid my Kershaw knife into the palm of my hand. Just in case.

It was extremely hot and humid in that pavilion. The thick air reeked of body odor. At least I didn't have to feel self-concious about the sweat I could feel trickling down my lower back. When they finally opened the doors to allow people on the ferry, I felt relief. We climbed aboard and found a seat by the rail. Just in case.

When we arrived, we really had no clue where we were going. We knew we wanted to go to the South side of the beach, where it is less crowded and more pristine, but we didn't know what roads to take or what landmarks to look for. It's not like we could just plug in the address in our navigation system. We don't have navigation systems in East Africa, at least not in our vehicles. To be fair, we could have used a map- but good luck finding one in the area. We did the next best thing and just kept driving straight south. We drove past mosques and mudhuts, schools and fruit stands. We drove and drove and drove and eventually the road ended. Should we bother going down the dirt road that follows? Why not...
The dirt road was treacherous and seemed like it would never end. It was littered with huge potholes and random rocks. We contemplated turning around several times, but I'm glad we didn't. After about an hour, we saw a sign for Amani Beach. We turned down another dirt road and eventually came up to a gate with a sign and a guard. It said that Amani Beach (which is also a resort) required reservations in advance. We tried to bribe the guard but failed (again). We had seen another sign at a fork in the road for Ras Kutani Beach, so we turned around and decided to try there. Same thing. Reservations only.
 So we tried another road. From where we were it looked like there was a huge drop off. One of our friends hopped out of the car to check out the scene and discovered it was just a really steep hill... leading straight to the beach! No gates or grumpy guards. It was if though we discovered treasure. We were sick of being in the car and desperate to jump in the ocean.
From the beach we could see cabanas in the distance. They belonged to that Amani Beach Resort to which we had just been denied access. Nobody was around, so we decided to post up under one anyway. We tried to go snorkeling but the water was too turbulent and we couldn't see anything. We explored the beach and cliffs while my friend's mom watched our stuff under the cabana. When we returned, she said the manager came up to her and asked her what we were doing there. And guess what? She talked him into letting us stay, AND enjoy all the amenities of the resort, including the very refreshing pool (and pool bar). We were the only people at the resort that day. It was fabulous.
We left around 3 or 4, so on the drive back we were able to see the hustle of the city as everyone was coming off work. I can't get over all the colors everyone here wears... it's so beautiful.
I look forward to taking another trip to South Beach sometime soon. Hopefully next time I'll spot one of the illusive monkeys that inhabit the island.

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