26 November 2013

Getting Ready for the Holidays!

How to celebrate this time of year has been a struggle for me, especially since I moved to Africa, but this year I'm optimistic that we'll have a really special time.  First of all, Innocent is home with us until after the New Year, and he's at the perfect age for getting excited about celebrations and such.  Second, I have a lot more resources for getting and cooking special food and having presents and such.  Third, we got a bounty of goodness in the trunks from the States, including Christmas stockings and ornaments and gingerbread cookie mixes.

One of the best things, though, is a bunch of friends to celebrate with.  This week being Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of all), we have planned a big party at our house.  Eric and Liz are coming with their two boys and her pregnant stomach.  Bill and Ledeen are coming with their two kids and her pregnant stomach.  Brandon and his wife (whose name I simply never remember) are coming with their son.  The Dutch doctors, Pim and Yvonne, are coming with their daughter...all very excited to experience their first American Thanksgiving.  It's going to be really fun and we've even been promised a pumpkin pie (although none of us felt up to finding, prepping and cooking a whole turkey), and the only downside is that Fred is on the road.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I've been making menus and delegating various cooking.  I practiced roasting a chicken, my first, and learned a valuable lesson about how the different anatomy of an "athletic" African chicken makes for a little different cooking experience than an obese, double D American chicken.  Trying to explain to Adera, our house help, about the concept of "potluck" seemed to take some of the fear out of her eyes after I told her that four other families were coming for a party on Thursday.  The timing of the holiday has also been auspicious, since Innocent and I have had to have a couple of conversations about being thankful for what we have and what people do for us.

I'll try to remember to take some photos on Thursday so that you all can see how we do Thanksgiving in Tanzania.  Should be quite a spread and I know that there are three pregnant ladies very excited to tuck into it!

(As soon as Thanksgiving is over I'm going to finalize the Advent calendar I've been working on for Innocent.  I'll post about that next week.)

Happy Thanksgiving (and Hanukah!) to all our friends!

14 November 2013

Back at Home, Safe and Sound!

Unfortunately for many of you who count on our blog for updates and information, I find it difficult to sit down and write updates while we're in the midst of busy seasons, hence the lack of updates since I announced the Lahash trip.  I left home on 14 October and arrived back home on 13 November, making it just about one month that I was on the road.  I met the Lahash team in Kampala, Uganda, leaving Wesley and Fred home alone for the first time!  They met us in Mwanza when we came down from Uganda two weeks ago, and Wesley traveled with me to Shinyanga and Dodoma.

Here are some links to photos and blog posts from the trip:

Lahash 2013 Travel Photo Album 

18th October blog post - We've Arrived (photo of me unpacking some of the many goodies you people sent us!)

22nd October blog post - Answered Prayers (photo of me sitting in a meeting with our partners taking notes)

30th October blog post - An Inside Look (written by me!!)
Video Post of the trip - (funny moments and outtakes that show what life on the road is like!)

Aaaand, just in case you missed it...
We made our big announcement a few weeks ago on Facebook...we're expecting another baby in February!  We had been keeping it a secret for the Lahash team (who were rather disappointingly polite when I saw them, fearing to mention the giant bulge around my midsection, just in case...), but it's all official and out in the open now, both in terms of the news and the bump!