Friday, December 29, 2006

holiday fun

christmas 06

great time in nj. we spent christmas with just mom, jim, my sister and chris's parents. but on the 26th the whole family came down to exchange gifts and celebrate grandmom's 80th birthday. everyone was in good spirits and it was a lot of fun. i still can't get over how old my nieces are getting!

Friday, December 22, 2006

vacation! oh yea, baby!

the club-wide holiday pot-lucks are over. we've taken all the kids roller skating (which was really fun, i might add). we've relocated our office. i've handed in my reports. had our evaluation. everything is pretty much done. now it's vacation time and i can't be more excited.

the in-laws come in tonight. we'll go out to eat for chris's 30th! birthday. then tomorrow we're off (in the dark, wee hours of the night) to my parents' house. i'm just so excited to not have anything really pressing to do today. pack a little, a few errands, but other than that i'd like to read for as much of the day as i can. vacation is loverly.

Monday, December 18, 2006

4th annual

the gang

our christmas party was this saturday. even though our numbers were drastically down this year (only about 22, as opposed to over double that last year), we still feel it was a successfull evening. the good thing about having so few people is you get to talk to pretty much everybody.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

gimme some fried chicken


i don't know if chris is going to post about this (he's probably already composed one but hasn't gotten around to publishing it), but this past weekend he and i went to our 2nd concert in a month. that's probably doesn't seem like a lot for folks who like music as much as we (well, chris) do. if you read a few weeks ago you heard mention of a concert over thanksgiving. we went to see jimbo mathus at hal and mal's in jackson, ms. see fuzzy's post to see pictures and for good links. then this weekend we went to the new brookland tavern here in good ol' cola town to see southern culture on the skids. as expected, it was a great show. the vocals could've been louder, but we'll forgive them for that (since it wasn't really the scots' fault). i've been listening to their hillbilly-meets-surfer music since i met chris and he introduced me to them. they're really fun and funny, singing about double wides, gold-digging, big hair and a myriad of other "red-necky" things. i loved the bass player, mary; she was was so tough looking yet had really small hands.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

ready for the holidays

chistmas 06

we put our tree up friday night and i spent all day saturday baking cookies. so i guess we're all set. much to my surprise, mokey hasn't really bothered the tree yet. we'll see what happens when we're gone all day at work.

but i think this was a cozy scene with her all curled up next to the tree. she did this all day while i baked. i was jealous.

Friday, December 08, 2006

gift that gives back

this holiday season, give a gift of sustainability and equality. or something like that. click of the heifer box on the right of this page and help me raise money for those in need. or you can go right to my donations page here. read more about heifer international.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


i'm sorry i've not been very diligent in posting lately. i just honestly don't have anything to say. life's been pretty boring lately. busy, but boring. i work a lot and that's about it. doesn't make for much blog reading.

but! we've just booked a weekend vacation over new year's that i'm so psyched about! i'd say i've not taken a vacation in forever but then everyone would say what about africa. but my response would be that that was not really a vacation. but it'd be hard to argue. so i'll just say i've not taken a relaxation-focused vacation in forever. so this is going to be so fun!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

rest in peace....

abraham fishington reid. we knew he wasn't doing too well for the past few weeks. today he finally swam his last lap. well, actually he's not been swimming for a while now, just floating lifelessly. but may he float on forever in the heavens.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving recap

Thanksgiving has come and gone in a whirl. I really enjoyed the time off and had a great time with the extendeds. We, of course, have not downloaded our pictures yet. Fuzzy, who is generally more on the ball about these things than we are has his pictures here. He's got some really good shots of the concert we went to on Friday night and of the town of Vicksburg as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

one more day and I'm home-free! Can't wait for my 5 day vacation. Have a happy tofurkey day, y'all.

if you're in columbia, check out live with lucas on thanksgiving morning and you'll see some of my kids stuffing our new bus with donated canned goods.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

if i had had a camera...

with me this weekend there would be a picture posted here of chris riding a mini tricycle tractor. knees to his ears and working up a sweat to get the thing moving around the track. this weekend we went to a corn maze to, you know, do a maze. they had children's tricycles for kids to race around a small tire-encrusted race track. brian, chris and nicole thought it would be funny to get on and race around with some kids. it was funny. but without a picture and just this story on the internet i guess it's not really that funny. but take my word for it laughs were had.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the vote has been tallied

and even though judging by the comments on my vote post it looks like the 30th would've won out, i have to inform you that we're going to go with the 16th. i said you could vote, but i didn't say your vote would count.

no, i'm just kidding about that comment. i won't get into all the specifics here but we have decided to go with the 30th. BUT to kaiser and paula, i'd love to get together with you guys on the 30th or over new years or something if you're going to be around or, in kais's case, come down. please, please, please visit! i'd love to see you both.

but, let it be known--reid 4th anniversary christmas party, saturday, december 16th, 7:00 PM. clothing optional.* for those who have attended in years past, you know the details. for those who haven't and want to come, let me know and i'll give you the specifics.

*ok, i'm just kidding about the clothing part too. please wear clothes.

the vote has been tallied

and even though judging by the comments on my vote post it looks like the 30th would've won out, i have to inform you that we're going to go with the 16th. i said you could vote, but i didn't say your vote would count.

no, i'm just kidding about that comment. i won't get into all the specifics here but we have decided to go with the 30th. BUT to kaiser and paula, i'd love to get together with you guys on the 30th or over new years or something if you're going to be around or, in kais's case, come down. please, please, please visit! i'd love to see you both.

but, let it be known--reid 4th anniversary christmas party, saturday, december 16th, 7:00 PM. clothing optional.* for those who have attended in years past, you know the details. for those who haven't and want to come, let me know and i'll give you the specifics.

*ok, i'm just kidding about the clothing part too. please wear clothes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

a whale of a day!

3 of the 5 beluga whales

on saturday chris and i and our 2 friends from charlotte ventured west to visit the georgia aquarium. despite the cost, which i ranted about a while back, we were able to attend (thanks to the generous donation of my brother and his family) and found it to be TOTALLY worth the fee! the whole thing was way cool and we all (if i can speak for the bunch) were impressed by the artistry of the exhibit designs.

here are a few choice pictures. chris will be posting some video in the near future.

jelly fish

underpass to the whale shark!

1 of 2 whale sharks (and other fish)


Friday, November 03, 2006

vote NOW!

ok, forget about the vote on tuesday*. you need to vote NOW.

the fourth annual reid christmas party is up for debate. we usually hold it a week or 2 before christmas. but this year, with chris's alternating saturday schedule and my overall constant craziness, coupled with friends having plans and other things, we're not sure when to hold it. we were originally thinking of the 16th. but that seems to be a night when a lot of folks have plans. plus, sometimes the rush before christmas is just so stressfull, what with cookies to bake, presents to wrap, work parties, church parties, etc. so then i was thinking what about december 30. the christmas rush will be over and it might be a little easier to have a party then. but it is the day before new years eve, so folks might want to hold out on partying until the following night.

so this is where you, my faithful bloggers and blog readers, have a vote. a very important vote. use it wisely. comment and let me know your vote for the 4th annual. the options up on the table at this point are saturday the 16th or saturday the 30th.

*i didn't really mean "forget about the vote on tuesday" and DON'T vote. i just mean vote here and vote again on tuesday. hopefully your voice will be heard in both important elections.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

birthday girl

maria & dara

happy birthday, maria.(that's the big one rolling around on the floor, not the little one.)


ok, what happened to halloween, y'all? when i grew up scores of kids knocked on our door starting at like 4:30 and not stopping until 10:00 or whenever the candy ran out, whichever happened first. this year, when we live in a nice little neighborhood, no trick-or-treaters! even last year (and the few years prior) when we lived in graduate housing we at least had 2 or 3 kids stop by. kids suck this year!

so in honor of halloween and no trick-or-treaters, i think i'll eat a kit-kat (i better get started because we have 2 bags of candy. this, just in time for when chris and i were going to give up refined sugar! sweet!).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

halloween hooliganism


last night chris and i went up to north south carolina to a party of some friends of our friends, adam and sara. we've not dressed up in years. actually, i think it was in 2004 at said adam and sara's house that we last dressed up, as publisher's clearing house winners.

anyways, we donned some costumes and had a good time. thanks for those suggestions, by the way.

chris posted about it already if you're curious what we are. and he's got some other fun pictures. but i wanted to add this video. it may not look as funny as i thought it was at the time. that's jello brain for those who really want to know. pretty gross.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

born again

it's a strange thing. for the past 2 weeks our fish, abe, keeps going through a process of almost dying and then coming back to life again. he will be curled up at the bottom of his bowl, turned in on himself, totally flaky scales, and barely moving. we did some googling, found some potential problems and tried various things. he'd be okay for a few days and then go back to half-dead fish. for the past week, every time i walk by the bowl i tap on it to see if he's still alive, he’d move a bit and i'm like, "ok, still alive." in some ways i started wishing he would die because it was so sad to see him just laying there and waiting for him to be gone. but then last night i came home and abe was swimming at the top of his tank. apparently, the fish whisperer did something and brought him back to life, at least for now.

Monday, October 23, 2006

for the record

i just have to say i was wrong.

yup. wrong. i admit.

i have been so dreading going back to work today. and now that it's done and over with i see that i was just being a worry-wart, and for no real reason. i mean, seriously, folks. i was like d-r-e-a-d-i-n-g, dreading it. dreams about work. thoughts all weekend of it. avoiding phone calls on the work cell and emails. all because i though it would just be chaos when i got back.

and you guessed it (well actually i told you); i was totally wrong. today was great. the staff had everything in order. without me there they really had to step up to the plate and handle daily operations, which is exactly how it should be. no major mishaps (the few we had i already knew about). it was fabulous.

that, and i already got 2 things checked off my "to do" list from ideas i acquired from my training.

so, wow. how great.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

calling for submissions

chris and i have been invited to a halloween party next weekend. we've not done the whole dress-up-for-halloween thing for a few years now, so it's about time we got back into the groove. i've never been too good at it myself, being that i'm not very creative but extremely tight with my money. but as i was saying, we have this party to go to. the theme is quentin tarantino movies. we've got a few ideas we're simmering about, but as much as we've been racking our brains we've not come up with anything that really knocks or socks off. i'll steal anyone's idea if it's placed here and we find it fabulously witty!

double vision

no, you weren't seeing double. for a while there were 2 of the same posts up. i didn't even know about that until chris told me yesterday. how strange. but if you didn't notice then you'll have no idea what i'm talking about because i fixed it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

fancy living

In my last post I said I was a wallflower and that I would stay inside my hotel room by myself for the night. Well, I wanted to let you all know (since I know you've been dying to find out what I did for the rest of the week) I actually went out that night (Tuesday) as well as for the rest of my nights in Atlanta. After blogging and checking my email on Tuesday I went down for the free drinks in the hotel and ran across a few folks from the club. Three of us went out here for dinner. It was not as fancy as the website makes it out. But it was expensive and the food was really good. We figured, what the hey, we were getting reimbursed for it.

Then Wednesday night everyone in the club was taken out to dinner here by our trainer. This place was also really fancy and expensive. I had a glass of wine and an awesome vegetable plate with squash, cous cous, curried cauliflower, the best baked potato ever, and one other veggie that’s escaped my memory. We were living the high life, I’ll tell ya’.

Then yesterday I ended up the week of training by having dinner with my aunt Mary. I stopped my high-life-livin’ there and we went cafeteria-style, as Aunt Mary always does. But it was still good food and good company.

I’m home now and trying to keep my fantasy living alive by taking a comp day from work. Well, I was "forced" to take a comp day because I’ve been working so much, or so they said. So I will try my best to avoid my email and cell phone today. I’ve already heard the phone ringing and have sent a few messages out, so we'll see how well I stick to that. But it's a good goal to have.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the learning club

completed day one of my training. it's been fairly "training-like," you know, very covey-like, which is fine. it's always good to remind myself of some of those things. the intersting thing is to see and fully realize how big the organization really is. i found out some intersting things to look into for overseas career advancement. you know that's totally cool.

dinner on our own tonight. went out last night for dinner with trea and the cousins. after driving around for freakin' forever we ate at the best mexican restaurant ever*! so i may just do take-out and stay in the room tonight. i'm such a wall-flower.

*or so the band claims it's the best mexican ever. i do think they, of all people, would know, being that when we eat out i think i've only even eaten mexican food with them. the restaurant was aptly named "el torrero." i'll admit it was good. and yes, peter, the guac was excellent. but i can't honestly say it was the best just because i don't know what i would say is the best mexican. but it was good.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


this weekend i had a nice balance of "girly" stuff and...well...the-opposite-of-girly-stuff stuff.

on saturday i went to the mall to look for some fall/winter things i've been needing. following the mall i went to lowes and bought various sorts of weather stripping and plastic window coverings. (our house is rather drafty so i'm trying to find cost-effective ways to insulate a home that is not ours to keep.) then i got to go home and install all this fun stuff. it's not like it was that hard, or all that fun really. but i felt useful and it is keeping my hopes going that we won't have another astronomical electric bill. then yesterday evening i followed all this excitement up with a mary kay pedicure party at one of my staff member's homes. i don't usually go to those sorts of things. (in fact i usually don't just NOT go, i avoid them like the plague.) but it was actually enjoyable and i didn't feel pressured into buying anything. AND i went home with really soft feet!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

2 things i like

1) that i paid $1.98 for gas today

2) that i'm going on a "vacation" to atlanta next week.

* ok, i'm not going on a vacation. i'm actually going for a training. but i'm really excited about being a big girl and getting my own hotel room for the week where there's a tv and perhaps (so i've heard) a jacuzzi.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

blustery weekend

new fridge

Ok, so it isn’t really "blustery," exactly. But for South Carolina, it's turned chilly! And for now I'm loving it. Though we've already realized that our apartment is going to be freezing this winter because it does not keep the heat.

Saturday Chris and I got up at the crack of dawn (ok, at the crack of 9 AM) and went for a bike ride. It’s a good thing we did it then because it ended up raining the rest of the weekend. But while we were out the sky was gorgeous and we really had a good time. We’re still trying to pick out names for our new bikes. I’m leaning toward Roger for mine and Chris is leaning toward Apple Scruffs (don’t ask). But we’ll let you all know when the important decision has been definitely made.

We spent the rest of Saturday waiting around for the landlord to come by with our new fridge. We were supposed to get it last weekend but that never happened and we had been expectantly waiting ever since. Then last night we went to 2 (that’s right TWO) parties in one evening. One was a work function for Chris. It was held at the Keenan House, which was beautiful but really chilly. We followed that party up with a trip to northeast Columbia to a housewarming for a co-worker and friend of mine.

Today was the usual weekend stuff-laundry, grocery shopping (a big one since we’ve not gone in 2 weeks!) and cooking. I love the smell of cooking in the house on a cold, rainy day. I made pasta fagioli and cornbread. It was awesome!

Friday, October 06, 2006

15 acres/ year = 3.3 planets

check out this link to see how many acres a year it takes to sustain your eating/living habits and how many planets we would need to sustain that habit if everyone on earth lived like you. i thought i was doing good. but obviously i could be doing a lot better!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the family that plays together...

...stays together.

chris and i have been having fun playing together lately. not that we've not played together in the past. but it seems like we don't have much free time anymore so we try to do fun stuff more often and take advantage of time together. you know.

last week we did face masks!


this sunday we took a 6.6 mile walk in congaree swamp.

trees in congaree
chris at congaree

and tonight we purchased bikes so we can have more adventures together!

we're not the only ones to have recently bought bikes though.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

cheese and hummus

For the past year or so every couple of months I get together with a group of women friends and acquaintances to hang out, watch a movie, and mostly eat good food. Last night we watched the lake house at brook’s new home. In my opinion it was a pretty bad movie, like many of the movies we watch. But when you watch it together with a bunch of women it somehow turned a bad movie into a good one. I mean, the concept is totally preposterous and it’s totally cheesy, but yet somehow if you willingly suspend your disbelief you can get wrapped up in it and find yourself rooting for Alex and Kate to get together. And I guess that’s what they want you to do. So it was fun. Both the movie and the gathering of women.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

this change was hard

i had my first driving lesson today, as i mentioned previously that i would. halima and i headed out with me driving toward a cemetary at a few minutes before 7:00 this evening to catch as much driving time as we could before sunset. we pulled in just as it started to rain and halima commented that the rain was "no good for driving." but we shrugged it off and swapped spots in the car. she reversed out of the parking spot. turned around and started to head down the road. not 25 feet i noticed a weird rumble. "hold on. stop the car," i said to halima. opened my door and...a flat tire. that's right! totally bald. so instead of a driving lesson halima got a tire-changing lesson. we did really well too, except the bolts were too tight and we couldn't get them off. i called chris to come get us but in the meantime a nice stranger who just happened to be in the cemetary at dark got the bolts off and finished the change.

next lesson, saturday evening.

Monday, September 25, 2006

2 posts in 2 days! i'm back y'all

rundown of the day.

i'm sitting in the library/chris's work using their fabulous wi-fi. though for some reason i can't get on my remote server. so that limits the amount of work i can do, which i'm trying to think is a good thing.

it was a fairly good day. i only cried once. but it was in the office of my big boss and our HR person. i think they really felt for me and the struggles i've been having and they hopefully are going to step in on my behalf to ensure that things get a little better. that's all i'll say about that.

yea, today was a good day. cry at the start, not at the end. and no upset stomach.

who needs addictions?


those of you who know me well know that every morning i have a cup of coffee. not only do i have a cup of coffee every morning, but i religiously have a cup of coffee each morning. i set everything up the night before so that all i have to do is push a button in the morning and viola! instant awakeness.

well, for the past few weeks i've been having an upset stomach every morning. i thought maybe it was anxiety. but i decided this weekend to do without the coffee. so for 2 days i went caffeine-free! for the first time in probably 10 years. and i did okay. i think i might make a habit of it. i did have 1/2 a cup this morning just to put a little pep in my step. but i'm really thinking of just doing without it. for reals.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


storefronts-Dodoma, TZ

man, i blogged more when i was in africa than i do now. it's not from lack of thinking about it. i'm just either working or brain dead and really haven't been in the mood to blog. thought about giving it up all together but then i feel like once i start something i should see it through.

so i'm back. with a picture from africa. as the title states, a store front in dodoma.

things of note lately? i'm going to be teaching a somali woman how to drive next week. that should be fun. or an adventure at least.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

advice from a 10 year-old vet

"Well that is how cats are.You have to be strict when she is bad,and
you have to play with her and spend time with her.Try and set some
rules,like no shredding papers.If she doesn't listen,then hold her up
to the papers or whatever and say no! Bad cat! It might sound mean
but it works and it doesn't harm her."

*this was an email in response to a message i sent my 10 year-old niece telling her about how our cat is so cute but she's a terror. i thought it was particularly good advice. points well-taken, doc.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

metros are some of my favorite places

Got at!

thanks for the link, fuzzy. i've been on more metros than i actually thought i would've. too bad the city i now live in doesn't have one.

Friday, September 01, 2006


i'm sick for the long weekend. suckeroo.

i guess that's my body saying, "hey girl, get some rest!"

and the cat's going, "yea! it's cuddle time."

i guess i can deal with that.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

what we came home with

despite me not really wanting a kitten, chris and i came home with one yesterday afternoon. project pet had no cats over 12 weeks at this petsmart. and i was taken with this tortoise-shelled one.


we renamed her moki (from fraggle rock). and pretty much all she's done is hide under the couch and meow (a lot).


in other news, i finally got up the nerve (or got fed up enough) to cut my hair off again. it's not been short since before we lived in columbia. i am pretty pleased with it.



Saturday, August 26, 2006

i'm so lame

i've totally pulled a queen d and not posted in, like, forever. i hope this isn't going to set the tone for the next few months but i have the feeling that it will be pretty lame on this blog for a while.

to give a quick update:

i took a break from working last weekend and went to charleston to meet theresa and zoltan, who were in hilton head on vacation. theresa blogged about it here. we had a great time seeing them, as always. good folks.

work work work this week.

good-bye party for g last night. he leaves for seminary on wednesday. not an overly sappy party, but the sentiment was definitely there that he will be missed.

today, chris and i are heading out to cut my hair and get a cat. in both cases, i don't know what we'll come back with.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

first day of program? check!

back when i was in college in ny i worked for a settlement house called grand street. one summer i was a counselor with a summer camp and i remember my first day with the kids as one of the most chaotic days of my life. i went home after that first day, layed on my bed and staired at the wall for close to an hour, too exhausted to sleep and too jittery to think.

this is how i thought it'd feel after our first day of program yesterday. but much to my delight it was nothing like that first day at grand street's summer camp. my staff was amazing! they kept the kids having fun and under control. the kids had a great time and even did their homework voluntarily. now i know not all days will be like this, but this is a great start!

now, if we could just get our technology up and running! that's where the bottleneck is.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

beauty academy of kabul

my new-ish friend, angela, sent an email this week inviting some of the ladies out to see this movie at the nick. i put it in my head that i wanted to see it ever since i heard a report about it on NPR. plus, it's the night before the big day, as i just stated, so i thought it'd do me some good to get out.

this was a really interesting movie, especially as someone who has aspirations of moving and working abroad. i'd definitely recommend it. the typically-opinionated american chauvenism is well-stated and should remind us all that our ways and views are not always the ways and views of others, nor are they always the best. however, the documentary is also a reminder that even the smallest things that people do to help others can create real and lasting change. both should be lessons for us all.

program starts tomorrow

i've been fairly vacant from my blog lately because i've been just been working pretty much all the time. and the few precious minutes a day that i'm not working i've wanted nothing to do with a computer. plus, there's really not too much to talk about other than the hum-drum of work. it's been fairly boring. well, not boring to me, but the retelling would be boring.

but at 2:35 PM tomorrow our club's doors open and we'll have about 100 11-14 year olds wanting to be "entertained" for the after-school hours. i think we're ready. as ready as we can be. so here's to a few weeks more of chaos!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

happy holidays

i got a card through interoffice mail today at work. it was a christmas card. strange.

or maybe i just needed a little holiday cheer.

or something

my brother (well actually his company) won some award from mac. that's about all i can say about it because it's all over my head, and when i looked for a link to provide on this post (and to illucidate his dumb sister) my brother had so many hits i just didn't feel like sorting through them all.

but let's just say that last night it was announced that he won an award from apple for the best workflow design in a certain catergory. perhaps he can give more info on a comment??

Sunday, August 06, 2006

erica and fuzzy wedding pictures

can be found here. you might want to read chris's blurb about his thoughts and events on the wedding. he pretty much said it all.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

thanks, new job for the fun outing!

from the city that gives you the the gamecocks and cocky, meet the blowfish. this is blowie. (i wouldn't make this stuff up!)


Sunday, July 30, 2006


we're in chicago for erica and fuzzy's wedding. they got hitched yesterday without a hitch. erica was beautiful. fuzzy was dapper. and despite the record heat both inside the loft and outside on the street, all went well and a good time was had.

we'll post pictures when we return and i'm sure fuzzy will post some too soon. check out his flickr pictures of the rehearsal and dinner at their place.

Monday, July 24, 2006

amsterdam heeft 't


for those of you who didn't know. we got a bonus country into our trip abroad last month. we got about 5 whole hours in amsterdam during the bright and early time of 5:30 AM to 10:30 AM. once we figured out how to buy a train ticket and got on the right train going in the right direction, it turned out to be a really good time to see the city because it was "rush hour" and we could see how folks commute--via bike! it was so quiet and peaceful. dads and kids and stylish young women in cowboy boots rode through the city on bikes with little baskets on the front. plus i got a cappuccino and it was really good.

all in all we only spent about an hour walking around. but i'm glad to have seen it. here are just a few of our pictures.



Sunday, July 23, 2006

blast from the past


i went to charleston yesterday to see my high school friend, flo. we hadn't seen or spoken to each other in probably over 8 years. but we reconnected again and had a great time catching up on our lives. i won't say it was like old times again because, well simply put, the old times were a little crazy. but i will say it was like no time had passed. it's amazing how we've missed so much of each other's lives yet i still get the feeling that she's an instrumental part of my life.

oh, and i look a little strung out in this photo because i was trying to explain to an 8 year old how to work the camera so he could take our picture. not a bad shot, though, given it was taken by a child whose hands were almost too small to hold the camera.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

day 3-ish on the new job

folkses been asking how works going. so i thought i'd let you all know's going. and going. and going. i gave my resignation and 2 weeks notice at the old place and they agreed to "release" me before those 2 weeks so long as i completed a few tasks. of course those tasks are time consuming and i'm freaked out about how to get it all done. but in any event, i've been working the 2 jobs this week and probably will again next week and i'm kind of running around trying to do all things for all people. but rest assured that soon, very soon, my friends, i will be down to one job. and that one job, as far as i can see, is absolutely fabulous. i love it already and am so happy to have made this choice.

Friday, July 14, 2006

africa story 2 - greetings

preschool cuties-Dar es Salaam

one of the things that i really liked about tanzania was the formal greetings that they all had with each other and the level of respect that seems to still be there between elders and people of...well...high respect. i sound like an old rambling grumpy when i say this. "kids have no respect these days." but that's not really what i mean. in east africa (and, again, in many other parts of the world too) there is a protocall for greeting certain people. and it's just really cool to see this play out in society.

on our first day in east africa, while we were touring the "suburbs" of dar es salaam ("dar") with our friend jackie, we would pass by kids and they would genuflect just a little and say "chicamo." and we were supposed to respond "madahaba." it's a greeting that one gives to their elders or anyone of respect. it was just so cool to have someone sort of show that respect so openly and to greet people they didn't know in such an open manner. additionally, when we were staying with a family in mwanza, there was a 100 year old grandfather who resided in the house. he spoke no english at all (in fact he really didn't speak that much in general) and i spoke very little swahili. but i knew that every time i walked into the house i could say "chicamo" to him and he would say "madahaba." it felt good that eventhough we really couldn't communicate, i could still show that respect to him for being my elder and i could humble myself that way.

the above picture was taken during said tour of dar. it is of a classroom of preschool/day care students. when we walked in jackie explained who we were and asked the teacher if we could visit for a minute. when we walked in the room the children immediately stood up and said in unison "good morning, uncle" (to chris), awaited a response, sat down, stood back up again and said to me "good morning, auntie.' it was nearly one of the most adorable things i've ever seen.

clear as mud

i guess i can make it public now that the bosses have been told and the job's been verbally accepted. as of monday (or 2 weeks from monday) i'll have a new job. i think i'll unofficially start monday but i told my current employer i'd give them 2 weeks if they needed it. so technically i'll be doing both for 2 weeks.

this new job is a big deal for me, a huge step up in responsibility. i'll be the director of an afterschool program and will be responsible for all the components of the program which will see over 100 students 5 days a week. plus i'll coordinate some other pieces of the grant, like an adult literacy component and some other "stuff." you know how that goes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

first things first

so in typical me-fashion, i'll start with the crapper.

this is a picture chris didn't post on his picture stream of photos because he felt it was crude to have a toilet in your album. but i think it's interesting. so here it is, a typical african low toilet. not unlike toilets in many other countries. even if you've never seen or used one of these, you can probably figure out how one would use such a thing. this particular home had no running water so the yellow bucket was filled with water. you took the blue cup, filled it with water from the bucket and then slushed it into the toilet. amazingly, it worked! and guess what? very little water waste, unlike our american toilets!

it was surprisingly not hard and not gross (unless, of course, you're riding in a train and there is simply a hole in the ground leading to the train tracks and feces and such spread all over the compartment because of the rocking of the train.). for the most part these "swahili toilets" were the kinds that were in people's homes and in public places. however, wherever westerners frequented (i.e. missionary homes, fancier restaurants, hotels) they had our "normal" high toilets.

Monday, July 10, 2006

time for a change

i'm not very good with big changes. so i've only changed my blog's cloths a little bit. i think i like the subtle difference though.

and, no offense to fuzzy but i took him off as contributor for now. i wanted my profile picture back. i think it's cute. we can add you again, buddy, the next time around.

i've also added our pictures from africa in the toolbar to the right. most of you have probably already seen these on chris's blog (if not, check out his post). if you've seen them then you'll know that these are not all of them. to see all 375+ photos and to get the complete, personal story, you'll have to contact me to schedule a visit.

vacation #2

the ladies

i just got back last night from a second, shorter vacation. my brother and his family were in the outer banks of nc for a week and invited me to come up for a few days since it was so close to columbia (or so i thought!). once i realized i'd be half way home, i decided to drive another 5 hours to visit my mom and step-dad in nj. another quick visit there with an appearance by my sister, but it was worth it.

i'm home now and have no other vacations planned...well at least not until the wedding of the year which is in less than 3 weeks! the bonus, though, is i still have 1 more week until i have to go back to work! woohoo! so i'll be home this week catching up on all the things that i neglected for the past 4 weeks. this'll make me want to go back to work come next monday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

where have i been?

well, since you asked, i'm in new jersey. yes, i know i just returned from africa. but now i'm in nj and before this i was in north carolina. and before that i was sick. and i'm still a little sick. at least i still have a sore throat. but the sore throat has not kept me from blogging; the traveling has. so that's where i've been.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

picts and stories

chris posted a few snipets of stories and a couple of pictures of our trip here. i'm still planning on saying a few more things but just haven't had time yet. i originally thought i'd recooperated really well from jet-lag. but then yesterday i came down with some bug and have been down for the count until this afternoon. i'm on the road again tomorrow to the NC coast to visit some family and then, since i'll be a good chunck of the way there, i'll head up to NJ to my mom's. travelin' fool!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

community development

when we left for our trip 3 weeks ago the other apartment in our duplex was not rented. it had already been vacant for a few months so i figured we'd come home to new neighbors and i prayed they'd be nice folks, since we share front and back stoops as well as a wall.

so when we pulled into the driveway last night and found a new car parkec next door a little pit formed in my stomach. i hope these people are nice and respectful. then, at 10:30ish this morning we get a knock on our door and it's our new neighbors, kendra and her sons caleb and judah, stopping by to say welcome back. they're friends of ours from our old apt who we told about the place! not only that but they had a home made breakfast for us because they figured (correctly) that we had no food!

i think this'll work out just fine.

back home

lake victoria at nassa outside mwanza

after approximately 30 hours of traveling, we made it back to columbia last night at about 8:30 PM. needless to say, we were exhausted. yesterday morning we were in amsterdam; the morning before that we were in nairobi. and we didn't get much sleep in between. we had a full day in nairobi on monday because our flight didn't leave until 10:00 PM. and then we flew overnight to amsterdam. we had a 5 hour lay over there so we left the airport and took the train into the center of town. we got on the wrong train though, so by the time we got into town we only had about 1 hour to walk around, but that's okay because we were so tired and our feet hurt already from our walking in nairobi. so we saw a few streets, got a cappuccino and a pastry (yum!) and then headed back to the airport. turned out our flight was delayed about an hour though. so we ended up getting into atlanta late and missing our connecting into columbia. and can i just state for the record that atlanta's airport sucks! but they did get us onto the next flight out, which was technically only an hour later. but it too was delayed so we left about 1 hour 45 minutes later than originally anticipated which isn't too bad. but when you've been traveling that long and you're so tired it seemed like a lifetime.

thanks to margaret who was waiting for us patiently at the airport to drive us home.

i'm feeling pretty rested today, but chris is still dragging. but we're slowly going through out pictures and will post them somehow on the respective blogs. we're thinking we'll post them all as an album in one location and then i would like to write up accounts and stories about some individual pictures at my site. so anyways, you all have that to look forward to. :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday, 6/24

From Waldie's World in Africa:

Well, it is our second to last full day in Africa and probably the last time we'll be able to check email. So I thought I'd send another quick message.

So far our visit to Nairobi has been really good. Chris and I were a bit nervous about our stay in this city because of the stories we've heard of pick pocketting and the ill-fated moniker "Nairobbery." Now, we've only been here just over 24 hours, but we've had no problems at all so far. It's really just like any huge city, full of hustle and bustle. Nairobi is by far the biggest city we've been in and the most developed. All of the streets in the city center are paved. There are many many high-rises. Almost everyone dresses Western, with jeans and tank tops and such. And there are the most white people in this city than in any other one we've been in. Now once you get out of the center of town, I'm sure this all changes. But it's been interesting to compare this city with Dar es Salaam, which is still developing and has less Western influence.

After our email yesterday, Chris and I walked to the Kenya National Museum only to find that it was closed for renovations (much needed we were told). The nice man at the museum with whom we spoke told us they had a temporary exhibit at the Nairobi Gallery. So we walked over to that. The exhibit there was about traditional practices of well-being and ways of art and it was very interesting. However, about halfway through I started to feel ill (probably just from being overly tired and then walking around) so I sat outside while Chris speed-walked through the rest. Then we took a cab home and ate at our guest house and stayed in for the night. How boring. But the rest was much desired!

This morning I woke up refreshed for a breakfast of cereal with milk (it was delicious!! Glorious milk!) But Chris was a little sleepy head and missed breakfast. After taking a long time to actually get moving, we walked yet again through town. This time we headed to the railway museum. This documented the development of the railway system through East Africa by the English and Germans. It was a very interesting museum (Jim I think you would've liked it) because the railroad was so influential in spreading Western culture and development across this part of the continent. It was a tremendous feat due to weather, natural environments, and man-eating animals!

After the musuem we were starving, so we walked into the city center again and stumbled upon a fairly nice restaurant. We gave in to our Western temptations and got some familiar foods (pizza and spaghetti and ice cream!). Then we just wandered around the center of town looking into shops and trying (unsuccessfully) to make it in time to the Masai market. We decided, however, to go into a tour place and booked a safari for tomorrow. The Nairobi National Park is just on the outskirts of the city and has all the native animals (except elephants) roaming freely. The price was really reasonable and we'll have an individual driver to take us around for a few hours. We figured this would be a great way to spend our last full day in Africa.

We're, obviously, at the internet cafe now in the same place we visited yesterday. We plan to eat dinner here and walk around a bit and then head home for the evening.

Tomorrow we'll go to church in the am and then the safari. And Monday we'll look at the school that Chris is interested in and then meet up with his teacher, Fabian, again and have dinner before we get on our 10:00 pm train.

It's been a fabulous trip and we're remiss to leave. But we do look forward to being in our own space and not living out of suitcases. This'll probably be the last time we write while here but it will definitely not be the last time you hear about this trip as we'll post more and more photos and stories when we return. Thanks everyone for your posts and comments. We have gotten them and appreciate everyone's support of our trip and prayers while we're gone.

Love, Waldie and Chris

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday, 6/23/06

From Waldie's World in Africa:

Hello All,

Well, sorry again for the lack of communcation for so long. We made it to Nairobi this morning. We took an overnight bus yesterday afternoon from Mwanza, Tanzania and arrived in Nairobi around 6:00 AM this morning. The ride was fine, though a bit cramped and we got very little sleep. We are staying in a guest house called Mayfield Guest House. It is run by the Africa In Mission (AIM) missionaries and it's a great place. Our room is really nice and the people there are all very knowlegeable about Africa and Nairobi. So while we waited in the lobby this AM (for 5 hours!) for our room to clear out we talked to a really nice older couple who've spent a lot of time around all of Africa, especially Nairobi and got a lot of pointers about where to go and what to do here.

So we've not done much since we've gotten here. We took (HOT!) showers and rested a minute and then headed out to grab a bit to eat, check email and go to a museum.

Our time in Mwanza (well, the village of Nassa actually) was very nice. We were treated extremely well and were given the best of everything. We made some nice friends there and were sad to go. But as we move closer to the end of our trip (4 days I can't believe it) we're more and more excited to get our picts developed and share with all.

All for now. :)
Waldie and Chris

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday, 6/19/06

From Waldie in Africa:

Hey All,

Sorry for the lack of email contact for a while. We've been away from computers. Chris and I are doing fine but this will be a short message because we don't have much computer time and Chris still wants to check and we're trying to book our hotels for Nairobi. We are currently in Mwanza, toward the central north of the country on Lake Victoria. We arrived here after taking a train from Dodoma on Wednesday/Thursday. We arrived here very late on Thursday and our friend, Fabian, picked us up and took us to a hotel. The next morning we woke up, ran a few errands and then were taken to his in-laws house about an hour drive into the country. We've been staying there ever since. The Mashikus are very nice and they have been very hospitable to us. We have made a trip into town today to do some errands aand things. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will help around the school in which the Mashikus work. I think I'll be helping an American mission group teach cake decorating (random?). And I think Chris will be doing some construction or something.

Thursday night we will take a bus to Nairobi and arrive early in the morning. We will stay there until we leave the continent on Monday night. I'm hoping we'll have more email contact when we get to Nairobi. But until then know that we are having fun, are still in good health and are VERY well taken care of. More stories to come.

Waldie and Chris

Monday, June 12, 2006


From Waldie's World in Africa:

Sorry for such a short and abruptly-ended email last time. I thought I could get more info into it but in the end it was pretty worthless.

Anyways, I'll try to briefly catch you all up on what we've basically been doing for the past couple of days. I think we last wrote about going to Bagamoyo and seeing the bus stop at the evening. That evening (Friday) we went to a cultural center for African dancing. I think it was supposed to be traditional dance but it really seemed more like something to entertain the wazungu (white people). but we enjoyed it a lot, whether it was traditional or not, though we were very tired (and Chris fell asleep for a minute during it). He also got some audio tape of the singing. We'll share when we return.

Saturday we spent resting around Dar. I slept in! And we caught up on errands and such. Perhaps that's when I last emailed? I can't remember what else we did this day. Oh! we saw the fish market in Dar. It was an interesting site (and smelly).

Sunday we went to church at St. Joseph's, a large cathedral-like church right by the water front. They have many masses in English and Swahili so we attended the English mass. It was fairly normal as far as Catholic masses go, nothing too different. Sunday at noon, our friends with whom we spent the first night in Dar came to pick us up to have lunch at their place and pick up the luggage we had stored at their home for the week. We walked in the pouring rain! to the bus stop, waited 45 minutes for the bus, took an hour bus ride and then walked another 25 minutes to get to their home. This was the commute. Can you imagine doing that every day to get home from work! Unbelievable. Oh, and the walk was through mud and rain water. One way was flooded so we had to walk through another whole pile of water apparently to avoid the other pile of water. It wasn't too bad, though I know we walked through some sewage. Poor Jackie, our friend, had a broken shoe by this point so we weren't feeling too sorry for ourselves.

At their house their generocity continued unabaited. They had much much much food for us, as well as sodas and wine. And they gave me (Waldie) 2 scarves and Chris a tshirt. It was very nice.

Today we woke up, checked out of our hotel and took a 7 hour bus ride to Dodoma, Tanzania's capital. We've just ridden through town one time but it seems extremely small for the capital though. We were picked up at the station by Dr. Dixon Chilangani, a friend of our friend (Chris's professor) in the United States. Dr. Chilangani is the dean of Msalato Bible College on the outskirts of town and offered to put us up for 2 nights until our train leaves for Mwanza.

This place is beautiful! It's a little compound for the college with houses for the faculty, as well as a chapel and some office buildings. The house they gave us has 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, big living room, kitchen, and another extra room. It has running water and electricity and a stove and fridge. It's unbelievable. Chris and I walked in and were like "yea, we could live here for a while!" but anyways, they also have been extremely generous. Dr Chilangani and his wife fed us dinner this evening, though they cooked meat and we couldn't out of respect say we didn't eat meat. So yes, folks, we had meat. We made it through the meal ok and feel alright but i have to be honest and say i think we'll stick with vegetarianism!

Anyways, we're here on the campus and I'm not sure how often we'll be able to check emial because we're using the Dr's office. But I wanted to give you the update. We are still doing really well, have had no sickness at all, have seen some BEAUTIFUL countryside, and some cute children on our journey thus far.

We'll keep you posted as we know more.

Love, Waldie and Chris

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday update

Do I need to keep saying that it's Fuzzy just posting emails from Waldie from Africa?

Hey guys, this going to be a quick one because we have less than 3 minutes left on the computer. But I wanted to let you know what we've been up to. Yesterday (Friday) we went to a small fishing village called Bagamoyo, about an hour outside of Dar. It was a pretty easy ride but we took public transport which was an adventure, especially on the way home because we got dropped of at a different spot and couldn't find our ride home. When we finally found him he had a flat tire so we sat around with him until after dark in the bus station. Usually it's not safe for whites to be out after dark (because of muggings) but because we were with an African it was totally safe and really cool to see the station in the dark. Plus it had rained all day
yesterday so we got the experience of the African mud. It was crazy! and it's not even the rainy season.

OK, 1 minute left. Gotta send. More later :)
Waldie and Chris

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Greetings from Afrika Ya Mashariki!

Fuzzy, again, with another message from Waldie's World and Chris in Africa:

Hello from Dar es Salaam friends and family,

It is the end of day 2 of Chris and my visit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We are having such a wonderful trip so far, I cannot explain it all now. But I wanted to send a quick note out to you all to say hello, we are here, and to give you some highlights.

After spending 21 hours in transit on Monday/Tuesday, we arrived in Dar very tired but very happy to be still. We spent the night with the family of a friend of a friend in Dar who live in the "suburbs" of the city. Predi, Rosemary and their family were very welcoming to us, having dinner ready and giving up a bedroom for us to stay.

Yesterday, after waking and having a great home-cooked breakfast, Chris and I were given the tour of the neighborhood along with a local primary government school (with almost 2,000 children!) and a nursery school. Then we took a taxi into the city center and obtained a hotel. That and a few good meals at local restaurants and a much-needed nap, was about all we
could fit in for the day.

Today we awoke to the sounds of the muezzin from the mosque down the street calling the Muslims to prayer (at 5:00 AM). Some of us got out of bed around this time (CHRIS!) and some of us slept another 2 hours till a more reasonable hour. We breakfasted in the hotel and then set out to see some museums and shops around town. We had a really lovely day as the weather has been mild (though slightly rainy) and the people are just so nice.

Tomorrow we plan to take a bus to a small fishing town about an hour away. That should prove to be quite an adventure so we'll have more stories to come.

I hope all is well with you all in the states. We are taking lots of pictures and look forward to sharing our stories with you all when we return.

For now, kwa herini,
Waldie and Chris

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Habari from Africa!

Hey, Waldie'ssoon-to-be-in-law Fuzzy here -- Waldie is sending emails back from Africa and I'll be posting them here. Enjoy! Waldie starts... now:

Hey Folks!

As you can see from this [post], Chris and I made it to Tanzania! We are in Africa y'all! We still can't believe it. But the sights, sounds and smells around us can't deny it. This is Africa.

So the long and short of it is this. Our flights were fine. Long but uneventful. And long. Did I mention the flights were long? Oy! We were ready to be out of moving transport when we arrived last night. But our friend's friend, Predi, picked us up at the airport when we arrived and drove us to her sister's house. The house was about a 45 minute drive (through a maze)
into the "suburbs" of Dar. Her house was very nice though and they really gave us the royal treatment. They had cooked us dinner and bought us soft drinks and gave up one of their rooms for us. We ate and talked a little, had a "shower" (poured cold water over ourselves) and went to bed. The house had electricity (and a TV and computer) but no running water, though ironically it did have all the accoutrements for it (faucets and such). For a toilet we went in essentially a hole in the floor and poured water down it. You'll see picts.

This AM we awoke to the sounds of women singing, men selling their wares on the road, birds chirping and a rooster. We were pretty tired this AM but got up and had a really nice breakfast, though Chris was feeling a little ill (from the travel I think). Another sister, Jacki, took us around the burbs to see the school in which she taught and to show us the "neighbors." This was a really nice introduction to Tanzania and a nice welcome. The streets in the area are all unpaved and the houses ranged from hovels with barely a roof, to really nice brick enclosures with whole compounds. We were quite a site, apparently. The little kids were saying to us Mzungu (white person) and Shikamoo (a greeting of respect).

We are in the City center of Dar now in a hotel (the Safari Inn) which looks almost like a hole in the wall but is quite sufficient. There is a restaurant attached. We have a double bed and a private bathroom. And there are a bunch of westerners staying here too. The lobby also has a TV and computers, where Chris and I are typing this. We plan to rest the remainder of the day (it's almost 6:00 PM here) and eat at the hotel to rest up for tomorrow when we'll probably do some exploring.

Ok, I'll sign off now so Chris can check his email. We will write again in a few more days to give another update. We love you all and can't wait to get home to share our pictures and our stories in person with you all.

Kwa Herini,
Waldie and Chris

Sunday, June 04, 2006

see ya'll on the flip side


this is was the best we could do to clean out the fridge as much as possible before our trip. if anyone needs capers, jalapenos and 1 egg in the next three weeks, you know where to come.

although we're certain to find plenty of internet cafes during our trip, i am not sure if i will update the blog while gone. it'll depend on the price and how reliable the connection is. for sure, though, i will be sending a few group emails out and most of you who check this regulary are probably on my "africa" group list and will most likely get a message at some point during our trip. but if you're worried you won't get one and you want to get a message while we're gone, send me a note and i'll include you in my group email.

so for now, i'm off. we'll be back on-line for sure around the last week on june. oh, and when you see us next, rest assured that we'll now be african. at least that's what i'm told.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

getting down to the wire

well folks, it's getting close. 2 more days until we leave the states. by the way, if you haven't already, you should check out chris's post with our itinerary on it. it will give you more of an idea of what we think our trip will look like.

we're pretty much packed and all ready to go. spent the day doing laundry and packing up. tomorrow we'll do a few things around the house and make adjustments. but otherwise, we'll all set. i think we'll go see x-men to keep us busy for a little while. then, monday morning, at the bright and early time of 10 AM we'll set off for columbia airport with our chauffeur, margaret. (of course, we have a 4 hour lay over in atlanta before we take off out of the country. but it's all good).

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

my boy be's smart, part...whatever

worry not, friends. with a little tooling around on the internet, my hubs "fixed" my palm pilot, or rather figured out how to get it working again.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

blasted technology!

i think technology has a great capacity to really help us humans stay organized, streamline our work and do more with less time. but on the other hand, what i think technology is really doing is that it gives you the illussion of all this. and then when you really need it, it punks out and leaves you in the lurch.

you may remember that chris gave me a palm pilot z22 for my birthday. i love(d) it. it's just 2 months old and today it crapped out. just won't turn on. i called chris to tell him this and he said "oh yea. some of the reviews said this about the device. but all the rest of the reviews were really good." so it's all just a crap-shoot?

well, crap.

Monday, May 29, 2006

3 day weekends rock!

this has been a great weekend!

grnvl bridge

friday night and saturday chris and i went to visit cheryl in greenville, south carolina. sean came over too and we all had a really great time. the picture above is of the suspension bridge which is in reedy river falls park, an awesome park that was in the downtown part of town. i'm sure chris will post some of our pictures so i'll let him do that. but, man, greenville is a happenin' place. we really enjoyed everything about our 18 hour-long visit, but most especially i enjoyed the company.


we got back home to cola in time to rest a minute and then hop in the car to go to the big mo with dogwood and ingrid. no, we did not see the king and i, the prince of egypt or titanic. we saw over the hedge and mission impossible iii. both movies were very enjoyable, as was the entire evening.

yesterday was spent running around picking up gifts and such for our trip to africa and then last night we went out to hear irish music and enjoy the good company of a few more close friends.

today is just chill, chill, chill. except that it's really hot outside so i may just chill, chill, chill in the house where it's cool.