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!