Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Day

One thing I've been told about raising our kids in a "third culture" is the importance of celebrating American holidays to connect them with their home culture. A perfect example of that was the Valentine Party we were invited to at Amelia and Meredith's house! There were treats galore!! The girls had a blast decorating cupcakes and cookies (which were even more special since Sara found a Betty Crocker cake mix for the cupcakes and, hold on to your seat, a can of frosting in Nairobi! Woo hoo! Yum-my!

After the treat decorating the girls got dressed up in full princess gear and played - what has become one of Claire's very favorite things to do - "princess improv" (for lack of a better term!). All the princesses stand by as Sara comes up with a story and each of them play along as their princess is prompted to play her part in the story. They can't get enough of it and it is precious!

After two stories worth of drama the dancing began!

I believe "Dancing Queen" was blasting at this point! Love it!

This is one happy little Valentine princess! Who can't wait for Valentine's Day again soon!

Think of it as Haverty's

Things have been pretty busy around here lately. Not unusual in the least. Between keeping up with our three little ones, Rhett's work at the hospital, welcoming and hosting a steady stream of guests (we love this one!) and trying to keep up with the cultural adjustments necessary as we learn how to live life here - time has been short!

Another thing was added to our plate when we found out that we would be moving soon! This is a huge blessing and answer to prayer! Will be soon be moving into a wonderful house with a safe YARD for our kids to run around and be kids in! Yay! No more worrying about them getting hit by a car in the parking lot that is our front yard now or falling down the 6ft. concrete drop off out back! We have been busy making the preparations to move which included putting a fresh coat of paint in the house and buying all of the necessary things to fill a house (which is currently completely empty). What could have taken a day in the States with a visit to Lowe's and Target has taken 2.5 weeks and 3 trips to Nairobi so far! Yesterday we finally made a trip to buy furniture. Where do you buy furniture in Africa? Well if you come at the right time you can buy it from other missionaries leaving which is awfully convenient but in our situation we had to make like a local and head on down to Ngong Road to buy our things. Here's a glimpse. Don't miss the goat in the picture!

On this strech of Ngong Road there is shop after shop of handmade furniture. They all start running into each other and looking the same after a while. We got out started walking up and down the street looking for the things we needed.

Here is an example of stark cultural differences here in a sample conversation you might have (and we did) with one of these furniture shops . . .

How much for this bed and table and couch?

The bed is 6,000 shillings, the table is 10,000 and the couch is 12,000.

I see . . . OK.

But because you are my customer the bed is 5,300, the table is 8,000 and the couch is 10,000.

OK well that still seems high.

That is not the discount price. The discount price is for the bed at 5,000, the table at 7,600 and the couch at 9,500 . . . . . . .We can still negotiate though.

Well, then what is the best price you can give me?

The best price is 4,800 for the bed, 7,000 for the table and 9,000 for the couch.

OK, well I think we will keep looking.

Wait I still have not given you the very last price of 4,500 for the bed, 6,800 for the table and 8,500 for the couch.

This just goes on and on. We tried to get a good deal and after visiting 3 different shops we think we did. It made us feel better when we found out that they had another large order from someone at Kijabe Hospital.

We picked out the necessary pieces of furniture (some of which are being made for us) and will look forward to having the arrive in about 10 days or so. We don't know if this is 10 days "Kenya time" (which could be up to a month) or 10 days "American time" (which would actually be 10 days) but we will find out!

On the way home our driver stopped to fill up the car here . . .

We had a pretty hard time swallowing lining these pockets since we won't even buy gas from Citgo in the US because it is owned by the Venezuelan (Hugo Chavez) State Oil company. However, in this situation we had no choice so we took this picture then looked the other way :)

Quotes of the week

I realize that I have been using my Facebook status as a better record of the funny and interesting quotes around here. Since this blog serves as a record and memoir of our family I may have to repeat a few to make sure we don't forget some of those priceless sayings heard on a daily basis. Sorry for the repetition . . . .

Stranger to Claire: "Habari". Claire to Stranger: "Mzuri". Me to Claire: Wow Claire you are doing a great job on your Swahili! Claire to me: Yeah, you can just call me Kenya-girl from now on . . . or Claire. Either one is fine.

This is Ford's debut in the quote of the week feature!

[Crying and clutching chest] Me: Are you OK, Ford? Did you hit your chest? Ford: No! [crying] My BOOBIE! Me (trying not to laugh) You mean your chest? Ford: NO! My BOOBIE, Mommy! My hit my BOOBIE!

Gus obviously can't contribute at this point however if he could he would probably say something like "Lookout! Here I come!" due to the fact that he pulled up before he was 9 months old and is now crusing around on the furniture with every intention of walking as soon as possible. As the mother of one child who crawled at 10 months and walked at 14 months and the other who crawled at 9 months and walked at 12 months this is slightly blowing my mind. I guess that's what happens when you start crawling around at 7 months. He makes every effort to keep up with the big kids and is quite a force to be reckoned with. This is one tough little guy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010