Max and Elly Turn 3!

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Max and Elly are three! Their birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but I guess I’m still recovering from my blogging marathon month in June when I was doing the #clickaday photography challenge.

When Mom and Carla came to visit in May they brought oodles of toys and presents for Max and Elly’s birthday so we started the day off right away with a gift bag for each of them filled with goodies from back home. Just to name a few:

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#clickaday Day 30: I Did It!

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Day 30: I did it! I successfully met the #clickaday photography challenge and picked up my camera every day for the month of June. You’d think Max and Kakasii would be more excited to be my final photo in the challenge. They are watching a rebroadcast of a World Cup match–apparently knowing the outcome in advance sucks much of the excitement out of watching the game.

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Our #clickaday Weekend: Days 27, 28 and 29

#clickaday27I’m on the home stretch with my #clickaday photography challenge!

Day 27: Max and Elly don’t particularly like getting their hair washed, but in an odd turn of events on Friday, they both decided it would be fun to dip their entire heads into one of our water buckets outside. Elly came into the house and upstairs, leaving a trail of water all the way, to show me that she had “washed her hair” all by herself. Continue reading

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#clickaday Days 21 through 26: Where Did This Week Go?!

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I’ve had my head down deep in a couple of projects this week and feel like this afternoon was my first chance to stop and look up. And here it is Thursday already! I was wrapping up a freelance writing project for Gather, a fabulous magazine published by Women of the ELCA. Watch for my article in the November issue.

I also finished copy editing our new Tanzania Choice Safaris website. The designer and I have been working on it for quite a while and I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together. I’ll be starting a blog for the site soon and look forward to expanding the scope of my writing.

But back to my progress on the #clickaday photography challenge with Click It Up A NotchContinue reading

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#clickaday Days 19 and 20: Max’s New Bag and Elly’s Toast Face

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Yesterday I only snapped a few photos with my point-and-shoot camera as we were getting ready to run errands in the morning; my DSLR never left the desk. So this isn’t all that thrilling for my #clickaday photo but it does show Max’s new bag that he got when we went to the Arusha Summer Fair last weekend. Continue reading

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#clickaday Day 18: Hot Dog Surprise

#clickaday18-7Wednesday lunch on our weekly menu is usually leftovers. But this week our fridge was oddly bare so I had to do some fast thinking for what Max and Elly could eat for lunch. In addition, they had cut their nap short, so lunch prep needed to be participatory.

So I reached deep into the recesses of my mind to recall a Pinterest post I had once seen involving hot dogs and spaghetti, both of which we had stocked in our kitchen. Enter: hot dog surprise (although here we actually refer to beef franks as sausages and eat them for breakfast).

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#clickaday Days 16 and 17: Trucks, Gravel and Photo Fun

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I shared yesterday that we spent much of our weekend at the Arusha Summer Fair. Although Max and Elly had scored cool new bags when they were with me on Saturday, Kakasii could not resist getting them something when we were there on Sunday so we came home with two of these toy trucks cleverly made from bottle caps. Elly’s truck is made from Coca-Cola caps; Max’s is made from Tusker Beer caps.

On Monday we went to play at the Family & Friends Restaurant’s playground and Max had great fun running his truck through mud puddles and loading up the gravel from the parking lot.

And, just when I thought I might not come up with a shot for today’s #clickaday, Max, Elly and Anita all came through with great poses for me. I’ve been wanting to experiment with that haze effect that’s so popular in portrait photography now and Anita gladly served as my model. (Anita is our live-in nanny who helps me with Max and Elly.)

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While we were taking Anita’s pictures, Elly helped out by holding her sunglasses. (Stay tuned for a future post–hopefully soon–about Elly finally giving up her pacifier!)

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Our favorite story these days is The Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett. In it the Tickle Monster takes a break from tickling to make silly faces. This is Max’s version. (By the way, this is a great book. Super fun to read and act out with all the tickling.)

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So, what I thought was going to be my first #clickaday without any clicks, I ended up with five to share!

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Our #clickaday Weekend: Days 14 and 15

#clickaday14 I’ve made it halfway through the #clickaday challenge this month!

This weekend we spent both days at the Arusha Summer Fair, which is a bit oddly named since technically it’s our “winter” now and quite chilly, especially at night. In fact I would consider it downright cold at night.

On Saturday Max, Elly, Anita, Ney and I ventured out together to the fair. There was a kids’ corner with crafts and activities so we hung out there for a while. It was interesting to me that Max and Elly were especially interested in playing with the play dough–something they can do anytime at home. From there we did some shopping and each got a cool new bag made by a women’s sewing group called SEW–Supporting and Empowering Women. The bags are made from recycled flour or rice sacks and scraps of kitenge–brightly colored cloth with bold patterns. My goal to get a photo of Max and Elly modeling their new bags for one of my #clickaday photos.

On Sunday, I intended for Kakasii and me to return to the Summer Fair sans children so I could do a little more leisurely browsing but Max and Elly had a different idea. They weren’t interested in staying home so they came along with us, first stopping at the market to do our weekly grocery shopping. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon at the fair.

Back at home Max and Elly played upstairs in our bedroom for a while and Elly came across this silly hat that a friend had given Kakasii last year while on safari. Kakasii looks pretty ridiculous wearing it but Elly looks beyond cute!

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#clickaday Day 13: Mzungu Food

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With a few exceptions, we eat mostly the same menu every week. And our menu is primarily Tanzanian foods.

While there are certain Tanzanian foods I really love–nyama choma, for instance–there are a few I absolutely cannot stand. So when those particular meals come up in the rotation–like dagaa and ugali* for lunch on Fridays–I seek out an alternative. This week I pulled out my last box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. When Max and Elly–who happen to love dagaa and ugali–see the iconic blue box, they refer to it as “mzungu food.” Mzungu is the Swahili word used to refer to white people, which Max and Elly do not consider themselves to be.

The truth is I don’t really even think Kraft Macaroni & Cheese tastes all that good. But it does taste familiar. Some days that’s the most important thing about what I eat.

And even though they tease me about eating mzungu food, Max and Elly still want their share.

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*In a future post I’ll explain exactly what dagaa and ugali is.

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#clickaday Day 12: Max Loves Chips (and Ketchup)!

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This afternoon we went to our usual hangout after I got home from Bible study. My intention was for us to have some fresh mango juice and play for a while, but Max had a different idea. After the juice came, he drank part of his glass and then said he was saving the rest for when the chipsi come (chips–what Tanzanians call french fries). Then he called the waitress over himself and, without consulting me, ordered chips. He and Elly plowed through the first order so he called the waitress again and ordered another (both times the waitress did wait for me to give the nod before putting the order in to the kitchen).

Almost as much as Max loves chips, he also loves ketchup (which Tanzanians call tomato sauce). You can see from today’s #clickaday photo just how much he loves it.

 

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