Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Packing Out

It seems so simple. One pile for luggage, one pile to live on for a year (UAB), one pile shipping directly to the next destination (HHE), one pile to give away. Life and possessions sorted into four piles.

The hard part is deciding what we will need for one year. This is supposed to be a small pile, smallish. If i really think about it, what I need for a year should be what I need forever. So does that mean that my HHE pile should be non-existent, or that the UAB pile needs to be bigger? I want to scream, "It's my industrial strength hair dryer and I can't live without it!"

My husband and I have different views. He comes from long line of pack rats, so he can't help himself from storing everything. I would like to be a minimalist (ie bike, clothes, make-up, electronics). Who can't live with just those things? Is there anything that is not easy to buy in DC?

The kids have sorted their books and toys. With just those two, I think we hit our weight category. I tried to explain how awesome libraries are in the States, but they didn't believe me. They did a good job though of letting things go. We will see how well they handle giving items away, when it comes to actually handing those things off. I must defend them and point out that the first shipment of books to the American International School went very well.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Good Bye Lesotho. Good Bye Basotho. Good Bye Bo-peeps.

Looking at the 250 people gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July at the Embassy I thought about leaving Lesotho. I stood at the back of the crowd and mentally said good-bye to each of my friends. I said good-bye to H as she dropped her papers while listening to the speech. I said good-bye to everyone.  Time to walk away.

We talked about having a good-bye party. Just three families and we could not agree on the party, happy hour with kids or late night with dancing. We all needed something different to leave. I know what is best for me, walking away. No reason to say good-bye really, people I care about will keep in touch one way or another, maybe we even see each other in a far off place and time.

Just made my last batch of ice cream for the next two and a half years. The ice cream maker is gong to Moscow. There are lots of good laces to get ice cream shops in the States, I don’t need to bring it along. I will share it with friends at their going away party.

Saw H again Thursday evening and made arraignments to say good-bye to her dog. Not her, didn’t need to, already said good-bye to her from afar.  For anyone in Lesotho reading this bog, “Good-bye”. I love you and will miss you. Would prefer to give everyone a true hug, American style, not the two or three cheek kiss thing that I frequently botch. Know that I care, but I am not going to seek everyone out.

How will the kids learn to say good-bye to places and friends? The question is immediately followed by another, “Are we totally f-ing them up for life?”

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Roll Call

To put it mildly, I was not an adventurous eater as a child.  Had to get my burgers plain at McDonalds.  Couldn't stand the condiments or the tomato and lettuce.  And I still have them take the pickles off.  Didn't like sauce on my macaroni.  And all vegetables, other than raw carrots and raw green beans were non-starters.  It made my parents crazy.  In a bit of cosmic justice, feeding Josephine is an adventure. She drinks milk by the gallon, but only if it had been warmed slightly.  She often likes something the first time she tries it, but then hates it the next time.  Luckily, Ted will eat anything.

Over the years, I have gotten over my eating issues, and now I will try most things.  Good thing, that, as Africa offers the opportunity to try a number of exotic animals.  Below, a roll call of the various animals that I gotten to try here.

Cary's zebra was delicious braised in wine. Can't wait to see the rug.

My favorite - Oryx, called Gemsbok locally
Kudu (Namibia)



While I will miss the wide variety of exotic offerings of the last two years, I really can't wait to get back to the USA for some of my favorite staples, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle, good pizza, and on and on. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

How the world views America

One my favorite parts of this journey is learning how the world sees America.  The South African steak and burger restaurant chain Spur is one good example that I'll discuss another time.

Check out this classic (read: cheap) "Wild West" set that Teddy picked up in Clarens,  SA about a 90 minute drive from Maseru. My favorite is the last one, that looks an awful lot like Shaq, no?