We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Monday, April 24, 2006

To all our friends in Texas--this is as close as we're going to get to a bluebonnet picture this year. This photo was taken at a beautiful park that we visited yesterday. It was incredible to see so many gorgeous flowers (and so much green grass!). I never knew just walking on green grass could make me feel so good. We thought about all of you who are enjoying those Texas wildflowers right now. Take some pictures for us!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lee Anna is having lots of fun with all the clothes we've been given for the new baby. She is not the least bit concerned that they are not exactly her size. We're just hoping that she'll let the baby wear them, too!
She's especially fond of the hats, which fit very snugly around her almost-two-year-old head. She's even decided that it's so much fun to put on the baby's clothes that her friends should do it, too. Twice this week, she wore the solid blue hat to preschool. Her little head is soaking with sweat by the time we get there, but it makes her happy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Good Night, Little Lee Anna . . .
Lee Anna has developed a new version of the "put everything to sleep" game. In this version, Lee Anna lies down on the floor and Mommy puts the blanket over her. Then Lee Anna promptly takes the blanket off and hands it to Mommy so she can do it again. It is just as entertaining as the previous version--where she put random household objects to sleep under a blanket--but it doesn't ever last as long because Mommy is involved. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 14, 2006

Garbage Collection I took this picture from our front window to show you all a few things we've discovered. This is a typical garbage truck that roams our neighborhood a few times a week. You folks in Texas might notice a similarity between this old Mazda and a certain silver Mazda pickup somebody used to drive in Cleburne. Usually there will be a guy or two standing on top of all the trash, packing it down. One morning, I saw one of these fellows take a broken bottle and throw it over the wall (into the ever-growing trash pile) rather than put it in the truck where he might step on it. Once, in a taxi, we were following one of these rigs and some trash was blowing out. The driver told me, half in English, that the problem with their system is that there is no system.
You might also notice that the back of this truck has extended rails, and what you might call a wooden bed-liner. We never saw wooden bed-liners in the states, because they would get wet and rot. But here, it only rains a few times a year, so if it gets wet today, it will be dry tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Highway Hilarity

Okay, imagine this scene taking place in America. You're driving on a big highway, like I-635 around Dallas, and there are four or five lanes of traffic in each direction. Except here, there aren't stripes to designate the lanes but the road is wide enough for four or five lanes. So you're riding on this highway going, say, 55 m.p.h., because the traffic is pretty thick. But we don't really know how fast we're going here, because the speedometers in the taxis read km/h and none of them actually work, so they all say we're going zero, when we're pretty sure that we're actually moving. So anyway, you're riding with your windows rolled down (no A/C and everybody smokes) and a guy pulls up next to you on the right and yells across you to your driver something like, "Hey, how do you get to Ft. Worth from here?" and the driver asks something like "Which part of Ft. Worth?" and the guy tells him and the driver says, "Follow me, I'll point to your exit when it's time." They only slow down a little to have this conversation.

This scene happens all the time here. It's kinda fun.

I told our driver today that I don't want to get a car and drive here because all these people are crazy. He just laughed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

You might read in a post below that the pyramids were once the oldest structures on earth, but somehow they got surpassed by the Eiffel Tower. Hmmm...Since no one commented on that this week, may I assume no one noticed?

What was that number?
Today, Jason and I were getting ready to go somewhere, and he decided he would call the new taxi driver he met last night. Unfortunately, when he got the piece of paper where he had written the number, this is what he found!

Cell phone numbers here are 10 digits. As you can see, there are more than 10 digits there. In his defense, the taxi driver was talking very fast (like they all do when they're giving phone numbers), and he was speaking Arabic, so 62 sounded like "2 and 60." They also break the numbers up differently than we do--they give the numbers in groups of 3-2-2-3, where we would give 3-3-4 (like 850-123-1234). If anyone has any guesses about what the real number might be, please let us know. Otherwise, we'll just have to hope we run into him again somewhere!
Clothes Ketir
We have some friends here who have a son almost Lee Anna's age, and they had been telling us to come by and pick up some baby boy clothes that they wanted us to borrow. Well, we got there today, and these 4 tubs of clothes were stacked up by the door! They are all for a little boy 0-9 months. We're going to have to work pretty hard to make sure he wears all of these clothes before he outgrows them. Thanks, guys!