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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Massalama, Gid-du and Teta!

Lee Anna and Sawyer had a great time having their grandparents here for a few days, and you can tell from the pictures that Mimi and Papaw had a pretty good time, too. They really made an effort to do what the kids like to do. Unfortunately, Sawyer’s interests are pretty limited right now. Papaw must have told every taxi driver in our city that he’s a grandfather (“Ana Gid-du”).

It was such a treat for us to get to show them around our new home. Mimi never quite got over how people drive here, and Papaw never got over how cheap things are. We were just glad to be around people who speak less Arabic than we do. Talk about an ego boost!

We are so grateful for all the things that enable us to keep in touch with our families. Living overseas is not what it was a hundred years ago, thanks to airplanes and the internet. What a blessing!

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lee Anna Davis, Driver Extraordinaire

When Lee Anna was born in Texas, the hospital had to approve our car-seat safety system before they could release us from the hospital. The rules here are a little more lax. In the span of two days, she has been at the controls of a taxi and a horse-carriage--both on busy city streets. All before her second birthday. Her American cousin is going to be a little jealous.
(And her American Mimi was more than a little scared both times!)

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sawyer's New Friends

Here are some shots of Sawyer with some of his new friends: Mohamed, our taxi driver friend, who got pulled out of bed at 5:15 a.m. to take us to the hospital. On the way there, Jason asked him when he had gone to bed, and he told us 4:00. When he dropped us off, we told him to go back home and go to sleep!
Afaf, our housekeeper, who has lots of advice for me from her 4 sisters who all have children. We've found that people here are not afraid to share their opinions. Afaf has had lots of advice on everything from nursing to how to make him come sooner to how to get back into shape to how to make sure Lee Anna loves him. I probably won't follow all of it, but it's nice that she cares.
Some of Jason's friends from the grocery store he visits almost every day. We decided it was time for Sawyer to start helping Daddy make his daily trips for milk and bread. As Jason got ready to take this picture, the guy on the right reached down and picked up the cat from under the cash register. You won't see that at Alberton's!
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Two Peas in a Pod Can you tell which one's the big sister
and which one's the little brother?
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Here is the hospital where Sawyer was born. McDonald's is on the first floor, and our room was two floors above it. We told Sawyer he better get used to smelling those French fries because his sister is pretty fond of them (not to mention his mom and dad!). The playplace made it easy for Mimi to entertain Lee Anna during a long day at the hospital.

And a few more family shots . . . Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here's a shot of the whole fam . . . of Beth and Sawyer coming home from the hospital . . .
and of Mimi introducing Lee Anna to her new baby brother.
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Here are the long-awaited pics of little baby Sawyer Aaron. He was born on Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. local time. He weighed 4.2 kilos and was 52 cm tall. In English, that means he weighed 9 lbs, 4 oz and was 20-1/2 inches tall. Mama and the baby are doing well. He slept through the night on his very first night of life--tying a world record held by many. Let's hope he keeps sleeping all night! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 01, 2006

Our Little African Baby
The other night, Lee Anna’s babysitter (who is from a little more southern part of Africa) tried out a new hairstyle on her. As you can see, she didn’t quite get her whole head braided, but the part she did was pretty cute. We were extremely impressed that she got Lee Anna to sit still long enough to do anything with her hair. Most mornings I have to put her bow in as I’m chasing her down the hall!

FYI, the reason Lee Anna had a babysitter was so that we could attend the wedding of the guy we buy milk and bread from every day. They told us the wedding was at 8:00, so we got there at 9:00 and the bride and groom arrived about 30 minutes later. It was quite an experience, and we were sick that we forgot to bring our camera. Although we didn’t know a soul there except for the groom, everyone was excited to have some Americans at the party. They introduced us to all the couple’s family, brought us tea, and made sure the videographer got a close-up shot of us waving to the camera. It was at a “club” that was really just a big outdoor reception area. They couple entered to very loud music, and a group of women surrounded them clapping and dancing. After a while, the men all pulled their chairs up and sat around a table for the signing of the official papers. We’re not sure what took so long, but apparently there was still some bargaining going on between the two fathers. Finally, the papers were signed and they got ready to celebrate some more. We could have stayed into the early morning hours dancing and singing with them, but my 9-months-pregnant body was not interested in staying out all night. If I'm out of bed at 2 a.m., we better be at the hospital!

One more funny thing about that night: On the way home, Jason tried in his best Arabic to tell our taxi driver that there was a woman at our house keeping our baby and that after he dropped us off he needed to take her home. BUT instead of saying that our babysitter wanted to go to her house (bait-ha), Jason said “She wants to go to your house (baitik).” The taxi driver gave him a funny look and told him in Arabic “That is not good.” Luckily, he quickly realized what Jason meant to say and didn’t try to take our babysitter home with him. We decided not to tell her that Jason was busy tarnishing her reputation while she took care of our daughter!
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Soon and Very Soon . . .
Since you aren't all getting to enjoy my big belly in person, we decided to at least let you see a picture of it. Let me say that I don't think this picture really does it justice. I feel much bigger!

We're anxiously awaiting the baby's arrival. Our bags are packed and our favorite taxi driver is on standby to take us to the hospital. Now we just need some contractions! Posted by Picasa