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.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Let the Festivities Begin!

This summer, G.G. (Jason's mom) sent a package to us and it took 4 months to get here. Because of that, when she got our Christmas package together, she gave herself plenty of extra lead time. So since the first week of November we've had a big box of Christmas presents hiding behind a curtain in our bedroom.

This weekend, G.G. decided it was close enough to the big day, so we did a video conference with her and Grandpa so they could watch us open our gifts. The box was a little taller than Lee Anna, but she had a blast seeing what was coming out.

G. G. sewed a new cover for Lee Anna's playhouse, and she even found a material that looks like little bricks. Lee Anna is loving it.

I think she sent the boys footballs so they wouldn't be misled into thinking that the black and white round ball we see so much here is a "football!" Now we've just got to convince Sawyer that it's not a chocolate football. I started teaching him to play defense already. He can't really catch the ball yet, but he can knock it down. I think he might be the next great FSU cornerback, like Deion Sanders, Leroy Butler or Terrell Buckley. Thanks G.G.!! We had fun opening all our presents!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Is He Engaged Now?

Last night, our friends came to eat American food with us. We bought a beef roast and I called Mom as soon as she was awake to ask for any advice in cooking it. The meat came out great, and they seemed to enjoy it a lot, even though they might not have been so comfortable with everyone having his own plate. After dinner, our friend Shymet helped clear the table. We had served rice in four bowls which we ate out of. When she got finished cleaning the table, she put the leftover rice from each of those bowls back into the big pot. Beth couldn't bring herself to tell her that wasn't really all that sanitary. After dinner, we were drinking tea in the living room when Ranna took a shine to baby Sawyer. She's about six months older than he, and she started chasing him around and kissing him. I'm not sure what that means in this culture, but I think they might be engaged now.

Monday, December 04, 2006

'Tis the Season

It's beginning to look like Christmas at the Davis House. Lee Anna has enjoyed playing with our nativity scenes, although she does sometimes take some liberty with the story (see the post below).Sawyer also enjoys playing with the nativity characters when Lee Anna's not looking. Apparently he thinks the story is that all of the characters got eaten. We were able to buy a tree this week and get it decorated. Don't be fooled. The kids were not as much help as these pictures might lead you to believe! They took the role of quality control, making sure we had everything hung securely. If not, they removed it so we could re-attach it more securely! Don't worry--the ornaments are not as breakable as they look. In fact, they are extremely durable, as Lee Anna and Sawyer have both taken pains to prove.

Here's Lee Anna helping untangle the strand of beads--or maybe she's just trying to make a fashion statement.
Stay tuned for more Christmas adventures!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Gospel According to Lee Anna

Quick! Which of these characters did all four gospel writers leave out of the Christmas story? For those of you who are a little rusty, see the multiple choice option below.
A) Joseph
B) Shepherds
C) Elmo in a boat
D) Mary and the baby

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Made in China?

Not long ago, we went to eat dinner at our friend Mohamed's house again. This time, though, instead of watching another Tommy Lee Jones movie with Arabic subtitles after we ate, Beth asked if we could go visit a rug store that she had been eyeing near their flat. They agreed, so after Shymat donned her "going out clothes" and put on her makeup (and shared some with Lee Anna), we all headed down the stairs and toward the store.

Side Note:
While Beth and their 6-year-old daughter were waiting for everyone else outside the front door, Beth noticed another door across from theirs. When she asked if anyone lived there, the little girl matter-of-factly replied, "No, that's where the sheep stay." Now you should know that this flat is on the top floor of their building--5 floors off the ground! We're guessing that the door didn't lead to a flat, but to the roof, and that apparently someone has some sheep that he keeps up there sometimes. We know they're not there all the time because we've never heard or seen them, but Mohamed told us when he heard our conversation that sometimes they're very noisy. We're also really hoping that the sheep have some other way of getting up there than walking up the same uneven, stony staircases that we walk up to get to their flat.

Back to the Main Story:
When we arrived at the rug store, Beth started looking through big stacks of rugs to find cute ones for Sawyer's and Lee Anna's bedrooms. The rugs are basically just all stacked on top of each other, so you just have to fold a corner of the top one back to see what's underneath it. Some of the stacks were almost as tall as Beth! Hung on the walls all around the store were samples of rugs, so that passersby could see what was being offered in the stacks. Jason noticed that there were small doormat rugs with Iowa Hawkeyes, Virginia Caveliers and Tennessee Titans logos on them, and he started wondering what else he might find.

So, while Beth was sorting through the big pretty rugs, Jason made his way to the back wall, where he found several tall stacks of these small doormat sized rugs. A collection of garnet-colored doormats caught his attention. (Not crimson, burgandy, or maroon, mind you--they were garnet.) So here, 7500 miles from Tallahassee, he came across a bunch of Seminole logo doormats. He brought it up front to show off, of course, and pulled out his gold chain Seminole head (which he's been wearing since 1991) to show Mohamed that it's the same head. We're not sure that they ever really quite understood what all the fuss was about. There were just too many foreign concepts--Your university has a ball team? What does that Indian head have to do with anything, anyway? And why are you wearing it around your neck? Nevertheless, they could tell we were pretty excited.

And we got even more excited when we saw the price. Ordering something like this from the Garnet and Gold Catalog would probably set you back at least $25, but we paid a whopping $2.95 for ours. Let us know if you want us to go back and check for your school. We'll be happy to take orders!

(Please no comments about FSU being the ACC doormat this year.)