Skip to main content

It's been a heck of a year

This weekend marks our year anniversary in Burundi. What a year it's been. I distinctly remember my last trip to Dunkin Donuts on that Saturday morning before we went to the airport. We had quite a time getting the cats on the plane. But twenty-four hours later we were here, in Bujumbura, starting a new life.

I've been thinking about how to arrange this blog post. Some months not much of note happened, other than we lived in Burundi. But we had one of the highest high points of our lives--climbing Mount Kilimanjaro--and one of the lowest low points--Grendel's death--in the last year.

August 2008: Leaving Washington, D.C. and arriving in Burundi

September 2008: Settling in, road rage, first hippo sighting

October 2008: Trying to find fresh milk, the rainy season begins, a huge shipment of stuff from home arrives

November 2008: Being in Africa for Obama's election, struggling with French, adjusting to winter holidays in a tropical climate, making reservations for the Kilimanjaro trip

December 2008: We become obsessed with Kilimanjaro preparations; we also discover some local crafty goodness

January 2009: We have some American visitors, a new restaurant opens in town, and we discover a blue-headed agama lizard living in our yard

February 2009: Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti

March 2009: Some of my safari posts spill in to March; also, Grendel dies and we fall into a terrible funk

April 2009: Monkeys invade and we get chickens

May 2009: European vacation

June 2009: We finally get our luggage back after the vacation; the dry season sets in; rabies

July 2009: All sorts of critters invade; I think I've learned French now

All of our photos are up on flickr.


Christina said…
Sounds really fun, wow! You've traveled a lot!

Am a new follower.

Would love you to check out my new blog, Ensconced in YA

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…