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Showing posts from April, 2011

Please Sound Horn

One thing that Americans seem to have a hard time adjusting to overseas is all the horn-blowing, or horning, that goes on when you're driving. In the United States, we use turn signals. In other countries, you blow the horn to alert cars around you that you're doing something -- whether you're passing them, or you're warning them that they're too close to you, or you're approaching an intersection or corner and you want to alert other possible cars, bikes, autos, or pedestrians that you're coming. Many expats here tell their drivers to never use the horn. While all the horn blowing can be annoying, now that the horn in our car is broken, I can totally see the advantages of using it.

You'll see that most big trucks have "Please Sound Horn" painted across the back. Ritzy neighborhoods and gated communities have signs that read "No Horning" posted. That's how important the horn is to driving here. You have to let go of the fact that…

Burundi's Biking Bananas!

A friend of ours has created a short film about bikes in Burundi. He and Mike ventured out many times together to trailblaze the mountain biking scene there -- at least, mountain biking as a leisure sport, not as a means of getting your cargo up and down the mountain. Joe's film was shown at the Filmed by Bike international film festival last week in Portland, Oregon.

Check it out! It's a nice little capsule of daily life in Burundi.

Joe's biking his way through Ghana now. You can follow him at his blog Going Ghana.

Slow Week in the Hills

It's been a slow week here. One of the highlights for me was finding fresh thyme at one of the grocery stores. Four trips out to the quarantine office and Ellie is now here not only in actuality, but legally as well. I bought Muffin some over-priced t-shirts and shorts from the British equivalent of Old Navy here because I was afraid that if I waited for mail-order from the actual Old Navy, she would have outgrown everything I ordered by the time it arrived. We saw the neighborhood Rolls Royce. We saw the hot-pink Mercedes that's owned by someone out in HITEC City. It's been too hot to go outside and have any fun.

Yup, exciting.We're in a summer slump I guess. I hope we can get out to the mountains in a few weeks for a short vacation. We need cooler temperatures and a change of scenery.

This Week

This week I also posted at What I Eat and Coffee Mommy.

Ellie Is Here!

Our cat arrived last night after much stress. From the flakiness of the shipping company in the United States to the bureaucracy of the Indian government, this was the worst pet moving experience we've had so far.

Ellie has been living at my mom's house in Rhode Island. We realized that if she was going to join us, we had a narrow window of opportunity with the weather being neither too cold nor too warm for her to fly out of New England and too hot to land here (as it is, she can only land during nighttime temps here). To help ease the burden on myself and my mom, we used a shipper to make the flight arrangements. We will not be using this shipper again. He was a total flake. We started making inquiries weeks ago. Several times I asked him what documents he needed, no response. We finalized a date for Ellie to leave, but there were two flights on that day. Despite asking several times, he told us on Sunday which flight she was on, for Tuesday. I also asked him several times h…

Weekly SD Blog RoundUp!

Here it is! I'm taking my shot at hosting the roundup. It may not be as eloquent as some others, but hopefully I'll get all the information up accurately and efficiently. There's a lot of organization with this, keeping all those tabs and windows open! (And I'm keeping one eye on MLB scores. Red Sox play later tonight; Yankees already have a win.)

And all the while, I'm praying to Ganesh that the internet doesn't cut out and erase the whole post. Without further ado...

It's no April Fool's Day joke, I really did propose international bathrooms as the optional talking point this week. Quite a few of you took me up on that:
Nomads by Nature discussed the baseline we all set for ourselves. Has anyone gone lower than sharing the experience with chickens?

Kelly at Well, That Was Different, offers some valuable tips for using third-world bathrooms, including how to help the kiddos use them.

Among other things, Small Bits comments on how easy it is to clean som…