Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hope you had a...

Happy Turkey Day. Gobble Gobble Gobble!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Part of my job entails covering the health unit in Bujumbura, Burundi (say that three times fast). I had not been down there since arriving in Rwanda and finally took the plunge last week. It feels hard to leave one job to go look after another but my Regional Medical Officer from Nairobi was visiting so this felt like the perfect time. She came to visit Kigali and then we both flew to Bujumbura. Even though the flight is only about 35 minutes, it was nice to have a companion to travel with. The most luscious cup of cafe au lait I have ever had. Seriously amazing.

They sell electronics

Both these guys are barefoot

Glowing green foliage

My little apartment

O on the Street

Look how big my baby is getting...yikes how fast the time flies! We were strolling the streets on a quiet Sunday morning and O was fascinated with this little concrete stub. He managed to figure out how to balance on it and we probably spent 15 minutes playing on this corner - who says you have to have a playground!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seeds Pods?

Any idea what these are? I have seen them a bunch while walking our neighborhood streets and thought they looked really interesting. I finally found a bunch that wasn't thrashed on or super dirty and drug them home. I thought the petal looking pieces would open upwards but they don't - the actually hang downwards looking kinda like a bell. I wired them onto a grapevine wreath and hung it on the front door for Thanksgiving. It looks great!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I have been wanting...

to post this set of pictures for awhile now. They were taken with friends during our two days in Brussels on our way to Rwanda. It was a cold, rainy and damp day and we took over a coffee shop for as long as possible until it was time to meander back to the car. Once we got to the car - the sun broke out a bit and it stopped pissing quite so hard and the kids started running around. I like how the gray day contrasts with the signage and the pink and purple coats. Does that sound too artsy for too, but its the truth. I like how it looks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

O's Graduation

Can you spot my little O amongst all the orange shorts? Orion's school had an end of the term celebration and we went. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was told he should dress nice. First off - how do you dress a two year old nice and have it last for longer than 1/2 hour? He wore a long sleeve button down shirt and pants. What I don't understand is why I was told to have him dress nice. Once we got to school - his teacher whisked him away and the next time I saw him this is what he was wearing...where the heck did he get the shorts? was I supposed to contribute to purchasing these shorts? now was I one of those slacker parents that never do what they are supposed to. YIKES!

Despite all my concerns, it was a super sweet affair each class did some sort of dance or skit or song and then they had awards and everyone sang. If you want to check out the video see if this link works:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dressing the Part

At the embassy there is a Marine Security Guard detachment- a group of young Marines that are responsible for certain aspects of security at the embassy. The Marine Corps Birthday is November 10th and all over the world on or around that day there are big festivities and, I am told, always a "Marine Ball".

I had never heard of a Marine Ball before but its a big deal; a formal tux wearing, champagne drinking, lipstick and ballgown affair. A big fancy venue, dinner, drinks, dancing and holy shit...formal wear. YIKES! Having only been here for a couple of months all of our stuff has not made its way from Seattle/DC/Brussels so the big question on our minds has been what the heck are we going to wear? I thought about just wearing a dressy skirt and cardigan but was told that would be inappropriate at this black tie event. Holy stress about trying to find a formal gown in a foreign country in a foreign language.

My inspiration came when I saw a bunch of Rwandan women in what looked like a sari/toga dress and asked my co-worker what they were called. The dresses are called umushanana and they are comprised of a wrap around skirt and a over the shoulder piece of fabric. You wear a tank top or short sleeved tight shirt underneath. They are really cool looking - I, however, didn't want to look like the blob that stole kigali so I knew that fabric choice was going to be important.

A couple of Saturdays ago we spent a couple of hours digging through fabric stalls in the downtown area. I found some really amazing fabric that was white with black trees on it. I know it sounds crazy but it was seriously pretty. Fabric in hand I just had to figure out how to get the dress made. I took a look at my co-workers umushanana and it is super simple. If I had my sewing machine it would take about an hour to stitch. Alas no sewing machine - you know the story. I needed to find someone to hem the fabric for me - a friend was getting a dress made so I tagged along with her and dropped of the fabric.

Eric picked it up for me on Thursday and waaa laaaaa - I had a party dress to wear! You should hear the story of Eric's suit. It deserves its own post so be on the look out for a post about how to buy a suit at an open market.

There are better pictures to come but...Eric and I along with my co-worker, Elyse.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Such a helper...
He had a great time!

I have issues and I know this. I like to paint the spaces I live in. I like to make generic government-issued houses look more personal. I feel better, I work better, I play better - all when the space I live in reflects who I am. Thus, I spent four hours working with the worst primer ever to cover a really orange wall in the house we currently live in. I have another orange wall to go and if I am feeling really motivated the whole peach kitchen. YIKES!

Friday, November 5, 2010

At Work

I am at work and probably shouldn't be blogging or surfing the web finding stuff that I am in love with...BUT this has been a bit of a nutty week and I am feeling tired, overwhelmed, tapped out and in need of a bit of space. Space - which doesn't come easy here in this community nor in this country. I have decided to try and find one night a week for me - now I just have to find something to do and maybe someone to do it with. I need a little "Stacy" time cause we all know I was "Stacy" way before I was wife, mom, worker...

So in my hunt for a little sanity - I found this amazing lady making amazing things on Etsy:


I am also in love with this google site - it has helped me translate lab reports, radiology reports and consultation notes from local health care providers:

*Google Translate

Allright...I feel better now. Thanks for listening to STACY!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flora Pictures

For your viewing pleasure.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"America's House"

Vertical view of a "travelers palm" not sure if that's this palms real name but that is what I was told.

The same plant - different angle - so you can see the flower

View from the lower garden up to the main terrace

We were at the Ambassador's house and I was walking with O through the gardens. They don't have a huge garden but it is meticulously maintained and it has some really interesting architectural plants. The Amassador refers to his house as "America's House" and says that last year they had 3,000 people visit it for various social functions.