Friday, January 28, 2011

Lake Kivu

We took a quick trip out of Kigali with some friends for the night. We stayed in a 3 bedroom house with 5 adults and 4 kids, creaky floors and one bathroom. This last little detail may not seem like such a big deal until you're the one that gets some sorta stomach flu and had to use that one bathroom on the hour every hour for an entire night. It was hell but hell...I survived. In one of the lucid moments of those 24 hours I remember thinking "I will never dismiss another patients complaints of how horrible a stomach bug can be". We'll see how long that lasts! yeah right!

O Boy enjoying the water - hopefully schisto free!

Beautiful views coming into the town!

Dave and Kai floating in the lake

The Tall One expresses his love for water!

View from the deck of the house we rented.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I keep thinking I will stop posting about pictures of new and interesting flowers and plants that I take pictures of. It's hard not to be impressed by the beauty that nature presents. I am familiar with plants and flowers in my native home but out here things look different, bloom differently, have different colors. Alas...more pictures of flowers. Flowering tree in Mauritius - the tree was huge - at least 40 feet tall!

Bright green succulent looking plant growing on volcanic rock in Mauritius.

Pure white Bougainvillea - I have never seen one so snow-white before.

Amazing garden full of these flowers in Bujumbura after the rain.

More super pretty Bougainvillea - Mauritius

Does this mean the palm is happy - are these fruit? seeds? nuts? In the yard of our friend in Mauritius.

Bujumbura Beauties

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There's A Fungus Amongus

The Ali Family loves mushrooms. We are not picky mushroom eaters - we like them all. I especially love dense 'shrooms that you can use as a meat substitute. I also love to get a nice mix of mushrooms and make my "world famous" wild-rice and mushroom stuffing. Until recently we have only been able to find these wild gigantic oyster mushrooms. Then a couple of weeks ago Eric came home and told me he saw a lady with a basket of mushrooms on her head and they were a different kind. Whoooppp Whoooop YAY a new kinda mushroom to check out. Unfortunately, we couldn't find this lady or another like her with a new type of mushroom until this past weekend. Look at the beauties that walked through the door with Eric. Some were put in spaghetti sauce, some in a stir fry, some eaten raw.

Can you find the phallic one in the bunch...

My love with an umbrella. These pictures really don't do these mushrooms justice. They were huge and hearty and all around beautiful.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If You Know Me At All...

you know that professional sports and I are not the best of friends. That said, I come from a family of American Football Fans! I got an email from my mom on Friday (that I didn't read until Saturday) that said with an undertone of panic "please have Orion wear his Green Bay Packers shirt on Saturday". So there was a big game yesterday of which I know not the outcome but if the Packers won you can bet its cause O had his gameday shirt on. Lots of love to all the Packer Backers out there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What a Difference

a year can make. I was searching through my pictures folder and came across the folder for January 2010 and found the cutest little boy laughing back at me. Fast forward one year and look what you get - another cute little boy saying "cheese". January 2011
January 2010

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thanks CDO

What do good friends buy their friend's kid for Christmas...why construction site utensils and plate of course. If you know my son, you know he's a nut for tractors, bulldozers, basically any big machine like thing. Well...looked what showed up in the mail the other day. How fun! Orion is in love with the "scooper" which is the little pusher-looking utensil that pushes the rest of the food onto the spoon or fork. Big loving thanks to CDO and their uncanny ability to know exactly what'll make O laugh. Love and miss you guys! xoxoxSuch a super sturdy plate - with special resting place for the fork and the spoon. You rest them in their spaces and then you can push the food onto them with the pusher utensil.
Say ahhhhh

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crazy In Buj

So when I looked at all the pictures I had taken while we were in Buj - I completely forgot about this crazy set. It was after work one day and we had walked down the beach to some place called Bora Bora. It was a nice casual place with big white lounge couches on this wide open covered deck. They served food and drinks. We each had a drink - I had an $8 mojito which was expensive but actually quite good - and then we walked back to our hotel.

While we were waiting for our drinks we started taking pictures and messing around with the different settings. I never use the sepia setting so we decided to give it a try. I look at these pictures and I just start to giggle. Can't help it. The Tall One and his ability to raise one eye-brow never ceases to amaze me.
Nothing I like more then sipping a cool cocktail on holiday.
Check out O's face...PRICE-LESS!
Big eyes on a little boy.

We managed to spend 3 days in a hotel room and not kill each other. xoxo

Monday, January 3, 2011

More flower pictures

Backyard beauty

The same flower - check out how tall it is!

Huge flower bush found on a stroll around the city

Cactus flower

This crazy green plant - the leafs curl up at night and open up during the day. Took this picture on my first trip to Buj in the courtyard of a little hotel called Botanika.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Here I sit - the house is quiet. The house where a 2 year old lives is never quiet except for naptime (I heart naptime) and this is why - right now the house is quiet. Eric is working and I am relishing in the quiet. Trying to be on the computer with O around is close to impossible. Thus this time right now is precious.

Can't really believe its 2011- feels odd to write that. But then again I think I say "I can't believe its______" every year. After much bickering back and forth we decided to throw a NYE party. We didn't have a babysitter and there were not any other appealing options thus the party became a reality. I am so glad we decided to throw a party. It was fantastic - a good turn out of a nice variety of people. Some came early and left for more exciting venues - others came late to ring in the New Year - others came and stayed all night. We served finger foods and folks brought some amazing things to share. My favorite of the night was a strawberry basalmic salsa brushetta. It was fanastic! We had a big open bar and I mixed 2 huge pitchers of mojitos with mint from our garden. I think the last folks rolled out of the house about 3am. Needless to say when O woke up at 6:30 AM both Eric and I were in pain. I do not have any pictures of NYE - my camera has gone missing. I am not stressing about it yet...I will do a thorough search of the house and then start stressing.

So since I don't have any pictures of NYE to post - I thought I would leave you with a couple more pictures from our trip to Buj. One of the things I love the most about visiting different places is checking out new food and drink. Burundi - like Rwanda - uses refillable glass bottles for beer, juice and seltzer. If you buy a bottle you are only purchasing the contents - you are not actually purchasing the bottle and if you want to take the bottle away it'll cost you more. What O is drinking is passion fruit juice processed and bottled in Burundi. Sure the heck looks like a beer bottle doesn't it?