Friday, February 12, 2010

Baby Atkins!!!!!

About two weeks ago we found out that I am pregnant. We wanted to get pregnant this year and God chose January :-) We couldn’t be happier, in fact I think that my cheeks are getting sore from smiling so much! I’m not that good at keeping exciting secrets so the past two weeks have been a mild form of torture! Last night Jason looked at me and with a big grin on his face said, “Why don’t you go ahead and put it on facebook. We’re going to tell everyone sooner or later, so it might as well be now.” That was all the motivation I needed! I posted a status announcing our little guy and within 12 hours 45 people commented on my status to say congratulations. So far Baby Atkins is WAY more popular than my normal status updates :-)

The apartment that we live in now is the second story of a house. We have a bathroom, a kitchen, and then one other room that we use as our bedroom / office / living room. Jason and I both do a lot of our work from the apartment so we have people over working with us a lot. There is a large veranda on the front of the second story and half of it already had a roof with columns at the corners. We decided a while ago that we wanted to wall it in to have an extra room in the house and we started the project about a week before we found out that we were expecting. So now the extra room is officially the baby's room. It's really going to be a blessing because the baby will be able to sleep much better without people coming in and out of it's sleeping area all day!

We have been taking pictures of my belly each in week in the baby's room so you can see the baby's progress and the room's progress. So far, not much to report with the belly, but the room is coming along great!

Six Weeks and a pile of blocks

Seven Weeks and some of the blocks are now walls

Last week one of the import stores downtown got frozen turkeys! We were so amazed that we bought one. We've been in a celebrate-y mood lately, so we had a party and invited two other American families who live in Bissau. The turkey was amazing, and we all had a good time :-)

One wing fell off when we were taking it out of the pan, but besides that it looks good enough to eat :-)

Abby, munching on a drumstick

Tammy and Katie getting food for the kids, Jonathan and Jason lounging in the background :-)

One of the words here for the time of pregnancy is the same word for "hope" (like "expecting" in English), and it's also what they call the dresses that married women wear - because if you're married you should be pregnant :-) As a married women I do wear these dresses a lot but last Sunday was my first time to be wearing a "maternity dress" while I was actually pregnant, so we took a picture :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Curly Hair

A lot of times when people ask me how life’s different over here I don’t really know what to say. It’s different in so many ways – where to begin?!? The other day as Jason went up on our roof to do something that might seem a bit strange I thought to myself, yup, this is one of those differences...

In the US water is pumped up into giant water towers and then the pressure from those towers gives you running water in your house. Here we don’t have big water towers that bring us running water, but we use that basic idea on a smaller scale. When the youth center’s generator is on for classes we pump water from our well up into a tank on the top of our house. Then, even when we don’t have power, the pressure coming from the tank gives us running water.

About once a year the tank needs to be cleaned out. All kinds of algae and other fun stuff grow in it, and it’s just a little disconcerting to shower in green water... hehe. Our water tank is pretty new but when it was installed they put cement blocks inside of it to hold it down and they did not put a lid on it. So, a few weeks ago when Jason went up to check it he discovered that the cement blocks were dissolving into the water and that somewhere along the line some cardboard and some plastic bags had gotten in the tank (presumably from the lack of lid) and were decaying also. That was enough for him, so he donned his grubby clothes, grabbed a filter, a scrubber, and some bleach, and slithered into the small opening in the top of our 1,000 liter tank.

He scrubbed and flushed and scrubbed some more and I’m happy to report that he did make it back out of our tank, our water is much cleaner, and we do now have a lid!

I'm not quite sure what Jason was going for in this one - big intimidating water tank dirt eliminator, maybe?

Over Christmas I got my hair braided with curly extensions and we went out the village to visit our Brazilian friends there, Gilson and Rosania.

Decorating the dead Christmas tree - it's amazing what you can do with garlands and bows, when we were finished it actually looked pretty good!

I couldn't get my hair wet, so I decided, who needs a shower cap, I'll just go with the dress that I wore earlier :-)

Jason and I on Christmas day

Christmas just isn't Christmas without a one-year-old to play in the wrapping paper :-)

A few days after Christmas they wanted me to make American food, so I made mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and Swiss steak. It was good!!! (Yes, I am wearing the same clothes as Christmas, we don't take that many outfits when we travel on public transport...)

In another little bit of news there is a bakery in Bissau that makes whole wheat and nine grain bread! It’s been open for less than a month, but so far so good. Before this you could really only buy two kinds of bread in Bissau - a long Italian loaf or a sweet roll. We’ve been frequent visitors to the new store and we’re hoping that it stays open for a while!

Slicing into a loaf of nine grain bread!