In the uncoolest way, I loved school – all of it – elementary, high school, university.  I just realized I graduated from university 10, ohmygosh, 10 YEARS ago.  I am so far from university: 1) Africa (how the heck did that happen?) and, 2) staying at home with kids playing housewife.  Yeesh.  So I’ve been daydreaming about exercising my brain once again and expanding my options once the kids are off to school.  This online program piqued my interest but I have no idea how to pay for it or if I would be able to fufill the on-campus residency requirement down the road.  Like I said, it’s a daydream.  Nice to have options though, isn’t it?


Sewing Dork – Help!

I got the idea for refashioning a tank top hereImage.  And I made it.  I just can’t get into it.  So I’m asking the Sewing Dork, the originator, for help.  Please and thank you.


See Sara Sew

I’ve been wanting a sewing machine for quite a long time.  The husband and I talked about having one brought from the States but it just didn’t seem practical.  Then he found a good deal in Merkato.  My machine has been humming along nicely and it’s pretty easy to use.  There’s a lot of satisfaction in making something (like my bath mat for instance!) when you just can’t find it here or it costs a ridiculous amount of money.

Can I just say – I miss shopping! I have shopping dreams where I’m at some sort of mall and I’m finding everything I want.  It’s silly.  There’s no easy-button you can push here and get everything on your list.  It’s irritating sometimes.  But sometimes going ‘without’ isn’t so terrible.  It’s good to hit the creative-button too.

Ode to Migraines

I love this article that goes beyond describing the pain of migraines but captures the accompanying feeling as well.  I particularly identify with this line “Rather than being slammed into a wall, it feels as if my head is stuck in a closing door. It’s the dull agony of a deadline looming, of a nagging phobia, of going up in a lift as your vertigo builds.”  It uses beautiful language to describe a not-so-beautiful event.

And this drawing captures the feeling entirely.

I have yet to consider a migraine as a good thing.  I do know it’s my body telling me I’m not taking care of us very well.  It could be too many carbs, a chocolate bar before bed or a glass of red wine that throws me into the migraine abyss.  A migraine is a very forceful way of getting me to realign and adjust bad habits, become hyper aware of my body and slow right the fuck down. 

So, a toast – to migraines! The maladjustive aligner of body wrongs!

Link Time

Here’s a post I did for Mother’s Day…

I Need a How-To Guide

We’re really, really enjoying our new neighbourhood. The kids discovered they can bring out their ride-em duck out onto the “road” (our gated community road), run along with other kids and just walk and walk. Normally walking on a regular road attracts a lot of attention – the Ethiopian looking kids with the white mama. So in our gated community, it feels as if there’s a lot more privacy.

The other day while we were playing outside, some kids wandered over to check out the girls. They are obviously from outside the gated community – raggedy clothes, holes in their shoes. I encouraged the girls to let the other kids have a turn on the ride-em duck. The kids (mine included) had a great time playing together. Eventually all the kids (there are about 8 of them) wander into our compound and seem pretty slack-jawed. They see our shelf of shoes and stop to stare at it for a while. A little one wanders straight into our house and is super excited to see all the toys. The big kids tell her to get out but can’t help checking out our place all the same. It’s incredibly awkward. I know culturally it’s impolite here to go into someone’s home. But I resist shoeing them out because I want my girls to be accepting of people no matter who they are. Eventually the kids wander back outside and I tell them to come another day.

A few days later four kids come by – some the same and some different from the day earlier. They play outside on the road for a while and everyone is taking turns while the ride-em duck gets a workout. Then eventually they all wander into our compound and the oldest one insists on sweeping and wiping everything in sight – like somehow she has to earn her visiting privileges. Zizi begins distributing bananas and mangoes.  It’s getting late and they all go home.  The husband says that I shouldn’t be surprised if 20 kids show up one day expecting to play.

This morning a five-year old girl from yesterday came with her grandma to show her our house. The grandma stayed for about five minutes and then left her grand-daughter at our house saying she had to work. I don’t think we Canadians have much of a culture (what’s our national food?) but leaving our children with strangers is NOT part of the culture. The girl’s name is Beza and Beza went to every corner of our house inspecting the toilet to the oven. There’s only innocent curiosity there. I also know kids talk – and that she’ll go home and report all the strangeness to her family about her time spent at the ferenji’s house. I’m not sure how to balance having my girls make friends and having them being spied upon. Beza had lunch with us and then I asked our maid (Misrak) to walk her back to her house (as the grandma had instructed!) Both the husband and Misrak insist I shouldn’t have kids over. The Canadian in me wants to show acceptance but the Mom in me is protective. I’m finding it hard to strike that balance.

Moving House

Here are some pictures of our new place.  The most exciting part is the GREEN! I’m not sugar coating it – you may still see see some boxes, garbage bags and suitcases but due to lack of closets (yep, zero) we can’t move ALL the way in quite yet.  The house itself is smaller than our old place but is a lot more charming. 


We love eating here – especially in the mornings.


Complete with potty – Dags is in training.


This is the outdoor kitchen and two extra rooms – one is for Misrak and the other is for storage.


This shower was designed by the husband! Fancy huh.


This is the living room and this window faces out to the backyard.  We have trees! And disarray.  And trees!


This is the girls’ bedroom.  Zizi requested pink walls. (Take notice of the framed picture…her favourite dog, Boo.)


Look at THAT! No, not the satellite dish in pieces on the grass.  That tree. 

This place is our little Ethiopian paradise.

So despite the chaos, we’re settling in slowly and enjoying the pace this new house (along with it’s greenery) is bringing us. 

And can I just say, like all people, I really really hate moving.  Mostly I hate making decisions about every thing-a-ma-bob.  Should I keep it? Where do I put it now that I’ve kept it? I’m just not good at organizing and I just need to confess that here.  There, I’ve said it.  So if I update photos and you still see the giant dictionary sitting on the edge of the couch for no apparent reason, you’ll know why.

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