If you read one thing this week, it should be this article from The Atlantic. Have you seen it? I couldn't stop reading. Being Gay at Jerry Falwell's University.
|Sparky. Liberty's mascot. Yep. From here.|
Oh man, I am really loving this blog, How Babies Work. Check out this post on what parents from different countries want from their children. Italy: Even tempered babies. Spain: Character. The US: Intelligence. Congo: Good machete skills. Kidding, but check out this link too. Not totally kidding.
"My child is so intelligent!" says every American parent. Photo by Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Calling all Fact Checkers at the New York Times! I'm here to say that even The NYT exaggerates once in a while. Check out this article about flying out of Kinshasa. She claims there are 18 check-points. I know that's not true, but there might be 15. But it is the worst process imaginable. Or maybe she was particularly suspicious looking. I really don't want to get into a feud with the New York Times, who I'm sure are avid Mama Congo readers.
Bonus: Oh man, try Googling "Kinshasa airport" there's some great stuff out there. Including airport reviews and a several hidden cam videos. ("Hidden" because we were once almost arrested for taking a photo in our car in the airport parking lot. Of a waffle, no less. That's a pretty serious no photography rule!)
|N'djili in a haze, which is sort of how you feel after the all-day departure process. Photo from here.|
|Comparison of Congolese francs vs. the more widely used Dollar. Image from TexasinAfrica, a great Congo blog and this post is fabulous for explaining a common issue. Can you guess which bill is rejected due to wear and tear. Find out.|
Just to follow up on Sarah's mention of N'Djili Airport. I would like to thank that place helping my children develop mad peeing-while-being-dangled-over-a-nasty-toilet skills. Though, I have to say, things have really improved in the two years we've been here. Here is a photo that I took inside the airport last time I was there during a brief moment when I forgot that I wasn't supposed to do that:
|The blur comes from me remembering mid-click that taking photos in the airport might actually be illegal...|
I said: "Don't mess with a loose tooth. It will come out when it's ready." (Deeper meaning can be applied to a variety of parenting situations.) Mama Vida told me this...oh, Monday.
Sarah said: ""As long as your baby is pooping, eating and breathing, it's going to be alright."Yep. Simple does it.
|If you go here, and share the "best mothering advice" post, $5 will be donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Johnson & Johnson to one of four organizations supporting women and children around the globe.|
Johan, LouLou, and I received belated birthday gifts yesterday via Mail Call. (Don't even ask how Elias felt about this.) Including, a TWO POUND block ofMast Brother's Chocolate. Bless. My. Soul. and Brooklyn.
|Gorgeous. From Brooklyn to Congo. With love.|
We also received this in navy and this in white. Both highly recommended. Though, my kid did just (while gently stroking my covered arm), say, "Mama, this is so strange. I've never seen you wear long sleeves. It's very beautiful." I guess we've been in Africa for a lot of his little memory.
|Image of Everlane Affordable Silk Shirt from andyheart.com|
Johan used to work with kids in Seattle. Usually unaccompanied minors who had crossed the U.S. border illegally and found themselves in that strange in-between land of not-old-enough-to-be-automatically-deported but also not quite welcome - some as young as 11. This op-ed is a powerful defense of the rights of these children. A must-read.
|Image by Shannon Freshwater for the NYTimes.|
|Photo from Tous Les Jours Dimanche|
Reading this right now and wondering how many French parenting books can be printed in a 12-month period. But, still reading it. Because the author is. hilarious. and my little one has been getting up at 5am and I'm wondering what the French would do about it...
|Buy book here.|