29 February 2012

pink arrow collaboration

We have our first super-fan.

Yep.  That's right.

I'm not sure he intended to be the recipient of such a title, but Justin just secured his Mama Congo status by offering a particularly perfect re-design of our blog header:

A gentle ode to the unplanned, but now ubiquitous, hot pink arrow

Thanks, Justin! ("Branding & Image Consultant, Stateside Division") 

28 February 2012

public art.

Middle school art.  Johan as teacher.  In progress.

Papa Jardinier

This weekend our neighbors spotted this in a massive web between two trees outside our house.

Now we’ve found some awful spiders indoors. Mostly the kind that make you feel sick to your stomach when you find them curled up in your shoes. But this giant guy had a neon orange abdomen and red legs. Isn’t that kind of like nature’s version of a blaze orange vest? “Warning! Warning! Hide your children!”

On Monday morning I asked Mupwa, the gardener, to identify him. He was truly amazed.

So much so that he snatched him from his web and let him crawl up his arm.

27 February 2012


Mama Vida came to me yesterday and said, "Mama (she calls me "mama" too), you need to buy some more cereal.  Elias loves to eat it for his snack and there is no more."

I explained that even by my standards, cereal is crazy expensive in the Congo, so I hadn't bought any for awhile.  She said, "How much?"

So, I told her, "Usually, about 19,000 Francs."

She clucked her tongue, disbelievingly.  19,000 Congolese Francs is about $20.77.

$20 is two really good days wages for a normal person in the DRC.  Two days wages for a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes, imported from South Africa.

26 February 2012

25 February 2012

fish from the sky.

This week, we were having dinner on the porch:

A couple of chickens, rice, squash.

All four adults and all four children: 

sarah, annaïs, adam, & charlotte
Loulou, Johan, me, Elias

When the sky opened up and dumped these everywhere:

24 February 2012

malaria on my mind

Loulou was sick Sunday night.  A barrage of midnight vomit and fever.  She looked puny by morning and all the mamas gathered around her - clucking and worried.

Meanwhile, I was tired, but unconcerned.  She was still my feisty Lou - demanding "de l'eau!" and giving Elias a hard time.  I, the nurse, figured - "Ah, well.  Disgusting virus.  I hope this is just a 24 hour deal."

By afternoon, she was sweet-talking rice from Mama NouNou and chasing the cat.  All was well.

But, everywhere I went, my Congolese coworkers, members of the atelier (the maintenance staff on campus), the mamas, everyone kept asking and re-asking if Lou was okay.  "La petite est mieux?" they asked, over and over.  How did they even know my baby was sick?  It's no big deal.  A little virus.

21 February 2012

milk share: UN style

Once a year I take a pack teenagers to Nairobi for the Model United Nations conference.

It’s great fun. I enforce curfews, eat in Kenyan mall food courts and help smart kids engage in international debate. But this year I’m still nursing Annaïs, so me and my breast pump have been cruising all over the city.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...