Saturday, June 28, 2008

Background to Africa

Many of you were very surprised when I Blogged about going to Africa...we didn't want to blog about it too much just because we would be out of town for so long and our apartment would be sitting there. Anyway- Africa was amazing and I would highly suggest going there to anyone. The flight there is painful, but once you are there it is so...well life changing.

My parents decided to go a couple of months ago (almost a year...if you know my dad he likes to plan things way in advance)! and invited us to go about two months before the trip. It was hard at first to think about leaving the kids for that long but once we realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime we had to go for it. The kids stayed with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for the first week and then due to girls camp etc went and stayed with my cousin Tiffany for the last couple days.

My mom had friends that had gone over and they all said that doing service was amazing and was well worth the effort and money that it took. I agree. They also said that since you are all the way over there you have to do some type of Safari...to end your trip on more of an upbeat note. It was such an amazing vacation and the nice part is that we were kept so busy that we didn't have time to sit and really think about how much we missed the kids. We were up and going around 7 every morning and didn't get home until 6 at night...and by that point we were exhausted. We did that routine for a week and then took a plane down to Kenya, and then got on another plane...a 12 passenger plane (talk about a fear of flying here) and flew out to a reserve called "The Mara Intrepid". That whole week was amazing (will fill in more details at a later time) and then took off Tuesday morning at 11 and were pretty much in an airplane for the next 22 hours (yes...painful). Anyway- it was a great trip and I will do more about the Safari later.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day Two in Vegas

Today was day two for us in Vegas as home-owners, yep we are FINALLY in our new home! We are about to start enjoying it as we are still busy unpacking.

But to keep everyone intrigued-today was the WORST grocery store visits I have ever had. The kids and I ran out to get more "essentials" for the fridge and were only suppose to be gone about an hour. We ran down to our local grocery place...one in which I had never heard of, but figured because they were unknown to me they must be cheap. Wrong. They were quite pricey-but that isn't the worst part. We are walking around picking stuff up when I leave my cart to grab and check the eggs (you know gotta make sure none of them are broken) and turn back around to see my cart crashing to the ground with Bennett in it. Somewhere along the way one of the wheels fell off of my grocery cart causing it to tip over so that my poor baby went crashing to the ground along with all my groceries! Bennett just lost it and I don't blame him one bit I am sure he had a major headache along with the scare of falling like that!! Immediantly an employee came over and tried making the situation better-you know, got me a chair, spoke with me...and then went to get the manager on duty. He came over and I told him that I was going to file a report ( I was still really shaken up) so I filed one while they picked up my groceries and put them in another cart. They also had a physician come over and take a look at Bennett just to make sure he was ok...And that was that! SERIOUS! I was shaky up until the moment I got in the car and then I was just mad. The whole way home I just kept saying "lawsuit...anyone???". It was a very infuriating situation!! I can say that I will NEVER shop at that store again...NEVER. I mean-what would happen if it had been a newborn and they had fallen out...I hate that store.

Bennett is doing fine, he sustained a minor scratch/cut under his eye from the Rice Krispies and he was happy as a lark crawling around the house tonight...tough little guy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Africa Week 1

We have been back from Africa for almost a week and we have been running nonstop since our plane landed. We are in Vegas (a drive from...) yet are still in a hotel as we are still waiting one final signature to go through on our home (frustrating) so I decided that I would write a little about our Africa trip. It was such an amazing experience, very humbling...and it made me very grateful for the things that we have in America.

The first week we spent in Ethiopia-we stayed in a little town outside of Addis Abba called Deberezet. We were very lucky and got to stay in a hotel (due to the likely hood that someone would be getting sick they thought it better to get sick there). Every morning we would drive out to a little village (about 30 minutes away) and help. Depending on what you wanted to do, but they had ALOT that needed done- clinic work, fixing their schools, building stoves and potties, and a lot more.

I spent the first two days at different schools, the first school was inside the village itself with three classrooms and 1700 students (no not a typo)! School was only about 3-4 hours long and then they would have a whole new batch of students come in. The first school they were busy testing and the "headmaster" of the school didn't want the students disturbed so we met with the head teachers and offered them gifts to help their classrooms (maps, posters, games, etc). The second day we drove even further into a VERY remote village to visit their school. We met with the head teachers and all the fathers of the village to offer them gifts. Then went and saw all of their classrooms (3)...how humbling to see a classroom with dirt floors, and the walls made out of dung and straw. The students spoke English very well and could even communicate with us. Although at the second school they were very cautious of us...the schools are having problems with "bandits" coming in and stealing the children for marriage or labor purposes, hence the fathers being at the schools with guns to guard the children. (very sad!!)

The third day I helped in the medical clinic...wow. We had three doctors on our trip with us so they needed help diagnosing patients as to whether it was a trauma situation or if it was "normal". I know there is a big thing going on right now how vaccines can cause all sorts of things in our children like ADD etc...after seeing the diseases that those vaccines prevent I would rather prevent those diseases. Normal for the clinic were things like malaria, tuberculosis, aids, leprosy, scabies, and those were the normal things!! I mean, have you seen what TB looks like when it has "fully infected" a child?? There were so many eye infections due to the children being in a nonventilated area while the mother is cooking. And the Aids...the sad thing was that alot of the people-no most of the people just didn't understand, they would tell us that this child with me is not mine. She is an orphan, both of her parents died awhile ago. We automatically knew that she was an aids child and would not live a really long life. It was gut wrenching... I was in there until Thursday when I was helping clean out a donkey bite (gross) and almost lost my lunch so then I headed outside to "play" with the children. Make the wait to see the doctors a little bit more enjoyable.

On Thursday night I got a little sick (not too bad) more than likely just accidentally drank some of the water somehow. But Dustin got REALLY sick. They still aren't sure if he had cholera, typhoid fever, or ecoli. Wonderful right? So we stayed back at the resort on Friday while I tended to him and kept him well hydrated.

Anyway, it was a great week in Ethiopia...we spent the next week in Kenya but I will wait to blog about that when I have those pics (our camera died after Ethiopia so I will have to get pics from my parents.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday! We are trying to pack up as fast as we can...which I have found to be hard with two kids! I have enjoyed today to take as downtime, and not worry about anything coming up.

Dustin told me that Bennett looked like a grown man off of "The Office" who just got off of work... i think he might have even mentioned Dwight. Either way I thought he looked like a stud today, and Halle was cute as ever. Luckily I have a girlfriend who taught me how to make bows up here-I am getting better and better (slowly) so that Halle will eventually have enough bows to overtake any bathroom.

We had good quality snuggle time before naps this afternoon... which included lots and lots of kisses.