Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Paul - Fashion show (1)

My son has a sense for style. He chooses his clothes in the morning, and of course, his accessories. And there is no way to convince him to change!

Today, he went like this to school. I swear, we live in Africa and it is relatively hot. The woolen cap and sleeve-less jacket have been kidnapped from the winter section of his wardrobe. The yellow Duplo block in his arm is a watch, he said. The grey Duplo block (obviously, he said) his smartphone. Oooopps, I am looking forward to see how he dresses when he becomes a teenager!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Happy birthday, Anna!

Today is Anna's birthday; happy birthday Anna!

I did not want to make it overcomplicated; so yesterday we did the crown (in the picture) and inflated the balloons for decoration of her chair and the living room. I would suggest all parents to have always in stock colored paper, scissors, glue and the like. With few things, you can really make almost anything! All my supplies come from Hema.

How to make the the crown:
- Cut the colored paper in long pieces (around 10cm wide) and make a string of paper. Leave it open.
- Cut a circle in a different color.
- Draw the letters and the "2" with glittering glue in the circle.
- Staple the circle in the middle of the string.
- Make the flower with pink chenille.
- Fix it with staples next to the circle.
- Close the long string around the head of your child, and staple it together. This way you make sure it is not too big or small.

And, of course, cake and candles are also needed! For a two-year-old is also very exciting to explain the whole process of blowing the candles; practice it a couple of times before lighting them!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wedding time in Kigali!

Last weekend our nanny was getting married with our gardener; a big day for the household!

We were invited to the church, and sort of forced to be sitting in the first row. Not that easy, since we were with Paul and Anna, but ok. Paul felt asleep after few minutes (even with all the loud music around) and we kept Anna busy easting cookies. I was thinking it was embarrassing that Anna was eating in the church until I saw a lady sitting behind us who was just breast-feeding her baby. So, I guessed that a two-year old toddler eating cookies should be ok as well. The ceremony was full of music, so although all of it was said in Kinyarwandan, it was not boring at all!

After the church ceremony we went to our garden to take few pictures with the closest part of the family. To be honest, it was a very nice experience, and we were very happy to be included in the celebration!

Few advices for foreigners being invited to a wedding in Rwanda.

- Wear appropriate clothes. For men this means a suit with a tie, and for ladies a long dress. It is very likely you might be considered a guest of honor, and be a bit on the spot, so be sure you wear neat clothes.

- Being on-time or not? I am not sure about this point. In our invitation it was said that the ceremony in the church started at 14. We arrived there 5 minutes late. The bride & groom were waiting outside, and when we rushed inside, we found the church almost empty. The ceremony started few minutes later, and people just came in during the ceremony and also afterwards.

- Presents? Ask in advance about which present could be appropriate, depending on your relationship with the people getting married. If you plan to give money, consider giving it in advanced, so that they can use it to pay for the wedding. This way you also make sure it does not get lost, since you may not have the right moment to give it. During the reception, people close to the couple, gave their present and they also made a speech. So, be ready to hold a speech as well!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Hand-made elephants

The house where we stay in Gisenyi is located in a beautiful spot with views to the lake Kivu. We went up to one of the hills to get a better view on the little bay and take some pictures. Out of the nothing an old man appeared, opened a bag with some wood crafts and waited patiently for us to come back to the car. The gorillas were not my thing, but the elephants were quite cute. My mother finally bought a couple of them after some bargaining. Not that it was expensive; he offered the full family (five elephants) for 12.000 RWF (around 15 euros).

Congratulations to this anonymous artist for his good work!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Anna with her new sunglasses

Living in a country next to the equator means that sunglasses are something more than a fashion item. They are really needed!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Weekly planning - What do we eat today?

All parents know the feeling. You finish your work, run to pick up the children from school/creche, get home, and the QUESTION pops up... what do we eat today?

When having no children, it is all a matter of improvisation, checking what is in the fridge, and eventually, running to the supermarket to buy some missing ingredient. With children, the scenario changes to have a couple of hungry human beings who are crying for food. It translates into an equally desperate parent crying as well for a fast solution.

When we were living in Leiden, we put in practice the weekly planner. On Friday, we did a plan on what we would eat the following week. Then we made sure over the weekend to have all the required ingredients. And each evening we cooked for the following day (or made the necessary preparations, like preparing the sauce for the pasta or unfreezing the meat). And, very important, we kept the plan in a visible place: the fridge.

And here is what our weekly planner looked like, for your inspiration!


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