Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Team Mango

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Ferdinand has been so great to provide us with perfectly ripened mangoes all season…..seems like was eat them about as fast as he picks them. There have been a few times where I just make sorbet and feel like I am ahead of the mangoes and I return to the kitchen only to find 20 more. He usually picks them and puts them in our store room until they are about ripe. I tell you….I average three a day myself. I just can’t get enough! His picking methods……


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HIS COUSON DESIRE……who eats them great and EXTRA sour!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thinking in “blog”


For a few weeks, I have had a hard time getting the “words” to write. I found myself several times thinking….”Oh, I am gonna write about this” or “Oh, I should take a picture of this….very interesting” but as you have probably noticed, the words and pictures have not shown up. So, in hopes of getting back “into” it, I thought I would try something  and catch you up with snippets….. here are 5 short subjects…….

Little Tuareg boy….The other day, I visited the ward with my bubbles. I had been sick the day before and almost did not go. But I am so glad I did. There was a little  boy who had got  a fresh cast. The nurses told me that he had been crying since the day before. His mother had communicated that he was in pain. She only spoke tamacheq.  Still amazes me that it is nothing for our nurses to speak 3 or 4 languages! I sometimes feel a bit limited, but there is always a way, always something I can do. So, all I could do was pull out my bubbles and Voila….the crying stopped and his mood brightened. He settled and I just enjoyed sitting with he and his mother. I could not communicate at all but the bubbles did it. Time well spent. Wish I had a pic, but alas…I don’t.

Police in sliver helmets leaving the morgue…. So I got caught in an enormous traffic jam on my way to pick the kids up at school. I have to drive by the national Hospital and the Morgue entrance is right where I pass. Every time I go past there are people waiting for a body to be released. But this particular day, there were vehicles and people everywhere. The body needs to be buried within 24 hours, so people come and pick them up, usually wrapped in a mat or in this case clean white sheets.  ALL MEN. After the body is picked up, all the cars follow to the cemetery with their hazards flashing. The police decided to jump in and gum up the works too. This was different than most days, I spotted 2 police pick ups with 4 police attendants each….the men were wearing interesting helmets. The helmets were shiny silver and made me  think of Battle Star Galactica for some reason (they were not as fancy as the Silons and did not cover their faces or have a red light, ha ha….the things I remember from my sci fi days ).I suppose that they were high profile people, military or police. There were so many people and  the parking lot was full so they just parked anywhere willy nilly! I wanted to take a picture, but did not feel that was wise, some officials can get upset and it WAS a funeral procession, besides……I did not have a “get away” plan.

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More traffic woes…..I wonder if I will ever stop being surprised by traffic problems and the choices drivers make? I had trouble crossing the bridge after dropping the kids at school one day.  Seems like I am always driving somewhere…..well I just sat there in the middle of the bridge wondering what it could be today? Presidential convoy? Dead cow? Broken down taxi? Someone taking a pic of a hippo? Really, it does not take much to bring things to a stand still…….So when I got going….ALLI it was, an abandoned donkey cart full of wood. At least it was in the morning and I was fairly fresh and amused by all of the crazy motos …….

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The duck will run and we’ll laugh…. have had a great time playing with the kids at Le Jardin D’enfants L’etoile. The person that is IT takes a flip flop and marches on the outside of the circle and sings “Le canard va courir” and the rest of the people playing, sing back “ Nous allons y rire” and the child puts the flip flop behind someone and that person has to pick up the flip flop and chase…if they catch the person or fling the shoe at them and hit them the “duck” (canard) has to sit in the middle. Sound sort of familiar? The kids LOVE to pick Tauntie Fana or Tauntie Giselle….

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Could not finish this without mentioning the past few sand storms….. it is about time for the rains to come, and they have in some out lying areas. Nothing substantial here, just some muggy weather, sprinkles, thunder and dirty wind….. I just love rain and it is so hard to wait, but it will come…we (Niger) NEED rain.  SOON!  Have not had a good rain since last September? The first few will be ushered in with big sand storms that  will drop wet sand…..weird, I know. But, to me….cool especially when the sky glows orange….I am sure these pictures will not do it justice. They were taken about 6 PM and t here was so much dust in the air that I could not get a good picture. You can actually see the particles of sand. Not much of a glow, but not what the sky should look like at dinnertime.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Hippos in the Morning

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HIPPO SIGHTING FIRST THING THIS MORNING!  Love the fact that on my daily drive to school, I can see hippos from the bridge( used to be deer or maybe the occasional fox)! I have always loved spotting wildlife wherever I am. Since my walking partner has been out of town, I have not taken my normal route over the bridges. Above is the view, to the left are the rocks that often “fool” me, but the spot to the left…..2 hippos! Below are close ups…..left rocks (complete with birds), right hippos……

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Today, I walked/ran at the school campus and on my way home the hippos were still there. I could not stop on the bridge, so I went across turned around and went back to park so that I could run over the bridge and capture the morning hippos.  

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A bunch of young men walking by stopped to ask me what I was doing and paused for a f w minutes to gaze with me. Usually you have to go further up river to see the hippos, but it seems that each hot season there are a few that migrate down stream. Spotting a hippo from my car is pretty exciting and wonderful!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baking (in 100 degree weather) 4 my kids

I know, I may be crazy to fire up the oven in the middle of hot season!


But a certain boy that I love very much turned 13 today. Oh, the things we do for LOVE!The request??  Killer cookie! Here is a picture from last year…..

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This was one of my favs when Leron and I were dating….we would get it at Guliffty’s in New Cumberland, PA….perfect for 2! We introduced the kids to this yummy dessert early and it stuck as a fav for them too! Traditionally, I make this in my deep dish pizza stone, but today we were sharing it with 7 other boys, so I modified and made it on the jelly roll pan……thanks to Auntie Mo, we had chocolate chips and the rest of the ingredients I found right here in Niamey…..flour, brown sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, eggs for the cookie, bananas from the vendor, whipped cream, chocolate syrup (oh yeah, in my stash from Hershey) and then I actually bought ice cream….a bit of a splurge (12 bucks for 2L)! Put is all together and yum!!!! A birthday success!

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Love you so much Benjamin David Lehman….you are incredible and I am so delighted to see the man you are becoming! But sorry… will always be my lil Benny boy…. always making me laugh with your sparky personality & contagious smile. So thankful for you. Oh, the things you will experience in the next 13 years!

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I have too many silly pics of you hamming it up that I could not pick and since you are now 13, I thought I could show you that I do not want to embarrass you on purpose…….but here are a  few that I know you approve of:

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