Sunday, August 10, 2014

How Pregnancy Prepares Husbands for Children

Pregnancy turns you into a child and husbands know just how to handle it...
  1. Encourages snack time
  2. Knows when to put you down for a nap and bedtime 
  3. Doesn't lose patience with irrational questions, ideas and fears
  4. Packs water bottles for when you are on the go
  5. Comes up with the best nicknames - ratatoots, fatty-bo-batty, big belly geel
  6. Patiently waits for you as you try and keep up - waddle, waddle...
  7. Helps you get ready in the morning - can't bend down!
  8. Knows how to handle a tantrum - enough said. 
  9. Doesn't mind eating the same meals every week - mac n cheese, stroganoff,  pizza, and chicken fingers
  10. Institutes a rewards system for eating vegetables - due to wife's low hemoglobin
  11. Patient with fickleness - I want pizza, no a milkshake, I'm not hungry 
  12. Pushes you to try your hardest - won't carry wife upstairs
*Post NOT inspired by Ben, he carries me everywhere.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Zanzibar - The Spice Island

This is what Zanzibar is all about – beaches and spices. We went to Nungwi on the north coast and beached around the whole time. Normally, we’d feel guilty about lounging in a new place, but not this trip. I’d like to blame it on the being tired, but we both revelled in the pregnancy excuse. 

On the way down to Paje we visited a spice shamba (farm) and a local guy explained the uses of all the spices and fruits. We’ve noticed something funny about the different uses of foods and spices in various cultures, it always comes down to sex. This gets her in the mood, this makes you cold, this make you hot. And of course they added a few things about pregnancy, not because I was pregnant or anything. We found this funny because Haiti has similar fruits but contradictory uses. Plenty of spices like cinnamon, lemongrass, cloves, and more have medicinal uses; but these made up stories are pretty entertaining. I am glad Ben organized visiting a shamba because it's something Mombasa doesn't offer. Also, it helped that the smells and fruits were delicious, I could not stop munching. This pregnancy I'm extra sensitive to the smells of gasoline and exhaust so anything plant-like was glorious.

Zanzibar Dhow
Rambutan - my new favorite fruit
Another one? Don't mind if I do. 
Lipstick fruit - these names are official
I'm convinced! I need a cinnamon tree. You can use the root, bark, leaves, and it smells amazing. 
Spices, snacks, and snacking
Rode bikes to meet up with Kevin in Paje. Our evening went until 10 pm. I will never forget that bike ride back to our hostel, no lights, semi- flat tires, and a huge baby bump. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Z A N Z I B A R  has been #1 on my East African bucket list since we found out we were moving to Kenya. Our time here has flown by and being 30 weeks pregnant, we decided it's now or never. We better embark on our last vacation just the two of us. This trip felt different because the area felt so familiar with the pervasive Swahili culture, climate, and geography. Some people say the truest Kiswahili is spoken in Zanzibar/Tanzania. We spent our first two days in Stone Town, which is basically a bigger, quieter version of our favorite area in Mombasa.  We loved walking around the narrow streets, exploring the markets, and comparing it to Mombasa. Omani (Arab), Indian, Persian influences are a little stronger in Zanzibar, the food has more flavor (duh, spice island), it's more accommodating to tourists, and the island itself was enchanting.
The roof tops of Stone Town
Forodhani Gardens
Mtoni Palace Ruins

The Mtoni Palace was home to Sultan Seyyid Said and his many wives, concubines and children. He moved the capital of his Omani empire from Muscat to Zanzibar during the early 19th century and the palace was abandoned by the late 1890s. 

Swahili Door
Everyone wanted to sell Ben a Taqiyah
Who knew Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar? His home above
Prisoner Island
191 year old tortoise

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bamba at Ferry

The past two weeks we’ve been pushing Bamba Water at the ferry and it’s been encouraging. Sales are going up and most people in the area know the product. I am happy to see some of the attitudes of our employees change, too. Change is hard so seeing a positive response over a few days’ time has our employees thinking yes we can! I am also impressed with Ben, I think he is the only manager in Kenya who is willing to work side by side with our employees.

Meet Christian our 18-year old intern for 6 weeks 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pregnancy Panic and a Day in Takaungu

Waiting for high tide
6 months!
Zinj Leather Shop
He ate all three meals with us and his only response was "poa" which translates to "cool"
Guard donkeys work just as well as dogs
Takaungu Beach
Mango pit stop on the way home

We are at the 6-month mark and it's been the most eventful week in the pregnancy thus far. I bought my plane ticket to the USA and then panicked on Thursday when my ultrasound report moved my due date up two whole weeks! This was distressing because it threw off mine and Ben’s individual plans on heading back to the States. Visions of giving birth without Ben consumed my mind. I already feel like being apart from Ben for a month was a gamble and then this objectionable report brought on some serious anxiety. Hours later I met with Dr. Mahesh Chudasama, thank goodness, and he eased all my fears. He explained my ultrasound was done an older machine that gave an estimated due date and doesn't take into account all measurements and timelines. Panic subsided and now we are all on schedule – baby, Ben and I. I'll be arriving in Hotlanta, Georgia on August 31 while Ben and baby should be joining me in October, hopefully in that order.

Also, this week Delta offered some of the best service I've had in years. I never thought I’d give a good review of Delta, customer services agents, or any airlines for that matter; but I'd be on hold for another hour as long as Delta rendered the same superior service. Everyone was so helpful and patient. I must document these unique events. They are great reminders that things work out and I should spend more time appreciating this pregnancy, and less time worrying about the details. As everything slowly falls into place I am so grateful for the support I'm receiving from loved ones and strangers.

Friday night we headed to Takaungu with our two new interns Jeff and Jess. I failed to get a group picture but we had a great time on the creek, ocean, and visiting the local leather shop