25 June 2009

Leaving on a jetplane... don't know when I'll be back again...

Last day before the holidays today! And boy, am I happy to be leaving. Five and a half months is just too much! So we're leaving tomorrow in the morning for San Pedro Airport, where we'll take our dearest Sophia Airlines to Abidjan. We're spending the afternoon in Abidjan shopping and in the evening, it's off to the Airport for our flight to Belgium.
So actually, holiday starts this evening when David comes back from work. Even though I'm super prepared and almost everything is already packed up, I'm a little bit nerveous. Mostly I think because I just can't wait to be tonight... Even though we're on a very tight schedule, I'm looking forward to this holiday, I think it'll be lots of fun. We've got quite some thing planned: 10 days in Cluny with my parents, 10 days in the South of France with my in-laws. Some shopping, some medical visits, some friends in between (that was the hardest part... apparently we're all on a tight schedule... so funny! Just a couple of years ago, we had all the time of the world and it just wasted away!).
Once again, I will try to post something every now and again, but every time that has proven to be quite hard... So until that time... Good night and Good Luck!

24 June 2009

The rainy season

It finally started raining a couple of weeks ago... So far so good, we still get some dry moments in between the rains, we still get to see the sun every once in a while. Maryam says the most difficult period is July, there it rains two weeks non-stop. It all seems fine to me (moreover this time we won't be here), I think after last year in Cameroon I can put up with any kind of rainy season and be happy with it.
As every year, we had been longing for the rainy season to come... You can feel it in the air, the waiting... The air gets heavy and dry and hot... The animals start getting impatient and trees and shrubs start looking sad. And once it kicks in, life takes up the pace again.
Funny how thing change so much during the rainy season. There are places you wouldn't recognise. Entire valleys become lakes. I have this hedge surrounding our garden, which was a kind of sad green not so special hedge. Now the rainy season has started, new white and pink leave have grown and it's become a very pretty sight indeed!
Then there's this big tree in my garden (I've posted some pics of it here before) it had these very pale pink blossoms, which now have become candy-cane pink.

23 June 2009

10 things... Part Two

Ten things I'll miss when we're in Belgium (actually I wonder if I'll be able to come up with ten, knowing myself, I probably will).
1. All the yummie fruit
2. Being able to have a huge beach all to ourselves
3. My vegetable patch... Just now it started giving delicious salads, we're leaving. I just hope the tomatoes etc won't have come out before we get back (I have no idea how long it takes a tomatoe to grow... I'm so ignorant!)
4. a 28 degrees swimming pool (all to ourselves)
5. Maryam... this more for little Aini. She's so good with her, my heart starts bleeding when I think about leaving here! Maybe I shouldn't think about that and take each day as it comes? The way we live is so much about meeting people, getting along, which is very exciting, but then we have to leave them. Sometimes it's fine, you're happy with it and can go on... but sometimes... As I said, I'm not ready to think about that. I'm getting teary eyed already when I think of the people we leave behind all the time.
6. Had to think about this one for a while... The meat! We get the most delicious meat. When you eat that, you're wondering what the hell we're eating in Europe!
7. And the fish, crayfish etc... nothing beats freshly fished straight to the plate! Ah we're such spoiled people when you cone to think about it!
*more thinking going on*
8. Living without having to keep a schedule... Yep, it's a reverse world for us... The holidays is the period our organisers are packed to the max!
9. Our tailor, because I'm sure when I'll go shopping in Europe, I'll get so frustrated again, that I'll find myself lucky to have been able to have some things custom made before leaving on holiday.

Really can't think of anything else now... All things considered, I think we won't have too many regrets for leaving for Europe this holiday (Exept for the food. That's one thing I can't grasp, There's so much choice, too much choice in Europe, and you end up eating boring things that taste like nothing all the time... At least it's red fruit season! Here there's practically no choice and we eat like kings - although I wonder if Albert eats this well)

22 June 2009

trip through the plantation

Poor thing was so tired she fell asleep after a few minutes of utter exitement!
Some water lilies on the natural lake the Dodo poors into.

Proof that the rainy season has finally started. We weren't able to cross the dam, because the road had flooded and there was a very strong current. It was raining cats and dogs that day, so we had to cut our little trip short.

I love my garden!!!!!!

We've been eating only home-grown salad for two weeks now, and are also becoming self-sufficient in herbs. We'd eat salad every day, since it is so delicious!


One of our little basil plants (this is two weeks ago, by now, the leaves are 5cm long!)





Last week, we suddenly heard a muffled scraping sound. We went out to see what it was and found that one of our big 'palmiers du voyageur' had fallen. It's still there... grr waiting until the cleaning team comes for it! Luckily it didn't fall on any of my new acquisitions! (Which are thriving by the way, only one plant died)
I suspect my gardener is secretly building his house in front of mine. When I asked him about it, he said it was to have a climbing plant to grow over it. If he had only build it sound enough to become a pergola...

16 June 2009

Aini vandalizing my plants




The wonderful world of internet

After months of searching and not finding a good solution, one presented itself. An orange promoteam came one day at the office to suggest a simple internet at home memory stick, working throuigh GPRS. It's 10 000 FCFA (about 15 EURO) per month, and it actually works better than what they have at the office. And it's so simple! Just a stick, you plug it in, they activate, and there you go.
So I've been blogging more often (if you hadn't noticed) and I'm enjoying the full facebook experience.

Saturday afternoon at the pool

Fished out a frog before we went swimming
So I even had to work on a Saturday lol








10 things...

Ten more days, and we're off to Belgium... Every time I wonder: what am I most eager to return to? What do I really have to do, eat, see...
So here goes, ten things I'm eager to go back to Europe for:
1. tumbledried towels, because I'm sick and tired of giving myself a scrub every time I dry my face.
2. americain. Every time!!
3. shopping. this too seems to be a constant... after 4 and a half month of deprivation! And there's also every time so many things you need that you just can't find here.
4. Strawberries! and lots and lots of them
5. plattekaas (don't know how to translate that, but I've never been able to find it, not here, not in Cameroon, and I'm such a plattekaaslover)
6. Eating outdoors. Even though we're more spoiled then in Cameroon when it comes to sitting outside, it's just not the same as in Europe, where you can have dinner outside, and sit there with some candles even after nightfall...
7. Civilisation in general (even though I do know it stresses me out after a few minutes, sometimes even when arriving at the airport, but this time we'll be enjoying civilisation in remote parts such as Cluny and Koekelare, that should be less of a shock)
8. of course (you were all thinking I was going to forget this, weren't you) Family
9. and friend. This time I really want to make an effort in seeing some of our friends, because last holiday, we kind of screwed that up
10. Believe it or not, I've saved number ten for our medical visits, I'm eager to find out how much Aini has grown, what she weighs...

fruitylicious

Aini really loves her mango!

And her pineapple juice too!













13 June 2009

Voor Tesske


Insomniac

Last week I was quite sick, so David took the little one to sleep in another room, so I could get some rest. During the night, he woke up to find her asleep in the bed. She had taken off her sleeping bag and had put it nicely on the edge of her crib... He was stunned.
And then in the morning he woke up to find her caressing his hair, standing upright behind his head.

10 June 2009

The sweetest thing

When we had lunch at La Langouste on Saturday, the waitress came over to hold Aini for a while (people are very fond of babies here, even more so then in Cameroon, that's at least one wonderful thing about Africa). She called over her co-worker and asked him: "Si je te fais un joli gros bebe comme ca, tu vas me marier??" The waiter started laughing out loud...

daddy torture

video

mango

video

09 June 2009

The termite story

When we arrived here, this house was half eaten by termites. Ever since, we are trying to get them out. A painstaking battle that may not be finished by the time we leave here, but we won't give up!
The room that is most under attack is the one soon to be Aini's (however... soon?), so you can imagine I want that problem solved. Even more so, because both parties (by that, I mean Aini on the one hand and my husband and me on the other) are getting ready for her to move to her own bedroom (who would have thought that would ever happen??? And so soon!).
So we called in the carpenters. They came over to test the wood to see exactly how much needed to be removed.
Quick sketch of the situation: The airco unit is fitted into a wooden box, which is so rotten and eaten by the termites, they left it, making their way up to the ceiling.
So the carpenter guy chucks off a ceiling board, looks around and says: "Il ne sont pas dans le bois madame".
I answer that it's quite strange, seeing that they have left the airco unit and you see the traces move right up to the ceiling... and furthermore, there's dust falling off the ceiling boards, which suggests they are in the ceiling.
Now, it's his colleague who answers: "Non madame, ils ne sont pas dans le bois! Ils sont sortie la, parce que ils ont tout mange, et puis ils sont sorties dehors."
I was stunned! "ils sont sorties dehors? Comment-ca?"
"Par le mur, madame!"
At that point I gave up. Luckily Mariam came to the rescue and pointed out yet again that dust was coming out of the ceiling, so they shoold at least replace those boards. Stubborn, the carpenter took a piece of wood and started knocking against the ceiling: "Tu vois, c'est solide."
Mariam took matters (being the piece of wood) into her own hands and showed where the dust came out. She knocked the board once and went straight through!!!
As a result, they're redoing all off the woodwork in Aini's room.
Poor carpenters, they must be suffering ever since there are three white women on the plantation again. I think they haven't worked this hard in years!

08 June 2009

Aini's birthday

Lounging at 'Sucree Salee'
I even got to taste mommy and daddys 'boterkoek'. Things are very different on your birthday!
We went to eat at 'La langouste' and I tasted mommy's langouste salad. I loved it! You can imagine I didn't want to touch my ready-made food!

I got to play with sand!
You see, nonkel Michael, I don't need a monkey to teach me to eat with a little stick!
Mommy and daddy got me a wooden giraffe and had my name written on it. I immediately adopted it and am giving it planty of kisses.
Mommy spent an entire day baking me a mango cream pie.
I love candles!

And yet another present!

06 June 2009

Happy Birthday Aini!

It's unbelieveable, but our little princess is one year old today. I have baked a marvellous cake (mango flavoured, pictures will follow somewhere next week) and we're celebrating by spending the day at San Pedro. (No, actually David had to work all day in San Pedro, so we tagged along and are enjoying internet and shopping while we're here.) Later today we might take a walk along the beach, so she can take her nap in the 'draagdoek'.

02 June 2009

Scent of a flower




A story about a boat

Somewhere during the eighties, a boat stranded in front of the coast at Béréby. A second boat came to the rescue, only to get stuck in return. The decision was made to stop all rescue actions and the boats have been laying on the beach ever since.






walk at the beach









This is the end of the Nero river