Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
As the list on our refrigerator grew and grew of household necessities, Yvonne suggested we go to the Marche Sandaga to pick up the items. Casino, the local ex-pat supermarket, has limited choices for a very high price. I was excited to venture out with Yvonne into the market where the locals do all of their shopping.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
He’s also ticked off at Kelly and me for putting garbage into his trash cans.
Last night, when Kelly, I and the boys returned home from sipping sundowners at a seaside bar, we were handed a sealed envelope by our guard.
“This is from Habre’s wife,” said Sonko.
I opened it up and unfolded a handwritten letter:
I am writing you to request that you make arrangements to acquire sufficient trash cans for placement in front of your home.
Since you moved here, your house cleaner has routinely put garbage into our trash cans.
My gardener asked her to stop and to tell you to buy your own trash cans.
Up to this day, you have done nothing.
Could you remedy this, at the very least, by giving your house cleaner instructions not to use our trash cans.
Madame Kerin (Habre)
Truth be told, we had indeed been using the Habre houselhold’s trash cans. They have lots of them and they are usually empty, so we didn’t think it would be a problem.
Besides, they have bigger issues to worry about. Habre, who is enjoying the tentative protection of the Senegalese government, has been sentenced to death in absentia in Chad and is a constant target of human rights groups who have called him Africa’s Pinochet, and are demanding his extradition for trial.
But having an angry former dictator as a neighbor isn’t a good thing, so we’re on the case for a new can.
(Note: Trash cans in Dakar are old oil barrels, too heavy to steal but also unavailable at the hardware store. You need to go to a gas station to buy one, bring it to a metal worker to have the top soldered off and transformed into a lid, and then you have to drag it home. We’ll have ours Monday.)
We’re also planning to send the Habre’s a note of apology. Maybe a pie.
Here’s a picture of the Habre’s sprawling villa, as seen from our roof. Look closely and you may spot some of his peacocks, or his rotweiler who has been carefully trained not to eat peacocks, just people. And of course… the trash bins.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
And as usual, Rich found a treasure that had washed up along the shore that he dragged back to the cottage. Reuse, recycle.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I have missed him terribly. I have missed him as my best friend, my husband, and as a father to our sons.
Today is the day Rich arrives. But what I am even more excited about is that today is the day we begin our life together as a family of four.
Sunday we all return to Africa. The adventure continues...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
In less than two months, the Valdmanis clan has expanded.
Laird and Dylan have two new cousins!
Born February 25th
8 lbs. 1 ounce 20 inches
Anna Kellog Valdmanis
Born March 2
6lbs. 11 ounces 18 1/2 inches
Can't wait for the Fourth of July at Higgins Beach for all the cousins to meet!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Nana with Dylan
Maddy and Liam in the pool!
Liam with Uncle Jimmy and Grampy