Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who gets stuck in a bathroom for three hours with no toilet paper?


So, yesterday I was stuck for three hours in my friend’s bathroom.  There are certainly worse places one could be stuck.  I had a book (which I was too distracted to read by repeatedly trying to unlock the door) and my friend’s toothbrush cup if I needed a drink of water. And I could always take another bath, one of my very favorite things.

After about 45 minutes of trying to unlock the door (it was a skeleton key, those can be tricky!) I finally gave in, climbed up on the edge of the tub, opened the window and called down to the guards and asked them to call the neighbors over, who had keys to the house.  My friend lives in house owned by the embassy, it’s a duplex and I thought perhaps the bathroom door was keyed the same.  It wasn’t.  

You might be wondering why I waited so long to call down to the guards.  I was determined not to have that horrible experience where I’m trying desperately to unlock the door and someone walks up and turns it and says “it just needs a little jiggling.”  I did all the jiggling one could hope to do!

Complicating matters was the fact that I had locked the interior metal door in the house when I had gone to sleep the night before, and I hadn’t unlocked it.  So no one could actually get to the bathroom door without cutting the metal door.

My new friend and temporary neighbor threw me up a rope (did I mention I was on the second floor and the windows are covered with some serious security bars?) and first sent me up a drill with which to take apart the door handle.  That sadly didn’t help, but I felt very cool standing there drilling in my capulana and wet hair in a towel!

Next we tied a trusty little plastic bag (salvaged from the garbage pail) to the end of the rope and  she sent up all the skeleton keys from her house.  Sadly, none of those keys worked either. 

I realized I needed to settle in and so asked for three things to be sent up in my trusty little plastic bag:  a Coke Lite, a snack bar and . . .  a roll of toilet paper!  Are you appreciating the irony that I was stuck in a bathroom but had no toilet paper?  You can only laugh!

Well, after about three hours all together, the maintenance team from the Embassy came and released this damsel in distress by sawing off two different locks to get to me.  It’s nice to know I was in fact quite secure in there!

(sadly, I only have this hastily taken photo of my trusy little plastic bag - that’s what happens when you’re locked in a bathroom with no camera or cell phone, you don’t get good photos of it.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014



Wooden blocks are such a great, creative, developmental toy for kids and I’ve wanted them for my boys for years.  Well because I was home in the US twice in such quick succession, I decided to use some of my precious luggage space to buy my boys some wooden blocks.  Four sets of them to be exact.  That’s a lot of precious luggage space.

About two weeks after I  arrived back home in Moz, I was sorting through some donations that had recently arrived at the center.  And what do you know – a big tub of wooden blocks! 

After I got over my initial “I could have brought Cheez-Its and Triscuits instead of blocks!” reaction, I realized with blocks, more is more, and the boys are already enjoying them!  Be on the lookout for a photo of the boys and blocks in action!

(The sets will be presents for the rooms for Children’s Day!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting ready for Children’s Day!


Children’s Day is June 1st and it’s the second biggest day of the year for our kids, closely following Christmas in excitement and preparations!  My boys were so excited to go “shopping” (in the back garden where I’d laid them out) for their own new pair of shoes.


We began by laying out clothes I’d been gathering and taking stock of what we still needed.  34 boys is a lot of sizes to keep track of!



We had a lot, we bought some more, we matched shirt, trousers and undies and we are all set!  Including a last minute purchase for our brand new boy who arrived this week.

But, I forgot to take a photo of all the outfits before I bagged them up, oops! 

You’ll just have to wait to see them ON the boys after June 1!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ahh, Macaneta! (to the tune of “Hey, Macarena!”)


Macaneta is a jewel of an undeveloped beach about 25ks north of where I live in Mozambique.  It’s one of the perks of living in a tropical country!  I would go here much more often except for two things:  1.  you need to cross a river on a rickety ferry (that only breaks down every once in a while!) and 2.  the road from the river to the beach is for most of the year, only passable in a four-wheel drive vehicle which I don’t have.


Crossing the river on the semi-trustworthy ferry.


The “chalet” opposite us, because I forgot to take a photo of ours!


“The Future of Life!”  I loved this fisherman’s boat on the beach!


Lovely, mostly undeveloped coastline for miles and miles!


And, because you’ve all seen amazing beach photos but, have you ever seen THIS photo??  Cows on the beach!


Fishing at dusk


A gorgeous view over the river for the sunset. Our little “chalet” ( a pretty fancy term for our digs!) was on a dune with the ocean in front and the river in back.


If you come visit me you too can say “Ah, Macaneta!”