Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I just signed on to do what seems to be my third Wordless Wednesday post in a row. Sorry about the lack of posts. I seem to be spending a huge amount of time in the car driving the kids around, and I have yet to figure out how to blog while driving.

I have also been waiting to share pictures from what I think was this week's ground breaking for the school in Kololo. Cien is documenting his time in Kololo and I am checking his blog constantly. I believe he has no internet access, so it may take some time to get an update.

I am picturing shovels digging. I believe it is happening right this minute. Thank you, again, to everyone who contributed. I can hardly believe it is happening. If you signed up to be a sponsor and I haven't gotten your info yet, it is because I haven't figured out how to do that while driving either. Please contact me if you didn't sign up, and you want to. I believe we have room for a few more. It will be a group/school sponsorship instead of an individual student situation. We hope to have a Student of the Month. There is also a Facebook group for the school's first sponsors. Let me know if you'd like to be added.

So we wait together, for the first pictures.

While we wait, may I present, Les Lapin...

And des carrots...

All costumes made by Steven. Unfortunately Steven and I are apparently, well uhm, rounder, then we thought. Everyone thought we were pumpkins and not skinny carrots. Alas...middle age.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In a Good News/Bad News Situation...

Good news, Meazi's school provides free music lessons during lunch.

Bad news, Meazi has chosen the violin.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just Like Me.

 Melese and I take Meazi to school everyday. We get there early and play on the athletic field. When we first walk in, we always see a man that works at the school. From the very first day, Melese has been mysteriously drawn to this man. Jose (not his real name) is an older gentleman, maybe in his fifties, from Mexico. When Melese sees him he shouts, "Hi! Hi Jose!" Jose walks over, his crossing guard stop sign in hand, and says good morning to Melese. The second day Melese threw his arms around Jose and gave him an enormous hug. Unheard of for Melese who will barely give a smile to dear friends we have known for years. One day, after a similar hug, Jose kept holding Melese as he stopped carpool traffic. Melese helped him 'work' and talked all about it for the rest of the day. There is just something about this man that Melese is drawn to.

After a few mornings of this mutually adorable greeting, Jose told us a little bit about his family. His wife lives in Mexico with their two children, a son and a daughter. Recently his kids had to drop out of school because it was too dangerous to attend. The violence from the Mexican mafia has caused their neighborhood to become a war zone. He showed me pictures of his adorable children. His son is named after him.

Later at home, I was telling Meazi about him. I said that I felt so sad for him, and for his family. She said, "Which part of the story is the saddest to you mom?" I said, "I guess that he can't see his family Meazi, that is the saddest to me."

She said, "Just like me. I can't see my family. He's just like me."

Maybe this is what Melese and Jose have in common. Maybe this is why they hug each other like that each day.

Maybe he just misses his son, the one who doesn't get dropped off at the beautiful, progressive, expensive school, surrounded by guards and kindly employees who could watch out for him.

And what about Meazi? Is she, like him, just working and waiting until a time when she can see her family again?

Please pass the Dalwhinne.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dear September...

Dear September, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

 I usually love September, back to school, chill in the air, sweater weather...

This year September can suck it.

I feel like I could sleep for weeks and still not regain the strength that September has zapped from me.

September has been challenging for these two as well.

We attempted preschool for Melese. Yeah, didn't work out so well. We are trying one more thing next week, but I am pretty sure that he is just not ready emotionally. This discovery needs its own post, but in case I don't get to it, here is the jist:

Melese, why are you so scared when the other parents leave? Did that ever happen to you?

Yes Mommy. Those teachers in Ethiopia, I was left there and no one came back. I was running, and running and I couldn't find Meazi.

Not. Pushing. Preschool.

Meazi has done wonderfully at her new school. She loves it. I have realized that it is virtually impossible to get into this school if you didn't start in Kindergarten. I have been made painfully aware of that fact by the multitude of parents who have approached me demanding to know who on earth we are, and how in the hell we managed to get a coveted first grade spot? Some parents have been warm and welcoming, others have been reprehensible. I have learned some tough lessons about 'invasion of privacy' and how to react to inappropriate questions including, "DID HER MOTHER DIE OF AIDS?"

School drop off has turned me into an ultra defensive, ball of nerves. My eyes dart from side to side as I try and deflect a nosy Nellie, or seem friendly to a kindly Kelly. The good news is that there continues to be a sort of  wondrous force of the universe that continues to place my daughter in the arms of the world's greatest teachers. Her new teachers are first responders like her previous teachers, incredible women who seem to understand Meazi.

I woke up this morning with pinkeye and a cold, but DAMMIT OCTOBER YOU WILL BE BETTER!

It has to be right? Halloween! Melese asked to be Christopher Robin for Halloween. How cute is that and what an EASY costume! Meazi wants to be a bunny, but not a 'movie' bunny, a 'nature' bunny. I'm sure Steven can make that on his sewing machine!

There will be hot cider right?  And beautiful leaves? That field mouse that has been tormenting me will find a new home right? Instead of sitting on our non humane traps and eating his fucking organic peanut butter, taking a poop, and then leaving the trap still set? RIGHT?

I realize that these are small, first world problems, but we are all a bit...

untethered. Me. No. Like. Untethered.

C'mon October...

I'm counting on you.