Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh Christmas tree!!!

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We did it!!! We finally finished our tree. Now it feels like Christmas, good thing it's in four days!!! We will probably leave our tree up until after Fiona comes in January. She is bringing us some goodies from our families, so in a way she is kind of like Santa, eh?
The idea of the tree came as a prototype product for the boys to make to sell. Here Scotty is welding the tubing on that holds the candles.
The tree completely collapses and uses simple gravity/tension to hold on the branches.
It holds 16 candles, which are just as much for lighting (power cuts and all) as they are for atmosphere. As you can see here, it completely lights up our living room (or "sal bi" in Wolof).
Merry Christmas guys!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

our "snow"

It rained last night! This is as close as we will get to snow. It felt really weird, kind of like when it rains in the summer, not really cold, but rather kind of refreshing, you know?

Friday, December 19, 2008

day at the farm

Yup, we found a good ol' fashioned farm in Senegal. Check the tractor behind us!!!
Complete with the UGLIEST turkey I have ever seen, they lived through Thanksgiving.
And some nice roosters...
...and this tiny little duckling trying SO HARD to get some water.
Bye-bye farm animals...for now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

no snow for us...

So everyone is posting pictures about all the snow......well, we don't have snow but yesterday morning in the wee hours of the morning it got cool enough to justify a light sweatshirt...but even then I could only wear it for about 20 min.

Why were we up so early you might ask? Well, the 25 km to Dakar takes about 2 hours because of traffic so we were up early to beat the traffic...
...with Herma at the helm. Last time we posted about driving to Dakar we broke down...
..this time too, though luckily it was just a loose connection to the battery.
You know how you get your mail daily in the states? Because there is not a post office in Malika we go into Dakar to get our (Herma's mostly) mail. Check the cool vintage box.
After going to the post office, we got some bread. You can get baggets of bread daily in Malika, but if you want to go for the fancy stuff, AKA wheat bread, you get it once a week in Dakar.
We usually get split up from Herma while in Dakar, so we just go wait by the car when we are done...I think Scotty and Sandro look like my bodyguards...what do you think? (Check out Scotty's "authentic" RayBan sunglasses., Nice eh?
While headed out of downtown Dakar I found this guy carrying a silver and green fake Christmas tree...bring it.
Last pit stop...lunch with some Canadians. The boys found Shrek chess to play. Check out the Christmas decorations!!! This is the MOST holiday spirit we have seen yet. Made us feel right at home.

The Christmas tree Scotty and I have been working on is ALMOST done. I'll post as soon as it is.

Love you guys!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

scotty caught me

One of the things I appreciate/miss about the US is grounded outlets. Scotty caught me trying to change the song playing on the ipod. In order to do this I have to not be touching the ground or I get shocked every time.

Next time you change the song or radio station thank God that you don't have to have a chair nearby and whisper up a prayer for us.

Nearly at home in Malika,
-Scotty and Crys

Friday, December 12, 2008

farmers market...of sorts.

So everyday is Farmer's Market day in Malika. I went to the market to get some vegies for din-din and I came back with these. Market experience in Africa is SO SO different than Saturday mornings in Corvallis on the waterfront.

First on my walk to the market, which is about a 1/2 block from Herma's we had to walk around a dead sheep laying on the sidewalk. It looks like it had been about half butchered. (I thought about posting a picture, but then desided better of it). The Senegalese just celebrated Tabaski, which is a big holiday where every family buys a sheep and has a feast with it. Why this particular sheep didn't get eaten I don't know, but it made for an interesting start to the market-going-experience.

Then, once we got to the market (we, being Djibi and myself) I discovered that everyone was still celebrating Tabaski because the market was EMPTY.

Despite this I was pleased to come home with enough vegies to make two dinners, all of which cost me 250cfa or$0.50 USD. Pretty cool.

Oh, and the weird looking flower vegetable at the top of the photo is white bissap. It tastes like spicy/sour spinach. Lots of vitamins and really adds flavor to rice. And the pickle looking thing is just a cucumber.

Maybe next time I will take my camera so you guys can appreciate the full experience.

Lots of love!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

plays and monkeys

We went to a Christmas play...of sorts. It was David vs. Goliath. It was a fun kids play/musical put on by one of the Christian schools near Malika.
On our way back from the school we stopped by a wildlife park where we had made some contacts to distribute some of the Monkey's products. While there we were greeted by "Pumpba" a local wart hog.

And this monkey, who Herma named "Chris", funny.

The owners put sugar packets on the tables and the monkeys just come up on the tables and take them away, while tourists take pictures. I got a short video for Pete, because I know how much you love monkeys, not very exciting, but he's a cute monkey, eh?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday morning...

This morning I snapped a shot of what we look like as we head out the door for church. You will notice we are a tad bit more fancy than Dox church (thanks Nancy for sending Scotty new jeans). The Senegalese take pride in dressing nice for important occasions/events and church is one of these. They particularly pay attention to shoes, since we only brought flip flops we conveniently cropped our feet out of this picture. We have been told that we need to get some nicer shoes..I'm thinking "What, Chaco's don't cut it?"

This part is more for the ladies: you can get anything you want made here. When Fiona was here back in Oct. we got some fabric and took it to a tailor. I pointed to a picture in J.Crew and told the tailor I wanted that dress but longer. He took some measurements and 3 weeks later I had this dress. I figure the fabric cost $6 USD (Fiona correct me if I am wrong) and the tailor fee cost $10, not bad for a custom dress, too bad we can't do that in the states.

When we went to breakfast the boys told me "Rafet na" which means they liked my dress, they thought it was beautiful. And in case you are wondering about spagethi straps in Dec? Yes, it is THAT HOT STILL, though I did pull on a LIGHT sweatshirt last night as Scotty and I were sipping beer on our roof.

OH!!! And I saw a firefly last night too!

Not bad!!!!

Love you guys, keep the pictures flying, we NEED to see some Holiday sweaters...Jenn.....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sales people

In addition to helping make the products, we also get to help sell them. This is our sales table at a sale in Dakar. Scotty and Djibi are working it.

Taking a break from the chaos that is the-day-after-Thanksgiving-sale.

Monday, December 01, 2008

African Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
We spent the day with a bunch of missionaries in Dakar. We celebrated with MOST of the traditional trimmings. One lady brought snowman cups for everyone, I guess she was already geared up for Christmas.While we didn't have turkey, we did enjoy a meal that was close, these are chickens, complete with neck and all.
More food.
Mingling with everyone, what you can't see is that most people are wearing shorts.