A family morning trip

This morning we went on a little family trip. I was happy as it was a big place and I could run around everywhere. There were lots of houses without doors, so I figured that just meant I could go in. Once inside it was really dark. I couldn’t see a thing, so I decided to feel and crawl my way trough. Someone should really mop those floors as once outside I noticed my hands were really dirty. Back outside I noticed my hands were really dirty. My mum didn’t look very pleased when I wiped my hands on to my pants but hey, they were clean again. That’s the important thing, no? After a while we heard some music. Daddy swooped me off the floor and started walking really fast towards it. We all sat down to watch some people dancing. They had a funny way of dancing so I wanted to show them how to dance. Everyone seemed to like it a lot (I can make really nice turns you know).  After the dancing we saw some more houses and we got to play on the swing. I love swings, they give me tickles in my stomach. After a while I got hungry and we all went home. This morning I went to the Village Museum and it was lots of fun.

 

This morning we went on a little family trip. We visited a place with all different kinds of houses. They don’t look anything like the house we live in. These houses are all very small and above all very dark inside. When I entered a house, I couldn’t see a thing. After a while it went better but still all the houses were very dark inside. My mum says they don’t have windows to keep it cool inside. I find that strange, we have windows and it’s still cool? Also some kids had to sleep on the ground. I got really upset by that. All kids should have a bed to sleep in (even if the beds that were in the house looked kind of funny). The dad on the other hand is very lucky, he gets to sleep with the cow. We don’t have a cow. My mum says it’s because there is not enough room for the cow at our place. A cow needs a lot of grass to eat. How is it possible that our house is 10 times bigger than this one and here there is enough place but there isn’t enough space at our house? We had to put the discussion off because there was loud music and singing starting a bit further. My daddy said the show was to start and we had to hurry up. I did like the dancing though I found the drumming and percussion a little loud so I ended up covering up my ears the whole time. After the dancing we saw some more houses and played on the swing. Then my sister and I got a little hungry and a bit tired too so we went home. This morning I went to the Village Museum and it was lots of fun.

 

This morning we went on a little family trip. I taught it would be nice for the girls to see how people in Tanzania live. When we travel up-country they get to see a lot of different houses. I think it’s nice if they get to see the inside and have a better idea of how people live. I have to admit I was kind of curious to see it too. There are a lot of different types of houses, depending on the region they are made in bamboo, clay or grasses.  Thinking that even today a lot of people live in such small, dark houses is strange for me. I actually can’t imagine how their daily life looks like without all the modern stuff we’re so used to.
Both of our girls had a lot of fun. The Little Girl didn’t hesitate a second to go in the dark houses and came out again with a huge smile. Our Big Girl was very intrigued by everything. She’s at an age where she wants to understand everything and asks a lot of questions. It’s difficult for her to understand that not everyone is able to live the way we do it. We even ended up having a discussion because she got angry that there were no beds for the kids! She did find it very funny that the dad slept with the cow and started asking why we didn’t have one. Good thing the traditional dance show was just starting as I have no idea how I would have gotten out of that discussion. The traditional dancing was fun to watch and it was nice that the dancers also interacted with the kids. After this we visited the remaining houses and the kids got to play on the swings for a while. Around noon we left, three hours is enough to see everything and the kids were also starting to get hungry. This morning I went to the Village Museum and it was lots of fun.

The Village Museum – Dar Es Salaam

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Back in blogland

Holiday

It took me way too long but I’m back to blogging now! We had a great holiday back home. We stayed at the Belgian coast and had a lot of family and friends visiting. The girls had fun playing on the beach, being spoiled (extremely spoiled even) by everyone. I think they had more ice cream and cake in those six weeks than in their entire life before our holiday! We enjoyed some Belgian speciality too, the french fries from the “frietkot” and the “boule de berlin“. The holiday was great but we’re also happy to be back, seeing everyone again and meeting lots of new people who have just arrived.

Hope you also had a great holiday!

 

We made it back!

I’ve finally found the time to blog and a decent internet connection. The longest night ever was long and painfull for the ears! As I already feared my Little Daughter didn’t like the idea of sitting in her carchair especially when the plane stood still. This resulted in furious crying and yelling (at the look of certain people I’m quite sure they didn’t now a 1,5y old could be that furious) for over half an hour. This little treat got even longer as the plane had a technical probem that needed to be resolved.
However as soon as the plane started ascending, the volume turned down. We still had some minor breakdowns but nothing compared to the pre-take off ones. Due to the technical problems the plane was delayed and I did not get my connextion. This was however a blessing as Zurich airport has a great kids area, both girls enjoyed the break before getting on the flight to Brussels.

We are now settled and enjoying the Belgian coast and the many visits of friends and family. I probably won’t be able to blog as regularly as I would like but I’ll make it up to you once I’m back in DAR!

Hope you all get to enjoy the summer!

My longest night ever?

Ooooh God, what was I thinking?! I suppose it all happened in a weak moment, a moment of homesickness, a moment of longing for family, Belgian fries and chocolate! Tonight might be one of my longest nights ever, a night trapped high above earth alone with my two little girls. Oh right, there will also be like a hundred other passengers sighing when my two little girls show up, hoping they will not sit next to us. 10 hours up in the air, 1 hour to get a connection flight… Will I get a preview of hell or will a miracle occur and turn my girls into sweet, calm little angels? I did the best I could for the preparations: my handbag is packed with toys to keep them busy, cookies to bribe them at a difficult moment, games on the iPad as a last resort…

A little to much…

Tired mummy

Something was tickling my head. I opened my eyes, startled for a second. There she was, our Big Girl, holding her face not even an inch from mine, scrutinizing my face. An endless string of words followed. She chattered whilst making huge movements with her arm, explaining she had already slept soooooooo long and now was time to get up! I peaked at my alarm clock: 5.30AM. Aaaaaargg, how could she be awake, be so energetic? Our little babbling girl danced her way to the bathroom, came out declaring that she had washed her face, hands and feet only to run of to her room. A second later her head reappeared, bossing me around “Muuuummy, get up! I can’t open my closet, can you pleaaase help me!” I remembered a night, just a few months ago, worrying if she will like her new school, if she would be able to make friends in this foreign country. Actually hoping, praying that she would love it, well she does! Maybe she’s even a little to exited but hey, all a mum needs is for her Big Girl to be happy right (oh well, maybe some sleep would be nice too ;-))

 

One goat can make a difference!

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This weekend we went to the Dar es Salaam Charity Goat Races. We had a wonderful day out! It’s the 14th time the goat races are held in Dar es Salaam and the aim is to raise money for different charities and local organisations. Last year they raised over 135 million Tanzanian Shillings! Some of this years causes were Fahari, Wonder Workshop, Help2kids and eleven other deserving causes!

As we wanted to avoid the biggest crowd we went early with the kids. This was great as they could enjoy the kids corner whilst it was still quite calm. There were bouncing castles, a train, different games and a toddlers area with a sandpit and a colouring area. They had a lot of fun but whenever our oldest heard the announcement of another race she’d rush out, desperate not to miss a second of the main event. Goat Race 3

She loved it when the goats were carried in, accompanied by a bagpipe player to the race court and off course the race itself. Almost every half hour there was a race where the goats would run 2 laps. Although it’s hard to call it a real race, non of the goats were actually running. It was more “who would walk the fastest” and they even had to be encouraged by men walking behind them. Nevertheless it was fun to watch and we all had a great time! For every race you could also place a bet on a goat.

Goat Race 1

Between the races there were also elections for the most fancy dress, most fancy hat. This years theme was 1920 and it was also a lot of fun to watch.

Goat Race 2

Off course we couldn’t ignore the tasty food stalls and bars. We had freshly pressed, refreshing cane sugar juice and a very tasteful bbq. Our youngest nibbled the chicken drumstick till there was nothing left and the eldest really enjoyed her drumstick and french fries.  Goat Race 4

We had a really good time and it was nice to have such a fun family day out!

Link-up with Travel Tuesday

 

Foodie Friday

It’s been such a busy week and I’m a little bit ashamed to admit that I didn’t have the time to cook. All I did was unfreezing stuff, going out for dinner, order pizza,… But I have some great links for you with lovely recipes I would like to try out myself:

The Cinnamon Swirl Bread (Joy The Baker)

A healthy quinoa salad (I am a food blog)

The egg and avocado breakfast (I am a food blog)

A simple curry with poached eggs (Eat like a girl)

And finally I’m always in for a good chili: The three bean chilli (Smitten Kitchen)

What are your favorite food blogs or recipes?

 

My expat hurdle: Starting a new social life

just_shy_square_0I’m a diesel, not just a diesel. Oh no, when it comes to socialising I’m that really old diesel, the one you have to push down a hill, jump in it, tear the choke button and try a hundred times before the motor finally starts running. Yeps, that’s how good I am at socialising and getting to know people.

When you move to a foreign country that single characterestic might cause a lot of trouble. You don’t know anyone in the new place (well I didn’t know anyone) so life is kind of lonely. It even got more clear when my oldest daughter started begging me to have a friend from school over to play at our house. One afternoon her teacher told me she had invited her whole class to come over and play! It was time for action! Time for that diesel to tackle this hurdle, roll of the hill and with a big “boum bang” get that motor running.

So when another mum told me her son and my daughter were getting along pretty well I blurted out “would he like to come over to play?” and there it was: the boum bang! The next thing I know I’m out strolling from one baby group to another with the Little Girl, having a wonderful afternoon at the yacht club (reminder: next thing is trying to get in as a member), playgroups,… I’m finally getting out of that isolated, shy bubble. It’s great! People here are so nice. They are much more open than back home. Keen to get to know you, chat with you and help you out. Maybe it’s common to expats but as this is our first assignment I have nothing to compare. Off course I’m thinking, ohhh I should have done this earlier but I think I just have to accept that’s just me. An old diesel, who will always need that extra push but if we get there in the end, it’s all that counts right? And now I have two Girls pushing their mummy out of her bubble: how good is that!