This is Diana checking in today..
I’ve been bombarded with tastes, sounds, smells (some of them not so good) since the moment I got off the plane in Abuja 6 weeks ago and want to find a way to share all of the experiences with you. Unfortunately I feel completely overwhelmed by the task. I feel like any small experience that I tell leaves many more untold. To quote my ever-eloquent (slightly inappropriate) dad, “ I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony…I don’t know where to start!” So, I will just have to dig in and give you a little nibble from the happenings of this week until I figure out a better way to bottle up our adventure and send you each a piece.…… Better yet, come visit and see for yourselves.
|Always willing to spread West-Nile Virus and Malaria|
First, let me expound on the topic of Mosquitoes. These nasty little blood sucker are so prevalent here in west Africa, we have to take prophylactics for the Malaria they like to carry. I take daily antibiotics to prevent malaria, and the kids and Tyson take a different medication once per week. Sunday is known as “Malaria Pill Day” and the kids loath it!!! Although they are each required to take only ½ of a pill, it can take hours to get it down the chute! The kids haven’t quite figured out how to swallow the little white, moon shaped pill without chewing it, gagging, seizing and whining. They would rather let the pill dissolve and have pools of saliva fill their mouths than take one little swallow! Each Sunday I remind the children that there is one thing worse than malaria pills………MALARIA! I’ve tried disguising the medication in applesauce, and even stuffed one in the middle of a cookie, but the kids were not fooled. So, once again, this Sunday morning was anything but “the day of rest”. Instead it was filled with the craziness of looking for lost church shoes, fixing hair (and then complaining about the hairstyle), eating breakfast, spilling breakfast, cleaning up spilled breakfast, getting church bags ready, teasing each other, and of course the dreaded Malaria Pill! My strategy this Sunday was to bribe the kids with a treat from our “Costco Stash”. The “Costo Stash” holds all the food we shipped over from Costco before we came to Africa, filling our entire pantry-room and all of the cupboards lining the kitchen. It contains enough “fruit-by-the-foot”and Capri-Suns to feed a soccer team for a very long season. The key to the Costco-stash is very literally the key to my kids’ hopes and dreams…and isn’t handed over frequently. Luckily, the kids are so motivated by American Food, that the bribe did the trick. The kids were able to choke down the pills with only moderate theatrics, followed by fruit snacks from the stash of course! “Well Played!!,” I told myself proudly, so glad the worst part of the week was now behind us.Later that afternoon I discovered my blunder…..I hadn’t given my kids their malaria pills at all. Instead, I had treated them for any inflammation they might have had by giving them each 10mg of Prednisone each! The nurse inside of me was irritated that I didn’t do the ‘double medication check’, but the mom part of me was even more irate!!!! My lovely Sunday diner was about to be destroyed by children wailing about the unfairness of life and gagging on their real medication!!! P.S, this is not my worst mistake by far….I’m constantly nominating myself forthe“Mother of the Year” award for stunts like this!
|A section of the Costco Stash....Sawyer is focused on the chocolate chips on the top row!|
|There is very little traffic in our drive-way!!|
|One of the Water-Cannons in place at the embassy to "cool-off" protesters.|
Driving past the Embassy I made Tyson flip a u-turn so I could get a picture of the big black vehicle parked nearby in preparation for potential riots or protests. This additional security measure was due to the recent violence seen at other US Embassies around the world the last week. We explained to the kids that it looked a lot like a huge black Fire truck and was called a “water-cannon”. It was used to spray water at very high pressures. We were fairly vague with our explaination, not wanting to excite and scare our kids with the mental images of protesters being blasted off the Embassy lawn by pressurized water, but Logan persisted. “Is that in case a protester sets the Embassy on Fire?” He asked. To which Tyson hesitantly answered that it wasn’t to be used on fire, but was meant to be used on people. We were confident that little Logan grasped the ugliness of the truth until he responded, “Oh, that makes sense”, he said “It’s a good way to keep protesters cool cause it gets really hot here in Africa!”
I have a list of a hundred more things to share, so Just like those thirsty blood sucking mosquitoes, I will have to make my way through them one at a time.