Posts Tagged ‘bugs’

A bit dry

As I sit here getting ready to write my absolutely average thoughts….a mosquito buzzes my ear and I wave my hands in the air and jump up like a possessed woman being tasered.  Really, is there anything worse than that sound of a mosquito in your ear?  Perhaps the thought that it might HARBOR malaria and that I can’t take the medication cause I am preggo.  Or, backpacking into the Indian Heaven Wilderness area in Washington State in July when there are more mosquitos than I don’t know what….and those ones didn’t have the potential to inflict serious or lifelong dormant illness!  But then that backpacking adventure (the only one I have ever embarked on) is a story for another time.

What I was thinking of this evening is of my pregnancy adventures this week.  I had my 32 week check up with my OB/GYN in Nairobi, and everything is going fantastically.  We went from concern over a not growing uterus 2 weeks ago to a larger than expected uterus and a baby already weighing (by their estimates) 4 pounds.  I’m not to excited about it all cause there constantly seems to be  such a HUGE margin of error with these ultrasounds and much of what we consider modern technology.   My doctor kindly reminded me to keep off the sugar and to plug away at my diabetes diet. 

The funny part of the  appointment came when we were done with the physical examination and she felt the side of my belly and said, in a very serious & concerned tone,

“Have you been moisturizing???  Your skin seems quite dry!” 

I didn’t really know how to respond at first.  When has my OB/GYN or midwife (that’s what I’ve always had in the past) ever been so worried about A) stretch marks and B) the quantity of moisture present in my baby bump?  I finally  fumbled out some answer of how I had been using the special belly cream she so kindly prescribed in our first days of meeting, but that I simply hadn’t minded to moisturize that morning. 

And then I added, “I guess it doesn’t feel so dry to me, I’m used to it like this.”  And honestly folks, this skin is not dry!  But, I guess I’ll be one of those pregnant women who adds “moisturize” to the things that must be done before going in to an appointment/examination or labor. 

Come on, you women know what I’m talking about.  You are the same ones (like myself) who make sure you’ve got a pretty pedicure the week before your due date and gosh knows all of the other things we might get done in an attempt to “beautify” the process of birthing or examining or whatever.  Why else do people endure Brazilians??  Don’t answer that.  That too is another story, better left untold.

In other pregnant news, I was informed by the gate security at a popular Nairobi mall that I had been absent for some time.  This is while I waited in my car for them to check the boot (trunk) for explosives and my undercarriage for similar.  One looked at my preggo belly and said, “You’ve been gone a long time!”  Another added, “Your husband has been busy” and then the first added, “You are most definitely having twins!”.  Stop Already!  I  must consistently remind Kenyans in general that while I may look big compared to the average Kenyan with child,  compared to most Americans (and myself in previous pregnancies) I am small and proudly so!  I just smiled at the 2 security guards, assured them  it was not twins, but a lovely little girl and proceeded to the parking garage.

And so my pregnant week has gone.  Pretty darn good I’d say actually.


Karibu Megan!

In about October or November last year we found out that a fellow Portlander, Megan Steele, would be joining us here in Kenya. We met for dinner a few times in December and beyond, got to know one another (and our kids), and all made our predictions about our actual VISA approval dates and departure dates for Kenya.

Megan was the most optimistic. She guessed that our VISAs would come through in March and that we’d leave I think by the end of April. Ian said VISA’s in April, leave in May. I hedged my bets & was hoping to finish my school year at work so I bet that the VISA’s would get issued in June and we’d leave in July.

Megan was right about our VISAs and arrival. I was more right about hers. It has been a long couple of months for her….waiting, waiting as she hears and sees the things we were experiencing over here…wanting to be a part yet unable.

Well, she finally arrived yesterday after a very delayed and tumultuous plane route. She said there were blessings though for every negative. Getting bumped to first class on 2 of the 4 (actually the longest) legs of the journey isn’t bad, not bad at all.

She was pleasantly surprised by the size and heat of our shower and has settled right in….except for the spider sightings. Lucy and Eli didn’t help when they told her there might be some in her bed too. Megan was thoughtful enough to bring some heavy duty fly swatters over as a gift to us (and one for herself). We gave them a good work out last night on the 3 spiders we promptly found in the short journey from our living room, through the hallway to the guestbedroom. After the excitement of spider squishing (Eli was thrilled this morning to show his technique by the way), Megan informed me that she was too afraid to leave her clothes out in the open where they might be invaded, so she slept the night away curled up in a ball inside her bug net with her entire wardrobe squished securely at the foot of her bed.

Welcome to Kenya Megan! No truly, we are so happy to have her here safe and sound. It is nice to have someone familiar around.

july 7 09 043

Warning lights are helpful…if you understand them.


We are enjoying the freedom our new car brings. There have been a couple cases though in this last week were we have had opportunity to need the owner’s manual…..and to our disappointment…no owner’s manual in the car.


Our first opportunity came while I (Anne) was on my first driving outing in Thika. I only wanted to drive the dirt road from the kids school to the highway into Thika, but Ian insisted that he wouldn’t switch seats with me and that there was no time like the present time to learn how to drive in a foreign place. I eased onto the highway, and managed to get through town with little problems except that Ian kept complaining that I was drifting off his side of the road…to which I replied that I was still getting used to being the driver and being on the right side of the car. Other things to get used to besides where “center” is in the car are the turn signals (I hit the wiper switch a lot by mistake) and looking for the rearview mirror to my left.

Anyhow, I’m driving down the highway and a bright yellow “HOLD” light comes on the dash. “Hold, what does Hold mean” we both say to each other. At least the light is in yellow and not red, but we decide to stop at the gas station by our place to inquire of the attendants. They are as stumped as we are….even after having me lift the hood…for gosh knows what. What do they think they’re going to see? Anyhow, after turning the car back on..the light is gone, so we figure we are ok.

Then, yesterday, as Ian is driving down the same highway, another warning light comes on! This time in RED! It looked like an oval with an exclamation point inside, and a parantheses on each side of the oval. Turning the car off didn’t seem to help (yes we pulled to the side of the road and stopped as we have been advised to NEVER do…but it was the middle of the day, and we were outside of town.) and we decided to pass on stopping at the service station again as they didn’t seem that handy with car warning lights.

We got home fine…and Ian unsuccessfully tried to download an owners manual. But, thanks to the beauty of SKYPE (you all really should have it or at least check it out), we were able to have our wonderful friend Eve Stoughton research for us the red light problem. She determined that it could be a problem with the braking system (the car has antilock brakes). That’s what we were afraid of! OR, it could just be the emergency brake. Ian ran out to the car…it was the emergency brake on a tad. Those sneaky little kids! When did they have an opportunity to do that! We haven’t left them alone in the car. Really. Despite Eli’s insistance that there is a table (read fold-down armrest) in the back seat perfect for them to eat lunch at.

Anyhow, Skype was dropped before we could have Eve find out what the HOLD light meant…so if any of you are bored at work today…or your kids are in bed and you need something to google. It’s a ’02 Mazda Protege.

Ian here on  completely unrelated topic.  Anne found a funny one page flyer in the paper yesterday for bug kiiller…a big issue around here.  Looked like this:

Here's the instructions.

Here's the instructions.











I'm pretty sire this flimsy paper thing won't do much, I'll try anything though.

I'm pretty sire this flimsy paper thing won't do much, I'll try anything though.











Speaking of bugs...any guesses on what these guys are?   Found them behind our door when shutting up this evening.

Speaking of bugs...any guesses on what these guys are? Found them behind our door when shutting up this evening.