Showing posts from February, 2012

American Bureaucracy

I had 2 errands on my to-do list for this afternoon. I needed to go to the Embassy and apply for Omara's social security number (sigh), and I needed to get my latest cross-stitch picture framed (yeah!)

I went to the embassy, through the metal detectors and the x-ray scanners and everything, juggling Omara who had to come too. I discovered I was supposed to make an problem, they helped me anyway. I was supposed to bring a copy of Chad's passport problem, they just asked me to scan it and e-mail it to them. I had applied before in South Africa but had never gotten her problem, they would call the London processing office, try to find it, and only resubmit the application if no number had ever been assigned, and then phone me with her number so we can claim her on our taxes. No charges. No one acted like I was stupid. The form I got on-line was still the same form they were using, and they actually recognized it and knew what to do with it. No o…

Late on the Upload--Christmas photos

Our Christmas photos look a little greener and warmer than many of you may have experienced! I've just put the best of each of the kids, who are growing up so quickly!

A trial of Coke

Since starting back at school after the break, Ethan has been struggling way more than he ever has before with attention, focus, and following impulse-control rules. Homework can take 2-3 hours to do 2 pages--Chad says Ethan's EXACTLY like he was as a kid, so there's hope, but it's tough to parent right now! His teacher has infinite patience with him and even she is at her wits end. So I heard about another kid who has significant attention-problems, and how the teacher has solved it all with buying him a Mountain Dew each morning--the caffeine acts as a stimulant, and just like ADHD meds, has the opposite effect on someone with ADHD. So in desperation, I thought we might try a similar experiment. I mean, if I could solve all of Ethan's problems with a coke every morning??? How great! So I tried it for several days, but kept forgetting to tell Chad about it, since he's usually out running during breakfast. So one day he come home from his run and asked Ethan why on…

Anguished English

There is much that gets lost in translation every day here. Sure, people make grammatical mistakes in English all the time. And look who’s talking—I butcher Chichewa on a daily basis! But it’s the small nuances that really crack me up. Especially in signs and shop names! Here are a few of my favorites from around town:
1. Iffy Hair Salon…not so sure about trusting my looks to that one
2. Shanty Construction Ltd…are we bragging about that??
3. S & M Weddings…run by a godly Christian couple who unfortunately happen to be named Sam and Mala!
4. Tile Shop: Great Quality at Beatable Prices…yes, I believe so.
5. White Crane Body Wash: leave your skin silky and tender. “After bathing, make you feel extra fragrant”…I always wanted my tender skin to feel fragrant!