Friends! Family! We’re here!! Much has happened in the time since I last checked in. In fact the growing list of “blog posts I’d like to pen” has been slowly overwhelming me to the point of paralysis. I’ve decided to just do a big flashy whirlwind and later if I feel inspired enough to dedicate an entire post to any one of these subjects I can do so. But for now I just want to hop back on this train and chug forward.
Back in August, our sweet Bushbaby had her first birthday! It was a mellow affair with just the three of us. I made this 3 layer cake with lemon curd between the layers and lemon mousse frosting. Whoa. Did that just make your salivary glands spring to life? Did mine. It was incredibly special and really delicious. The cake topper was one from when Snakes was a kid. Each year it has another little animal with a candle in his car to add to the train. God bless that nostalgic MIL of mine! I’m so glad that she hung onto it.
We FINALLY had the opportunity to take a little walking tour of the old colonial ruins in downtown Luanda. I could have spent the entire day wandering through the crumbly buildings. Our RSO has always advised that we do not explore the city unless in a large group nor should we take our cameras along as the police are known to confiscate them. I took the risk of a few pictures, but I really needed more time than was allowed. Also people on the street do not like having their photo taken.
A while back, I’d learned through some Chevron friends that just off the coast of Luanda is the migratory path of a massive pod of dolphins and a group of humpback (I think) whales. Despite the fact that the embassy allegedly has a boat (as reported in post reports back at FSI), there were no organized trips planned. When Snakes asked about the mystery boat, he was told that it was too unfit for use. I was pretty bummed. I thought it would be such a shame to be SO close to this potentially amazing experience (especially when amazing experiences are in short supply) and not be able to make it happen. However! As luck would have it, one of the other moms at my playgroup sent me a last minute email saying that a couple who was scheduled to join them for an outing had cancelled and they now had space for two more. A friend agreed to come by and spend the afternoon with the Bushbaby and we set off for an afternoon on the water. It was magnificent. Great to get out of the city for a few hours, an interesting perspective on Luanda and the bay AND we actually spent a few hours following along side a group of whales. Of course pictures never do justice to these sorts of things. To hear their breath spraying through the surface was awesome. I know this post may lead one to believe that our schedules have been bursting at their seams with action and adventure, but as I’ve illustrated in the past the reality of life here is entirely different. Most days I am inside with little to do besides chase the love bug to and fro. And to be honest, there’s a fair amount of lazing about.
After she goes down for the evening I begin knitting like a fiend. Currently between projects, I am awaiting a yarn shipment from the states. I finished a couple of projects recently, my very first “garments”. The following picture speaks for itself and the bottom is of a lattice topped shell when it was nearly finished. It turned out beautifully and was in solid rotation on our recent trip. Confidence is slowly building to attempt more complex patterns, just in time for our move to a more varied climate! (20 more weeks, people!!!)