Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Evacuation Vacation

Things have been getting messy this week in Bujumbura and we decided to leave early just in case. The airport was closed and so we decided to drive to Tanzania, it was a 2 hour drive to the border and we got visas very quickly. We drove for 1 hour and got to our guesthouse here in Kigoma. Its very beautiful and has Vervet monkeys and zebras that you can get very close to, and a beautiful view of Lake Tanganyka. The beach is beautiful and the water is a lot of fun to swim in with big waves and sandy shores. 
Today Dad and I drove 20 minutes to a museum about David Livingston, a famous explorer for the source of the Nile, and Henry Stanley and we got to stand in the spot where they met, and Stanley said the famous words " Dr. Livingston I presume?" 
We leave tomorrow and fly to Dar es Salaam, the capital. The plane route is from Dar we fly to Dubai, so we get to hit a new contnent, Asia, and from there to Switzerland, where we stay for a few days, and then take a train to Paris where we have a little vaca, and from there we take a train to Brussles and take our planed flight home. 

Taking a walk
Our little visitor
" Dr. Livingston I presume?"
Mommy and baby zebra at our guesthouse

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ibitaro, the hospital

Sometimes it is very fun or useful to live 5 minutes from a hospital, you get to go hold the new babies, see a boy getting a coin fished out of his throat, visit the children, and when my mom got a hairy caterpillar spick in her eye she just walked over to the neighbors house and our friendly eye doctor walked her to the hospital and fixed her right up.

The operating room 
The outside
Storage room

Monday, March 30, 2015


Our mission agency is having a retreat in Kenya this week and we decided to come a few days early to go on safari. 
When we flew into Nairobi we spent the night in a guesthouse and then yesterday morning we drove to a very small airport that is just for flying to safari and a few beaches. We took a very small plane on a 45 minute flight to the Masai Mara. We landed in a dry field where our guide was waiting with a jeep. 
As we were driving we spotted a mongoose, monkeys, impala(antelope), zebras, and the smallest type of deer, a dik-dik. 
We got to our resort called Entumoto, which means meeting place in Masai. They led us to our “tent”, which was more of a house including couches, beds, and bathrooms.
That afternoon we got to try shooting a Masai bow and we also went on a game drive, where we saw more antelope, African buffalo, Crowned Cranes, and a few other birds.

This morning we had breakfast at 7:30 and headed out at 7:45. As we were driving we saw 2 female lions eating a buck and a few miles away was a pride feasting on a zebra. There were about 5 cubs, a male teenager, and 3-4 full grown females.
After a little more driving we came across a tower(group) of giraffes crossing the road. We kept on driving through a field of dry grass looking for a leopard, which we did not find today but instead we found a very famous cheetah, Malaka, who’s from National Geographic and the movie Cats, with her cubs, who marched right in front of our car.
As we were watching, a parade of elephants walked right past us and the cheetahs, which was very exciting.
After this we stopped for lunch in the middle of an open plain, our guide packed a delicious picnic lunch. We drove a little more and then stopped at a pool filled with hippos and a Nile crocodile.
As we were driving back we stopped to watch more giraffes with babies eating.
 The other creatures we saw throughout the trip today were more zebras, warthogs with babies, hyenas, ostriches, baboons, gazelles, a Martial eagle, more mongoose,jackals,and dung beetles.

lion facts:
-females live to be 15 years old, males live to be 10
-males eat first, then cubs, then females
-when they catch prey, they eat the eyes first
-when they finish their meal they cover the blood so hyenas don't find it.
-the boys live with the pride until they are 2, then get kicked out to find their own territory 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Chick update

As we have learned, chicks are very hard work. After Hazel's death we watched the chicks very closely so they wouldn't get picked off by crows or hawks but they still managed to somehow disappear in other ways.
 While we were in Ethiopia Amber caught the first case of chickalaria ( chick malaria), as we call it, and was found lifeless the next morning. Boo wast taken away, while Anna was watching, by what she said was a hideous crow.
 Also, during our vaca the Cropseys got 3 little chicks, Cookie, Frodo, and Sam. Before we even got back Frodo caught chickalaria and had the same results as Amber. The day after we returned Sam was taken by a bird while Sammy was watching him, as for Cookie, she was fine until one day Elise came into school crying and announced Cookie was sick, and she was very sick. After school finished, Cookie had bit the dust.
Pickely is the only chick left and we all hope he survives and stays, as we nicknamed him,
 The Everlasting Chick!

Me holding Pickely and Mekdes eating sugar cane infront of our house

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The feeding program

Today we went to the Yezelalem Minch offices and met our sponcer child, Redit, and our grandparents sponsor child,  Yabsira, we gave them some gifts and got to ask them a few questions about school and sports.
 Then we went to the feeding program,  run by Burtukan and Nesibu, and helped give the food out to the kids. They had injera, the Ethiopian bread, with a sauce and bananas.
The area is accualy a preschool with kids up to eight years old and we got to visit the rooms and the playground and play with the kids as well as give them plates of food. A lot of the kids wanted to shake our hands, give us a hug, or play thumb war with us. 
 All the kids were very nice and we even met another Mekdes there. 
We also got to see an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and watch the woman make the coffee and it smelled really good.

Friday, February 20, 2015


For spring break we came to Ethiopia and we are visiting our friends, Burtukan and Nesibu, who run Yezelalem Minch. The flight went well and I didn't get sick, we stoped in Kigali, Rwanda to pick up more people and I got to see the country side. Ethiopian time is one hour ahead of Burundian time so we are adjusting good here.
Today was our first day here and we left the guest house at 10:00 to explore, first we went to the place where they make Noonday jewelry and got to see them making it and we bought a few pieces too. Then we went to lunch at a resteraunt with a playground and then we got horse rides after we ate. Next we went to a place that trains woman who used to be fuel wood carriers to weave scarfs, a much better job! We got to see the big looms and how they weave, we bought a few scarfs too. Then we to the market and looked at the dresses. We drove up Intoto mountin and we had a great view of Addis Ababa, the capital.
 We drove home and had a relaxing evening at Morning Coffee Guesthouse.

Noonday jewelry making
Coffee bean jewelry
Horse rides
Addis Ababa

A woman carring wood on her back, barefoot down a mountin

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


For Biniyams birthday we got 2 chicks from Gitega, Bini named his Pickely and Mekdes and I named ours Hazel.
 We had them for almost one day when we left them outside for a few seconds and we herd Pickely chirping outside, we went to see what was wrong and we couldn't find Hazel, the guards told us that she was taken by a bird. We don't know if it was a crow or an owl or a halk but she's gone. After a few days without Hazel, Pickely started to get lonely because chicks are very interactive creatures. Eric was going to Gitega so Mom tagged along and went to the market to get 2 more chicks, one was for Anna and one was for us. We named ours Amber and Anna named hers Boo. We found out that they eat grasshoppers as snacks and like to eat the skin of the milk also. We taught Pickely to chase us while we hold the grasshoppers and to jump for them. 
They're so, so cute!

This is Pickely Picklejuice Pickle, that's what Bini named him.
This is little Boo eating feed
And this is Amber
These are the school kids playing with the chicks

Biniyams birthday

Biniyam had a spy birthday and we made a treasure hunt to find his presents, I made him a race/practice course for his snails and a taco truck (from Turbo). He also got a board with nails in it to make shapes with elastics, a top hat with a fake bottom so he can do magic, a book, a coloring book, some candy, and other little things. 
 He had a birthday party at 2:00 and we wrote the invitations in invisible ink made out of lemon juice and water. We asked the password which was six and had a wheel with colors/patterns and animals so when you spun it the arrow landed on two things and that's what your secret agent name was, mine was spotted skink. We had a photo booth with secret disguises like mustaches and hats. Then we had a treasure hunt to find the piƱata which was a bomb that we had to destroy and we had to use a decoder, a magnifying glass, and a mirror. We had a magnifying glass cake made out of a circle and a long slice of another cake, it was vanilla swirled in chocolate and chocolate swirled in vanilla. Then we played outside some and we borrowed the McLaughlans icecream maker and we made some delicious icecream.

This is the racing snail set I made

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Kurundi is basically the main language here, so these are a few words:
Hello- Amahoro (it actually means peace but they use it as hello)
Yes- ego 
No- oya ( oh yeah)
How are you?- Urakomeye ( ura- comey- yay). It actually mean "is it good?"
Yes, it is good- ego,undocome
Thank you- urakoze ( ura- cozy)
You're welcome- urakoze gishima, it actually means thank you for thanking me
Good evening- mwiriwe ( mw-airy-way) 
What is your name- witwa nde (we-twa un- day)
My name is...- nitwa...
Tomorrow- ejo ( a-jo)
Yesterday- ejo hahise
Chicken- inkoko ( un- hoko)
Okay- sawa
If you want to know any other words ask and I'll look it up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas vacation and my birthday

For Christmas vacation we were going to go to Rwanda but we couldn't get our visas done in time so we decided to drive around Burundi a little, we went down to a hotel on lake Tanganyika called Nyanza Lac for two nights. It's really beautiful there and we got a room that we could see the mountains of Tanzania from. One day we took a boat across lake Tanganyika and went to Tanzania for about 10 minutes so that's one more country off my list.
Then we drove along lake Tanganyika up to Buja and  stayed at the Bonds ( the house we stayed at the night we arrived). We got to have Ethiopian food, Indian food, fish,Thai food, and sushi.
For my 10th birthday I went swimming at Club du Lac for most of the day and then we found a resteraunt that had Thai food and sushi and we went there and then we got to get really good ice-cream.

These are the mountains of Tanzania from our room.