Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin patching

Today it was officially fall because we were walking around in the mud in a "pumpkin patch" which cost about $1 million per person and all of DC was there because of the shut-down. It was crowded, but not China crowded, so that was OK. And since we were there with a bunch of friends we served with in China, it was all great fun. Except for the mud. It has been raining here a lot while I was in Africa.

The weird thing about the day, though, is that I was wearing pants that I don't remember. You see, I remember where and when I bought everything in my wardrobe. That blouse? I had it made in Shanghai the first year we were there. Those shoes? Zappos last year. This jacket? LLBean online two years ago and it's too big, which is a good thing. That skirt? Bali in a tourist shop. So you see, there isn't anything I don't remember purchasing because each purchase is deliberate. Except these jeans which I found in the bottom of my drawer this morning and completely do not remember ever buying. They are a brand I never buy because it isn't sold in most of the places I shop. And they have fancy back pockets which you would think I would remember. They fit great, though, so I can only conclude that the Denim Fairy came while I was in Africa and bestowed them on me. Because believe me if I could remember where I bought them I would go get another pair because they look great!

So this is a little bit of what Africa looked like. Just FYI, I went to Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo.

Those are street hawkers and they are all along the roadside selling things like shoe racks (totally not kidding), car parts, books, food of all kinds, drinks, gum. You could shop for almost everything on your way home from work without ever getting out of your car.

I really did see monkeys. And below is what passes for a road in Africa which most people would call a bunch of muddy rocks and holes. I can see why the Department suggests that people bring SUVs to Africa and why the cars need stove-pipes.

It was an awesome trip and my favorite part was that dinner in Togo when half the people there had read my 365 bad days blog and one girl told me she was a little star struck. Only in the department could you find people in Togo who read your blog. It's an awesome life and now I totally want to bid on small African posts--but then I always have. And to my new friends in Togo, I have never had so much fun at a dinner where I didn't know anyone, and thanks for making me feel welcome.

And finally, having a daughter who makes snarky comments in response to dumb radio adds is better than a brownie. I know I should probably not encourage the snark, but how can I not love it when Child 1 laughs and says Mom I get it from you! She is definitely my child and snappy comebacks are a thing to be proud of, at least when they are not made about me. I so love that girl.

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