August 31, 2008

First Day Picture

Bright eyed and ready for school...

Practicing his learning...

August 29, 2008

"I liked everything"

That's what James came home exclaiming today. He even like nap time and he especially liked Spanish. I was wondering how he was learning so much Spanish so quickly and why he liked it so well. A friend then said, "well did you see the Spanish teacher?" I was confused. She said she's beautiful and young. That explains it. James has been talking about a couple "schoolmates" and says that this one girl doesn't want to sit on the mat next to him because she doesn't like boys. I hope James isn't tormenting her.

Lee was able to get home early today and go pick him up with me. It was fun to see Landon introduce him to his teacher and he was so surprised to see him. Then we walked home. That's the best part. Seeing my boy, excited about school, holding his dad's hand as they walk ahead.

Etame is doing fabulous. She went grocery shopping with me today and cooed the entire time up at me. We also went to LL Bean to get James a school tote and she looked up at me from inside the carrier throughout the store. I just love that.

It was a good day, and hopefully that's a sign of a good weekend to come. Happy Long Weekend and Labor Day everyone!

August 25, 2008

First Day of School

James' first day of school today went well. Well despite me shedding some tears the minute I walked back into our house. I was scared of the teacher. She came across meaner than mean. She even told one parents whose child was crying that they better toughen up. Talk about harsh.

But I should of known that James would like it. He thrives on this strict consistent environment, as long as there is something new to learn and grab hold of. He came home singing a new Spanish song, saying in Spanish "my name is Landon", and telling me of how he met lots of new friends of different colors. He really liked one boy with no hair, and the tall skinny teacher who was dark-skinned, even darker than his baby sister. He had nap time where he rested a bit, they read a book, and he liked his egg salad sandwich of which he was surprised when he realized afterwards that I'm the one who made and packed that for him.

I think it's going to be a good year, and I wonder if he'll be reading before long. The teacher drives a hard ship (or whatever those sayings are) and he will probably thrive under it. Secretly, I didn't like her but I won't let him know that.

August 16, 2008

James, The Gladiator

This is James' favorite show and now he gets to go against Titan!

August 6, 2008

Goodbye Dubai, Hello Addis Ababa

Goodbye beautifully clean city, full of dreamers and wealth...

Our first impression of Ethiopia, the airport. We waited over an hour to get through the Visa line and immigration. Then the driver and operations coordinator were there to meet us, holding up a sign to greet us. We were surprised when Tamirat told us we would get to meet Etame the following day! We had assumed we would have to wait for the other families to get there which would make the next day very difficult.

Hello Addis Ababa, and friendly warm people...I really do feel like a sense of peace has come over me. I can just see a change in myself in this picture. We are truly happy...

Big brother is doing surprisingly well. He went through an angry spell when we returned home but is coming out of that. Here is James swelling with brotherly pride...

And this one makes me laugh. They both seem to be thinking the same thing, "What do we do now?"...

August 5, 2008

Land of Superlatives

Here are some pictures of the major construction happening in Dubai, and the Ski Dubai slope built at the end of the mall, indoors and in the middle of the desert.

The first picture is of the tallest building in the world (and it's not even finished!) and they are planning another to be taller than it. The next one is planned to be three times the height of the Empire State Building.

So much construction, we weren't surprised of the estimate of as much as 20% of the world's construction cranes are located here.

Ski Dubai was fairly small but they are planning a bigger one to be completed soon. The ski run was short enough you could get down in a minute. It still was fun to see people sledding and skiing and having a good time. The mall is the biggest in the world outside the US. They are making it the biggest. It is a land full of superlatives.

August 4, 2008

Camel Riding and Belly Dancing

James and Lee, riding the camel.

The belly dancer invited Lee to dance with her. He was a good sport...

August 2, 2008

Camel Love

This camel wouldn't stay away from James!

August 1, 2008

Over-the-Top Dubai

Here are just a few shots we took in Dubai. Our budding photographer...

View from our room...

The balcony...

Room service when we first arrived. Ahh, room service...

The cool desert man on our desert safari. More pics later of this and our camel encounters...