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Author: julie2462

Learning Kiswahili in Zanzibar – Part 1 of 3

What if I invited you to spend a week on the coast of Zanzibar learning a new language & experiencing Swahili culture, and all you had to do in exchange was commit to live in a developing country for 2-4 years? Are you in?? šŸ˜‰ Although it didn’t happen quite in that sequence, I was delighted to have the amazing opportunity this October to join 21 other US Embassy employees and spouses for a five day Kiswahili Language and Cultural Immersion Program in Stone Town, Zanzibar. This program has been organized for the last 12 years by the State...

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Babies in the Mist

When we last left off, loyal readers, our family was operating with a headcount of three. Max Nevis Herickhoff finally graced us with his presence in Minnesota… merely a week late & two ounces heavier than his sister (9lb 7oz, and 22″ long). Ā (We chose Nevis in honor of the tallest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis… as well as our favorite pub in Glasgow where we spent many nights with friends & family the week that we got married over there!) After John & Paige returned to Tanzania, Max and I hung around a couple extra weeks to sneak...

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Yes, we have seen wildlife here!

Lest you think (from my sluggish posting cadence) that our initial ~5 months in Tanzania have been animal-free, I assure you they were not! We did manage to sneak in a long weekend in Mikumi National ParkĀ in December before Paige and I departed for BabyWatch2017 in Minnesota. I was relieved that we were able to see moreĀ traditional Tanzanian wildlife beyond Mr. Meowskers, the stray cat who hangs out on our patio & eats anything smaller than him who tries to enter our home (or so we hope). DecemberĀ is theĀ dry season in Mikumi so things were rather brown, but that...

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Gearing up for Christmas in Tanzania

It’s been a little difficult to get into the Christmas spirit this year. We skipped the usual holiday season kickoff of Thanksgiving dinner in favor of a 6-day trip to Zanzibar (which was awesome). Remove turkey and cranberries, add 90-degree temps, and you find yourself on a slippery slope to wondering whether your daughter will notice that Santa hasn’t come this year. We recently unpacked our single box of Christmas decorations, which is rife with super-high-quality ornaments purchased in Mexico seven years ago during a blue & silver binge. Dar isn’t exactly rife with Christmas tree farms, though, so...

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Halloween abroad

Some of my favorite experiences from our first stint living overseas in Mexico City were learning about the local holidays/cultural traditions, while also figuring out how to celebrate our US holidays from afar. Halloween was less of a priority for me at the time sans-children, so I was happy to adopt the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations that transform Mexico each October. Beautiful, floral altars adorned with skulls made from sugar emerge in homes, businesses, parks, and cemeteries to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed on. The holiday took on a special meaning for me soon after we left Mexico, when my mom passed away...

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