WH Chronicle No. 55

July 22, 2010

We have pictures of our house (and the place you are going to stay when you come visit us) in Tanzania!! 

The kids are mesmerized by the photos. The last one is a picture of a vervet monkey (male-by my guess)—this particular species runs rampant around the University campus similar to our Texas squirrel population. They like to wreak havoc by digging up gardens, running down/chewing up power lines and occasionally chasing University students. Sounds like fun.

Back on the home front—fingers crossed so I don't jinx the deal—I think our house is rented. Pending a final signature and a deposit---it seems to be official. What a relief it will be to not have to make the bed every day and live in terminal cleanliness while people parade around disparaging your belongings. These potential renters actually like our furniture and appear to have conquered any serious personal hygiene issues.

We enjoyed visiting with my country cousins last week.  Wonderfully sweet people!   They refer to Uncle Darrell (PawPaw) as 'the smartest man in the world'.  So they are always tickled to tell the story of when Uncle Darrell first learned about his grandaughter's name and asked, "How will they tell us apart?"   His nieces all giggled and told him that it is not a problem because he is much taller.  

Grandmother Ritch came to visit at us. She was threatening to make a serious road trip from Bear Valley to somewhere while commandeering the navigator seat. I hope it happens, we want her to get enough of us—so she won't miss us at least for a week after we leave.

With our departure date looming in the near future, Tudder and PawPaw 'swing by' as often as possible. Of course, my children's behavior now resembles that of my dog from several years ago. Those of you that remember Dizzy, remember that she moved out on her own accord. Just like Dizzy, the kids beg Tudder and PawPaw to take them home with them; as if staying with their parents represented the harshest and most inhumane conditions. Of course, green vegetables have been banned from the grandparents' house. Popcorn is health food and exercise is picking out a new video game to play for the next four hours. Dizzy led the way—she's no dummy.

We've ditched feline unit #2. That is, freaky weird cat, Chuck, who will never be forgiven for pooping in our bed in the middle of the night. He is a shoo-in for "Cat vs. Wild" or a "Survivorcat" realty TV show. Chuck's blog stands to outperform our own as he makes the move from soft indoor kitty to scavenging outdoor ratter; feasting on mice, guineas, and other vermin with some ol' dry cat food on the side.  We've offered him a courtesy canteen and a compass--I look forward to the video confessionals.     And the award for taking the freaky cat, tending all mail/bills, as well as the renters wins Tudder and PawPaw the one year use of the coffee machine.


In a moment of weakness I bought a new little fish at Petsmart for our aquarium, which is scheduled for departure to Don and Debra's house this week. It is an 'upside down catfish', it actually swims upside down. Sam named it Colonel Mustard. He also commented that if the fish is ever rightside up—we'll know that it was Prof. Plum, in the aquarium, with the fishhook.


African tidbits:
One of my favorite 'expats in Africa' stories comes from Mikal when he was a young lad living in Kenya (on Fulbright's nickel). While driving home one night, a baby rhino appeared in front of their car.  Before anyone could utter, "Awwww, look at the cute baby rhino", Mama rhino bolted from the bush and crashed into the car, hooking her horn through the driver's window.  Then, she unhooked herself and ran off with the baby.  The driver kicked out the dents and the family went on their merry way.
I love sharing this with others and watching their expressions. Casey (Tammy's sweetie), calmly replied, "I wonder how they report that on Carfax?"

Tanzanian Proverb:
"Suffering is prior to attaining success or perfection." Chagga Tribe

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything."  ~Charles Kuralt, On the Road With Charles Kuralt


"Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness."  ~Ray Bradbury


"Just get on any major highway, and eventually it will dead-end in a Disney parking area large enough to have its own climate, populated by large nomadic families who have been trying to find their cars since the Carter administration."  ~Dave Barry


Honking and waving the middle finger,

 PS Notice the favicon at the top of your browser's tab--this no small accomplishment for a bassoonist.

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