After four weeks, we are feeling much more settled into our new home and routines. There is so much to be thankful for. Coy is already quite busy at work but communication and vision are much clearer now that he is not an ocean away from the office and reliant on Skype. Townes had some health issues in our first week (namely, giarrdia and 2nd degree burns on his hand from our hip-level stove) but we are now all doing well and adjusting to the heat. Our house has come with a short list of things that need to be fixed but it is comfortable and ideally located for walking places with the boys. And our mangoes and papayas have just begun to ripen!
It has been wonderful to catch up with friends that we made from our time here a year ago. I have had a few awkward moments of staring and smiling at someone who is obviously trying to remember my name as well. I would have chalked this up to shared memory gaps if I had not overheard two of the ladies we knew quite well saying to one another, "Wait, was that Baba Townes? No.." I then pressed Anna and Christina to explain why they hadn't known it was Coy who had just greeted them and they confessed that it was hard to recognize us because we had grown so fat in America! Now I will admit that I consumed more ice cream and Chik-Fil-A than a gal should be allowed to under the guise of pregnancy cravings but I didn't think that I had been rendered unrecognizable! Later Coy told me that he has read that Africans rely on facial features like cheekbones and jawlines as their primary means of distinguishing/recognizing people.
(That being explained, a highlight in my first days here was walking down the dirt road near our home and hearing someone exclaim, 'Mama Townes!!' and finding Kembwa running over to meet Gus who was dozing in the B'Jorn.)
As I type this, the electricity has just blinked out so I won't be able to go online and post this until the morning. But that reminds me that we have also been quite fortunate to have had consistant water and electricity since we arrived- we'll see what 2012 has in store for teaching us about how not to take things for granted. I hope that the rhythm of writing on the blog will return to us. There are stories to share and we enjoy the thought that, by writing, we are keeping in touch with our beloved friends and family. We hope that your new year is off to a good start. Think of us and our chubby cheeks next time you flick on the lights!