Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I hope they call you on a mission... to DILI!!!

Each Sunday we have a lovely little sacrament with our TINY little branch. This last week we had our guard snap a picture of our group (I swear I wear a dress this was taken after church had been over for a while... one of the MANY benefits of having it at your home is your closet is three feet away)
(the picture was really dark so you can TOTALLY see where I lightened us up-- its like we have a glow around us haa!)
Doug on the left is a commander with the Sea Bees and is only here for two more months... but as much as we love him we are glad he is leaving, his wife just had a baby a few weeks ago and he really needs to be home with her. He brought me a case of tortillas last Sunday and I was shaking with joy as I put them in the freezer. (If Jordan reads this, the next night I made your Chicken roll ups for our guests and they were a HUGE hit!)
On the right is Brint. He is here with the Australian military force and he is great! He was kind enough to take a copy of the picture and send it, along with an informative email, to the mission president... and drum roll please... in April the mission president is coming to visit us! I was freaking out when he told Chris, I was so excited. Could you imagine if they open Dili up as an area!!!! Oh the possibilities. Sure I would be feeding the missionaries every night but how great would that be! Chris as ever tells me not to let my imagination run wild but I really think it would be so wonderful and I am sure they would have so much success here! Now we just have to wait a few more weeks and really impress him!

Death by Laundry Hamper

I think Liam feels the same way I do about Laundry. Especially after our hamper decided to eat him last weekend...
I bet he tasted good (please note the two different shoes. I only bought one pair of water shoes and both boys wanted to wear them, so they compromised beautifully on their own deciding that each could get one. Isn't great when kids work things out on their own!)

Christophers Commute

Christopher has an amazing job. We remind ourselves OFTEN that it is very rare to have your dream job be the first job you ever get. Because of the long hours Chris works (being VERY sarcastic here, he works 8:00-5:30) he gets up a little early to go work out in the Gym at the Embassy. His commute to work is a rough one... when he walks out the gate he sees this:
(this is the "pier" right in front of our house. It is actually a gas line where they pump in petrol for the local stations... kids love to jump off the large hunk of concrete to the right of it)
then he turns and walks down the sidewalk, listening to the waves roll in and out for about 100 meters, until he FINALLY reaches the gate of the Embassy. Usually on his walks in the sun is just coming up over Cristo Ray (where the mountains meet the sea and there is a huge Christ statue)
I love the preggy mommy walking with her little boy on the beach.
If you are under 40 and above 16 here-- you are probably pregnant... yesterday within five blocks I counted 8 preggy ladies walking down the street.
All along beach road there are boats, tons of fishing boats turned upside down waiting for their owner to come drag them out.
I love the vast array of colors and often they have fun names painted on the side. When Chris is done working out he often sees early morning fisherman dragging in their boats and nets with their catch for the day:
One more look at the pier and tadda he is home:
He commented yesterday that he can't even listen to an entire song on the ipod, his commute is so short... poor guy, I really feel for him :)
(Chris took all of these pictures, aren't the gorgeous!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Urban Chic

If you are not into Urban photography please disregard this post.
As previously mentioned, Dili is a haven for those who like the "edgy" look to their photography. Or, juxtaposing adorable children with ghetto backgrounds-- that sounds really weird on paper... anyway as we drove around I snapped just a few pictures of places I would do shoots (now this backdrop is NOT for everyone and is probably just a fade in the photography world- but still).
(I like the turquoise with the brick)
(If your into old trucks... that have huts on the back?)
Cool old doors with lots of texture:
Interesting gates and walls are in abundance:
I just liked the colors of the wall and gate
Pretty much ever other house is abandoned or being rebuilt...
If you would like a more classic background, we have amazing trees, beaches, piers and lighthouses:
Apparently there is a house around the corner from us that has completely wallpapered the OUTSIDE of their home... I am dying to see it. Hopefully this weekend...
Dili has it all... just no movie theaters, malls, targets, fast food, good pizza, craft stores, costcos... oh I'm sorry am I rambling?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Its Just Sitting there... waiting

I am probably the ONLY person who does this but have you ever gone onto one of your favorite clothing sites and put EVERYTHING you would buy if you had unlimited resources into your cart... just to see how much it would actually total too? Tonight I did that at Lands End Canvas. Now that heaping cart is just sitting there in cyber space. I doubt I will ever purchase any of it (much to my dismay). I just can't believe how expensive clothing has become. There is NO way I could afford back to school shopping on only a baby sitting salary anymore. Welp, better not quit my day job, a wonderful place where they couldn't care less what I am wearing so long as I will run around screaming as either a dinosaur or Bebop (our families word for Robot). I love my job.

Double Rainbow

This weekend at the tail end of our dinner we saw a rare sight for Timor-- a rainbow! And there were two of them! Of course I sprinted into the house to get my camera, almost breaking my neck on the slip N side.
It isn't a great picture but I have no idea how to make it lighter without loosing the rainbow, oh well. (this is our backyard by the by... awesome picture of it)
The kids had a blast again with their buddies. This weekend we added Carmen and Oskar to the mix. Their dad works with Chris. Carmen also goes to the same school as Sam but is in the morning. She is ADORABLE.
Since she has lived all over the world, and her mom is Portuguese, British and brazilian all rolled into one, she has this darling unplaceable accent. I wanted her to talk to me all night... but the crocodile was more fun, its understandable
Meredith suprised me with flowers from her garden. It was much appreciated as I had just been thinking the day before how there was no where to buy flowers in Timor so it would be two years without them.
Another lovely weekend.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Around town in Dili

Dili is a crazy place (have I mentioned that before? Haa!) There are so many gorgeous places but you would never know it because all of the nice homes are behind HUGE walls with guards and gates. You can have a gorgeous home right across from a smashed up, or even scrap metal home. There is no devision of the neighborhoods, everyone is mish mashed together. For example this gorgeous gate belongs to a lovely home
directly across from this gate was this:
Thats how it is in most neighborhoods. We live on what is known as Beach Road (not by any street signs or anything mind you). Beach Road consists almost entirely of Embassy's, Embassy home compounds and restaurants.
In front of the restaurant district there are always tons of locals selling Fish. They let them dangle from sticks they carry on their shoulders or in this case from a tree:
They are usually these amazing crazy colors. These were taken as we drove past, some afternoon I REALLY want to walk along and get some good shots of the turquoise blue fish that are often for sale. Farther along beach road by the port and EU building there are more fisherman and people selling huge coconuts
What is so ironic about living in Timor Leste is that if you are a health nut it is super cheap to eat here. It is the processed junk food that gets you. To make a huge delicious salad only cost me 3 dollars last weekend. All you have to do is go to one of the open air markets like this one:
This is directly across from one of the 3 grocery stores in town. This is the view from inside Lita:
And this is one of the flavors of baby food Chris and I just died over
And wow look how it says ALL babies above 6 months! Mmmm I bet Abby would LOVE it... yuck.
Shopping here takes some getting used to, because many of the vegetables look nothing like they do in the states. The cucumbers for example are HUGE and sooooo yummy. Certain varieties of bananas are supposed to be eaten green... it is always a little tricky buying fruit. Luckily today there was a super nice guy who spoke portuguese and works for UNICEF who helped us pick the best Bananas from this little place
I love how they take such pains to display their fruit and veggies in such a aesthetically pleasing manner.
This little guy was shopping with his mom and kept sneaking little looks at me from around his mom leg... so I had to sneak a picture of him.
If fresh fruit, veggies and fish aren't your thing you can always track down this guy for some baby pig:
I was freaking out while trying to get a picture of him as we were driving... then I wanted to cry for the baby pigs.
For none consumable shopping you will generally be walking on streets that look like this:
Except for buying Sam and Liam local bikes I have yet to be in any stores like these... usually if I need something I order it on Amazon and then just wait. I think as I become more comfortable with Dili I will hopefully venture out a little more. I did buy my first dress here the other day and LOVE it. I am thinking about doing a little giveaway thing related to it... we'll see. The next installment of around town in Dili will consist of some of the hundreds of places I want to do photo shoots. Poor Chris, taking me around to take pictures of random cool walls, doors and buildings. He totally gets me though, and when I gasp now upon seeing something will just say "Yeah that would be cool in a picture." What a great hubby I have! On the way home we had the lucky coincidence of getting behind the Rickshaw guy.
I have been wanting to get a picture of him forever. How sweet is his ride!

Alola Festival

Chris and I had a fantastic "day date" today. We left all the kiddos at home and headed to the Alola (not Aloha) festival. Every Easter USAID sponsors a festival where all the local vendors can come and sell their products. I was REALLY wanting to purchase some baskets for Abbys changing table that we had made (Che Che's husband is a carpenter and I gave him a picture of a Pottery Barn bench but no dimensions, it turned out gorgeous but WAY to big so now it is Abby's changing table). Chris warned me not to get my hopes up to high, I had mentioned once or twice a day how excited I was. It turned out to be okay. Some of the products were so cool. For instance these hand made goggles:
Spear fishing is HUGE here so these goggles really help the locals when they fish. I am KICKING myself for not getting a pair. The problem was a friend of mine had just purchased a pair for her little boy Hugo and told me that they were 2 dollars. When I went to buy a pair they said they were ten dollars! Grrrr so as my Dad would say I cut off my nose to spite my face and didn't buy them. Totally regret it. We contemplated buying Sam and Liam one of these huge "crocidaddles' as they call them
We decided that it might be a little scary if they woke up in the night and saw it in their room. When I was little at night I would be scared to put my foot on the ground for fear there was an alligator under my bed... because they abound in southern California.
I am thinking I will end up getting Abby one of these cute dolls for her eventual dolly collection
These little boys kept jumping up and flashing whatever gang sign this is in front of my camera. They loved when I showed them the picture on my LCD screen.
We did end up buying A LOT of their wind chime type decorations. One for each of Christopher's sisters and a few for friends. They are made from local palm fronds and are so intricate.
I also purchased a gorgeous clay luminary and Chris and I were both excited about the little clay piggy bank... although there is no hole in the bottom so we are really going to have to be in dire straights to get the money out. We were only there for a half hour or so and had planned on being gone for hours. Chris decided to indulge me and we drove around the city taking TONS of pictures of things I had wanted to capture but couldn't with kiddos. But that is for the next post! ohhh what a teaser I am :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Pataya

This weekend we went to one of the MANY resturants right along beach road and really enjoyed it! We heard that it had a "play place" and were very interested in seeing what that meant. I am still a little nervous to take my camera places (chasing three cuties aorund leaves me a little distracted, a perfect target for anyone wanting to lift things) so the pictures aren't the best but you'll get the point. The boys liked that they had "beds"
and this was the view from my spot on the bed
and this was the play place.
The boys had so much fun in the little house. I just laughed thinking where else in the world would a play place be located ten feet away from gorgeous blue water with an island in the background... okay so maybe a lot of places (I am sure in Hawaii or Thailand... or California) but it is still pretty cool. The food was pretty good. The bread was amazing and they whipped us up some crazy good Humus to dip it in. I really think the only draw back is the same at most of these places, the mosquitoes. Because of the heat the are open to the outside so the ocean breeze can cool down patrons. But that just means lots of spray and keeping Abby covered head to toe. We will certainly be returning though, the cuties have already requested to go back "to the one with the play place" -- take that McDonalds and Burger King!
PS this weekend is the Alola Festival which I am REALLY excited for. Che Che is coming to watch the kiddos so Chris and I can really enjoy all the vendors and I can take lots of pictures without worrying that Liam has followed a stray dog away or Sam is touching something he shouldn't be :) It is put on with the support of our partners is crime USAID, woo hoo for helping out the local economy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Strange things are a foot at the circle K

Ten bucks to anyone (besides Felicity) who can name the movie that is from... Seriously though there have been a lot of things going down at the Crawford house. Liam has decided he doesn't want to wear a diaper, about half the time. But 100% of the time does not want to go numero dose in the potty. Sweet. He also decided (and I tend to agree) that he needed a hair cut. We found this out after Sam yelled into me "Mom Liam has scissors!!!" I came running and asked Liam what he cut "Ma Hayuh" Awesome. I thought you only had to worry about that with girls. Sam and Liam have a THING for cutting. They LOVE to cut paper. So I sat them down that night for some supervised cutting and to fix Liam's hair. When I told him I was going to cut it he said "oh, I help you" and tried to start cutting again.... grrrr.
When I dropped Sam off at school today his teacher said "so Sam is REALLY animated. Whats with all the cool voices he does? Does he get his expressions from you? He kind of reminds me of an old man with some of the things he says... Its really fun" I think she tacked that last part on as the look of horror took over my face. "I mean he is just so grown up the way he talks but still makes jokes and does funny things." At this point I had to restrain myself from pointing to the cute boy across from Sam who wore a tail everyday to school and say "yeah I would be more worried about that guy"... not that his teacher is worried or anything, just if you want to talk about weird behavior wearing a tail everyday is a pretty good jumping off point
And finally Abby. Well she will tell you herself through pictures because posts without pictures are lame:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is there a better place to celebrate?

Chris and I (well mainly Chris-- I'm just a plus one these days) were invited to the St. Patrick's day party at the Irish Embassy- I was SOOOOOOO excited. We went back and forth about whether or not to bring Abby. Generally these events aren't for children, add in the fact that St. Patties day generally entails quite a bit drinking and well you can imagine. But we decided to go for it and I am so glad we did. The Irish ambassador was totally nuts about her outfit and gave us so many compliments on how adorable she was. They even requested a picture of her for their monthly newsletter haa! And I was worried that no one would get why she was wearing orange shoes with her green dress! She was even brought a cool ribbon for her headband with the flags colors.
We then had a delicious dinner. I had steak (of course) and Chris ordered a seafood dish. They don't mess around with their seafood here. He kept holding up "things" that were in it and I got progressively sicker and sicker. This was just one of the many tentacled items:
UGHHHHHH Kerlack! You could not pay me enough to eat that. Luckily Chris had enough sense not to eat it either.