Monday, March 28, 2011


We've been starting to accumulate keepsakes for Ceiba & baby. Originally, we had thought about hope chests, but with the traveling lifestyle, we decided on a smaller version. Here in Bangladesh, there are small boxes at every art or antique dealer. Many of them are fairly old and came from the huge history of boat travel. I don't know what they are actually called. The large trunks functioned as suitcases on the trains and ships, and I think some of the smaller trunks may have been used as jewelry boxes or make-up cases. Most of the small ones have trays that lift out and mirrors.

We purchased one trunk for Ceiba and are watching for a second for baby. Though some are very intricately carved with brass inlay, but we've opted for the clean, plain version on the outside with a intricate interior.
Here is a pic of Ceiba's "hope chest" with some of our recent purchases: pearl bracelets from Dhaka, necklaces & ornaments from Hong Kong and stamps with the girls' birth year/animals. Also when we were in Hong Kong, we had hand carved name stamps made for the girls.  And Ceiba has some items from Guatemala and passed down family jewelry in her box already.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Soccer Mini-Me

Chris has been playing soccer with the embassy team. Ceiba and I go out a few times a week with our lawn chairs, snacks and drinks in hand to cheer them on. It's nice to sit outside in the evenings... until the tornadoes of mosquitoes appear.

We ordered a second jersey for Chris, and at the same time, ordered one for Ceiba. She had been wearing her Bangladesh cricket shirt or Mexico soccer jesey, but now wear the standard US uniform. Too cute!
 above- Ceiba at half time, Chris and Mini-me, Ceiba and her buddy Nate
below- Ceiba in her Mexico soccer jersey, Chris at practice (3)
At the first game, they had salted lemon slices for half time. Not a hit for Chris. Grandpa, you'll laugh to hear that Chris asked for orange slices at half time, like when he was a kid. Ceiba had as much fun with them as the players. 
Go team!


Occasionally, Ceiba will get on crazy hyped up talking spurt of excited gibberish. Yesterday, we were getting ready to head to the pool, when we heard:
"And I will get my penguin, and I will get my snakes, and I will get my pony, and I 
will get my boobies, and I will get my penguin, and I will get my boobies, 
and I will get my snakes..."

And on and on while dancing around the kitchen, giggling. Chris and I laughed. We have never called them boobies. For some reason, Ceiba started by calling them oooos and it stuck. So we figured this was another new word from school (ah, how we've been learning new words and phrases at school...).  So I asked, "Boobies? Who says boobies?"


Robbie...thanks Robbie. Hoping the "snakes"comment was no where in the boobie conversation. Am sure there will be many more of these conversations to come, ready or not.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

America Week- Khulna

In January, Chris went to Khulna, Bangladesh to coordinate security with local and district police for America Week, the US Embassy's flagship outreach program that showcases the contributions that the US has introduced to rural Bangladesh. 

He ran from 0500 every morning until generally well into the night each evening. Their busiest times were holding back thousands of moms who brought their children to watch a showing of a Bangla version of Sesame Street. He said they were crazy!

Another night, the Embassy hosted a live music concert. They had passed out about 1500 tickets, but received a crowd of almost 6000. He had to think fast and set up bamboo cattle gate type temporary security screening stations.

Below are some pics... wish I could say I took them, but the credit goes to him (but I did edit them):

(above- Ambassador getting on float plane, motorcade, Chris with new police friends)
(below- Chris on the river, funnel cake (kind of) man, Rahman snacking)
(above- carrying bricks, Chris on the river ferry, low tide)
(below- cast net fishing, snack time at the fair, Chris with school children)
(above- overfilled ferry, quail egg vendor at the dock, goat dressed)
(below- waiting for Rajashani/Sesame Street show, ferries, concert audience)
(above- low tide, Bangla pipers, Chris/Rahman/ferry tender on the river)
(below- proud firemen, Chris's swank VIP suite)
The week went incredibly smooth, and he received many "ata boy!'s from the embassy staff the following week back in the office. He thoroughly enjoyed the independence to run the week with his own supervision, work closely with the Bangla officers and gain the respect of his peers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cookin' with the Nuns

Last weekend, the CLO office coordinated an Italian cooking class at the Carlotta House, a local non for profit run by Catholic nuns from Italy and Bangladesh. It was a 5+ hour event, where we learned to make tiramisu, handmade pasta, lasagna, ragu, white sauce and gnochii. In between dishes, our instructor (an interesting Italian lady who seems to have been everywhere and done everything) taught us sweet Italian songs. We got to enjoy the fruits of our labor at the end of the class (forgot to take pics). Yum!
The cutest little nun you've ever seen, Sister Luisa, who speaks sweetly like the little Bramasole lady from Under the Tuscan Sun movie, flittered around a lot while we cooked. I had met her weeks before at a local pearl shop, where she was having a rosary repaired. I couldn't forget that sweet voice or her warm presence. I think we all enjoyed being near her as much as cooking beautiful food with friends. And there is nothing like the touch and blessings for a healthy baby, as she smiled upon us. No matter your religion, I think just being near a holy person, be it a Catholic nun, a Buddhist monk or whoever, is a calming and joyful experience, a time you can't help but smile. They seem to exude peace, which most people have not yet discovered.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ballet Recital

A local expat teacher conducts dance classes after hours for the community. There is usually a wait list to get in (not a lot of extracuriculars here). After the 10 week class, there was a little recital last week. We hadn't seen Ceiba's practices, except for the first week to keep her from crying, so were very excited to see her progress.

She loved it! Her eyes were on her teacher like glue, reenacting each pose and smiling most of the time. We video taped and took pictures, grinning all the while.
Even though she won't get through the entire next session due to our medevac out, she's signed up to continue. So far, it's been great for her to be on her own and learn without us involved. And Ceiba loves to make new friends!