July 2006 (created 8-Dec-06 by Ken)
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Unfortunately while we were on vacation in June our kitten named 'Sweetheart' died. It happend that Hilma (sweetheart's momma) gave birth to another batch of kittens and so we picked out this one and named her 'Sweetheart' as well. Actually, this one turned out to be a boy which became more obvious as he got older. He also nearly died shortly after this picture was taken because he got a fishbone stuck in his throat and was coughing up blood. We figured he was doomed as we just didn't have any way to get the bone out as it was really wedged in there. After about a week ...
Wow.. our shipment arrived!! All the stuff we sent from Saipan to Bayanga FINALLY got here in July after a volume of frustrations and headache. It has all been stuck in Douala (Cameroon) for the longest time but I finally flew to Douala, met people, and was able to make arrangements to get it all removed from customs and sent to Libongo (a small village across the river from us on the Cameroon side). Erica and I then took a pirogue across the river, got our stuff, loaded it all in one HUGE pirogue, and transported it back across the river to the Central African Republic side and ...
Of almost equal value to the trampoline itself are the boxes that everything was packed in. It really doesn't take much for the kids to just have a blast for days.
July was also the finals of the World Cup soccer which is just a HUGE event around here and yet not many opportunities to actually watch matches (most people listen to the matches on the radio). We were able to copy some of the matches onto DVD and display them for the public to come and watch. What a huge hit, people loved it.
Charlie getting a piggy back ride from Blanch in the Sangha River. This is one of our favorite swim spots near the Aouk Hunting Camp about 20 minute drive from our house.
Here is Erica with her favorite local fruit.. the Jackfruit.. or 'Jackie' as she likes to call it. It tastes sweet like gum and often has a sticky latex inside that is hard to get off of your fingers, but Erica loves it regardless. We have planted about 10 of these trees around the house but it will take at least a couple of years before any fruits come along. Alas.
Since Charlie is only 5 'school' is a pretty unstructured event. Sometimes we 'play' with letters, as she is doing here.. other times we play with numbers, read stories, learn about the natural environment.. etc. Mostly it depends on her interests, there is something to learn for everything she does. Her greatest learning has been to pickup the local language (Sango) and customs. Her language skills are great.. she just gets a bit stubborn sometimes about shaking EVERYONE's hand as is local custom.
Carol having a 'bizarre-hair' day. A grass skirt wrapped around the head is 'pendere mingi!!' (translation - very beautiful).
A pizza party held out at Bai Hokou, the Gorilla and Mangabey habituation camp. Parties out at Bai Hokou are always a good time and enjoyed by everyone, particularly the trackers (mostly Baaka) and Assistants who work and live out there daily, coming to town only for short breaks.
Ngoro is one of the local catfish and can get huge. This is the biggest one I have seen yet and makes Charlie look like a small fry.