Things Lately....


One of the best parts about being part of an embassy community is that there is always something fun going on! A few weeks ago the embassy held a Field Day to raise money for a local charity. Remember Field Day from elementary school? Unfortunately I never won any events when I was younger and that tradition carries on today. I was partners with my awesome friend Jessica and Jesse partnered up with another expat for the games. One of my favorite parts of the day was the costume contest. Jessica and I used flowers and plants from my yard to create our very own Hula outfits. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to glue fresh flowers with super glue! We didn't win the contest but we had tons of fun designing our costumes.

We also had lots of laughs playing the games.

Some of the events included:
The Water Balloon Hold
The potato sack race:

And, of course, the dizzy bat race:
Although neither of our teams won, we had an amazing time! We ended the day with some good, old fashioned slip and slide!

Coke, please!


While we love it here, sometimes we feel like we have stepped into a time machine. Everything here is so different. Many of the things that we take for granted in the US have never been seen or heard of in Buj. One of the hardest things for us to get used to is that it is a cash only society. That's right... no credit cards, no debit cards, and no ATMs. One American dollar is worth 1200 francs. Yesterday I bought a bunch of bananas- as you can see by the receipt it cost me 2000.
Overall, the prices of meat and produce are lower than the US.  However, anything imported such as salad dressing, cereal, or ice cream is extremely expensive. For instance, a box of corn flakes costs around 24,000- which is $20.00! We will be so happy when our consumables shipment gets here- it will be nice to have some real American food. :)
We are happy to report that there are soft drinks here. We can choose from Coke, Sprite, Orange Fanta, or Lemon-Lime Fanta. The crazy thing is that it all comes in glass bottles.

When you want soft drinks, you buy a case of full bottles. When you have finished all of them, you exchange the empty bottles for a new case.  It ends up costing about 30 cents per drink, which isn't too bad.

 Not too long ago, I also found something pretty exciting- they actually have Diet Coke. It's called Coca-Cola Light, but it tastes the same. The bad news- it only comes in cans so it's pretty expensive-  about $1.50 per can. 

Luckily for me, I've found a drink I love almost as much as diet coke: Ananas. It's pure pineapple juice with no sugar added and it is delicious!

I hope everyone is doing well. We miss you guys!

Good Eats AND Beautiful Views


Since arriving in Africa, we have been out to eat several times. It's really one of the only things to do so it's a pretty popular pasttime around here. I have to admit that I was nervous at first, but so far we've had pretty good experiences. We've had some decent pizza and lasagne- though you have to specify that you want mozarella cheese when you order. If not, you end up with Congolese cheese and it is DISGUSTING! I've also found a salad that I love- it's loaded with fresh veggies, mango and the best avocado that I have ever eaten. They don't have ranch dressing- but they make some tasty vinaigrette.  One of the best restaurants we've been to sits on a mountain overlooking the city. The view at night is absolutely beautiful, as you can see above. I had chicken with really great french fries and Jesse...well.... Jesse ordered rabbit in dark beer sauce. To say that I was disgusted by this is an absolute understatement. He seemed to like it, but I just couldn't get images of Thumper out of my head....
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