Monday, January 25, 2010

Six Months Old

Six months ago today Micah Jude came into the world. I feel so blessed to be this little boy's mama and I love him so much!

He brings me great joy.

Tonight we went out with some friends to a place overlooking the Niger River. Micah seemed to enjoy himself.

View of the river.


Baby's First Haircut

He had some patches that were just getting way too long. It was starting to look like he had a comb-over in the back. I just had to do something about it.

He did so well, just sat there and played with his toy while I cut away.

And here's the end result...mighty handsome, I say!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Need a Nanny?

The other night we went out to eat at L'Exotic. We all had pizza. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, a lady that worked there came and took Micah. This is not an unusual occurence. Near the end of the meal, one of the waiters came over to me and said, "Madame, pardon, but my sister over there who was holding your baby..." I thought he was going to say she wanted some money for taking him while I ate or something, but he continued, "She wants to know if you need help taking care of your baby, she would like to come work for you." Oh! I smiled and explained to him that we didn't live here but were just visitng and that we live up North. He said okay and went and relayed the message. He came back just a few minutes later, "She says that she doesn't care and that she would even go to Agadez to come work for you." And then I explained that oh, we don't live in Agadez, we live out in the bush, and I didn't think that she would want to come work for us where we live. And off he went. Then, just as we were getting ready to leave he brings me a piece of paper with Juliette's name and her phone number...just in case I decide that I need a nanny after all.

Babies in a Box

They went up to Abalak and back.


A couple weeks ago Donnie goes to pick up the doors to our front gate so we can begin rebuilding the front wall of our new property. I was working in the office so he came to tell that he should be back in 15 minutes, but reminded me that our son was sleeping in the house so that if he wasn’t back by then to make sure I checked on him. He comes back a little later telling me that he is indeed going to be longer than 15 minutes, that he almost had a very bad accident (almost?!?) but he’s ok and he’ll tell me what happened when he gets back. Okay.

He comes back and explains to me that just as he was arriving at the door place he heard a loud pop and then all of a sudden there was a bunch of smoke billowing out from under the hood. The next thing he knows someone is running up to him yelling at him to get out of the truck. Upon exiting the truck he notices the flames coming from out of the front end. All the people who were there came running up and immediately started throwing sand at the truck. They were throwing it everywhere at the windows, in the back, in the interior…..maybe they were trying to bury the truck before it burned up. Fortunately their was someone with a water hose close by. It was thought that the fire was started by a short. We are just glad Donnie made it out safely.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Care Package Ideas

Show us you care! Here are some ideas of things you could send us to let us know you’re thinking about us:
~Personal letter, card, or email (<--practically free, almost instantaneous! For that matter, so is a comment on our blog :)…we would love to hear how you are doing and what’s going on in your corner of the world.
~Birthday cards:
Donnie: February 24 (Better get on this…it’s coming up soon!)
Allison: May 30
Micah Jude: July 25
~Music CD’s (these fit nicely in a greeting card)
~DVD’s (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was recommended to us.)
~Kool-Aid packets (Cherry and Fruit Punch are faves)
~Mother’s Milk Tea
~Candy (Original Skittles, Original Starbursts, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces are favorites)
~Sauce packets (Pad Thai, Pasta sauces are ones we currently don’t have many of)
~Hot chocolate packets (Nice cold season treat!)
~Guitar strings (I prefer lights)
~Toys for Micah (He’s starting to enjoy bathtime!)

Our mailing address is BP 202, Tahoua, Republic of Niger and any packages or letters should be sent via air mail, if it goes surface it has a tendency to never arrive.

Do babies see angels?

I think they do. I haven't seen him do this in awhile, but this morning as I was nursing I noticed him looking past me, gazing at nothing in particular, and smiling as if he were smiling at someone. Sweet baby boy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Photo Shoot

Last time I went and visited my friend Mina, we had lunch with her sister-in-law Fat (short for Fatimatou). Fat has a baby who is just two months older than Micah. Some how we got on the subject of photographs and she was saying how she doesn’t have a camera, but wishes that she could have pictures of her children as souvenirs for them when they are older. I told her that the next time I came over I would bring my camera and we could take pictures.
Mina has since moved to France to be with her husband, but I went to visit and wish them all a Happy New Year on New Year’s Day. I told Fat that I’d brought my camera. She then told me that she was going to go back to her house and change her clothes and find some clothes for Ahmed as well. She came back wearing one of her best outfits and an indigo headscarf, and also brought back a couple of other wraps explaining that they were for me to put on to take pictures in as well. Here are a few shots from the day…

Fat and Ahmed


Two of Fat’s kids

Us with some of the kids and Mina’s mom Zoua

Me and Fat

Little Visitors

Some friend’s kids came over to visit the other day. The moment they walked in it was a flurry of activity. Feeding time was over and away Micah went. Well, they stayed for quite awhile. I fed them some rice and peanut sauce for lunch. They each ate like one bite and said they were done. Then they told me in Tamasheq that is was really good and better than their food at home……I am not sure I believed them. After Micah went down for a nap I think they got a little bored, but didn’t want to go home, either. That’s when I got the great idea to pull out some paper and water colors.

And the almost finished product…

Sitting Up

My baby boy can now sit without support!

Goat on the Roof

December 26th

The day after Christmas the Mannixes hosted a sheep dinner at their house for all of our Nigerien friends, Christian and Muslim alike.

The moment we arrived, Micah was taken out of my arms. He was only returned to me when he needed to eat.


Donnie, in his new Christmas clothes.

Me and Micah in our new clothes.

And there’s the little bug after dinner.

Baby’s First Christmas

His ornament was on Auntie Jordan’s tree, I’m told.

Christmas morning the Mannixes came over for breakfast and presents. We’d found an old waffle maker in our junk room a few days prior and thought it would make a great Christmas breakfast.

Donnie made the waffles and Mike made the syrup.

Micah and Sarah

Micah and Mama opening presents

I scream, You scream, We all scream for ICE CREAM!!!

That’s right folks…ice cream in Abalak! Don’t know who to thank of all the people that have lived in our house before us, but someone left behind a small ice cream maker that I found in our kitchen and put to good use. Donnie brought home some cream from his last trip to Niamey so we had a nice Christmas treat, topped with my botched attempt at fudge which turned out to make a great sauce.

Good Morning, Micah!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I really hadn’t given much thought to the coming of Christmas this year, but one day in early December Donnie pulled out the Christmas tree and all of the Christmas decorations and got busy making our living room look festive. I was quite impressed with the finished product and enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially in the evening, after all the clutter of the day was cleared away and we would sit in the living room by the lights of the tree and listening to Christmas music…I could almost imagine that it was winter somewhere and that Christmas was coming soon.

Hebert’s Christmas Wishlist

Here’s how it works—You choose the gift you would like to give us, send a check made out to us to 5249 Creekside Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243 and then send us a little note either via email or snail mail wishing us Merry Christmas and letting us know which gift you gave us
~Yogurt for breakfast for a year: $365
~Rice and beans for lunch for a year: $182.50
~Stock our freezer for three months:
Cheese: $100
Butter: $25
Meat: $75
~Breakfast for Micah for a year: $200
~Clothes (Allison loves clothes!):
Everyday outfit: $20
Fancy outfit: $40
Turban for Donnie: $6
Head scarf for Allison: $6
~Health/Medivac Insurance: $1,800/yr or $150/mo
~Rec Center Membership (for R+R in Niamey): $450/yr
~Guest house accommodations in Niamey: $175/wk
~USB Modem to do email from Abalak: $175
~Email from Abalak for a year: $70 (Chatting on Skype is extra!)
~Help us pay for our land: $5,000 or $2/sq. meter
~Help us build our house: $13,000
~Help us build our tafalat (traditional outside hangar): $300
~Milk cow: $400
~Cell phone credits: any amount
~Calls to the states: $.25/minute
~And, especially for Allison and Micah…I would really like and Ergo baby carrier, I think they’re around $80-$100. [FULFILLED]

Bread Making

This post is dedicated to Tracy and Hannah.

This was my first attempt at making bread a few months back. At home, I never felt the need to make fresh bread, if I wanted a nice loaf to go with dinner I’d just hop on my bike, ride to the store, and pick up a loaf of Brio. But alas, no Brio bread in Abalak.

Here’s a picture of my loaves after the second rising.

And the final product!

It’s no Brio bread, but it sure was good. Steve and Donnie raved over it. It looks like Micah enjoyed it as well

I served it with potato soup made with fresh basil off of the plants that I have almost killed countless times. Lucky for me they keep coming back.