Monthly Archives: July 2013

Real life!

I think our blog is fun. I think we are portraying a pretty great picture of our crazy adventurous life, right? We want you to see the good, the bad and well, maybe not the ugly. just the good and the bad. I hope that all of our beach pictures do not give you a false view of our “real” lives here. Here is my attempt at sharing “the bad”…. You know the author of this one blog entry is me (Jenny) because we all know that Stevie Brown is humanly incapable of seeing “bad” in anything….humdullah

As some of you may know we are experiencing a bit of turmoil in this country right now. There have been two political assassinations in the past few months, 8 soldiers murdered, and two car bombs. There are demonstrations in our very city. I am actually listening to the crowds from my window as I write this tonight.

I do NOT want to instill a spirit of fear in you readers OR to discourage you from ever visiting us in this beautiful land. I just want you to understand the life and stressors we are experiencing “behind the scenes”.

This has been a regular day lately…

Wake up with a teething Max at 5am, do laundry and hang it out to dry, get showered and ready but sweat profusely at the same time. Did you know that you can actually sweat while you take a cold shower? Its THAT hot here. Walk the kids to TFP for kids camp, study arabic before class, go to arabic class, after arabic class get stuck in insane traffic because people are demonstrating near your house. Abandon Stevie to drive the car home and I end up walking to try and get to the kids to pick them up on time. As I walk the 15 minutes I’m not sure what is more amusing…the hot smelly trash blowing up at me or the angry men who are out of their cars fighting because they just wrecked into each other. I get home after picking up the kids…. take a huge drink of water (because remember its ramadan here and you cannot eat or drink outside) and start to make dinner. You know the rest of the routine because most of you do it too! But add to your routine an occasional trip to your roof to watch the crowds chanting down your street as they head to the demonstration a few blocks away.

Okay. There you have it. Its not glorious. I’m not trying to complain, well maybe a little. I just want to be real and let you know where I’m at….in my bedroom listening to chanting.

Tomorrow is a new day. It will still be HOT, there will still be trash everywhere in our streets, I will still be going to arabic class, and my heart will continue to break for this country and my friends who are so passionately desiring freedom.

And, I still miss my mom.

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We will miss you, AMK and Sarah!!!

These girls were here for a chunk of the summer. They left yesterday, or early this morning, however you look at it. They got out right in the midst of our local demonstrations and tear gas! No big deal.
Girls, we miss you already and N Africa just doesn’t feel quite the same!
Tell everybody back home how safe we are and to not worry!
Much love!!!!

AnneMarie, you beautiful girl! I love you!!!

Best buds for a few weeks! We love you, Sarah!!!

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Welcome to continent #7 DJ Mack!!

Too many things all happening at once that we cannot believe:
DJ Mack visits us in NAfrica.
DJ Mack takes her first step onto her last continent.
DJ Mack was wearing a UK shirt off the plane (she graduated from DUKE).
Kerry makes his way back to visit.
Kerry comes to take away Sarah (this we don’t want to believe).

Marhababik el NAfrica DJ Mack!!
We have missed you.
Don’t leave us 🙂

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Big little things.

This will seem ridiculous to much of the world, but this morning was the first time we have seen any road lines or lane paint on any of the streets or highways… seriously.  They evidently just started last night with a new campaign.  It was refreshing and reassuring for us to see some good change, but it was hilarious to watch some of the other drivers not quite know what to do with these new guidelines!

Road lines… who would have ever thought they would be something to appreciate. Continually learning to appreciate big little things.

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10 Year Wedding Anniversary on friday…

Any suggestions on what I should get Jenny?

What I already got her: a monkey from the animal sooq, another turtle for our garden, I’ve been watching Downton Abby with her for the last few weeks, and I paid for her henna tattoo. Am I forgetting anything, or should that be good?

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Here are a few pics from our past week. Its Ramadan and we have been invited to three different houses so far of local friends to break the fast with them. It has been a blessing and honor to be invited into their homes and share this meal with them!

Sarah has only 5 days left with us. (Hear the wails?) So, we decided to have a bonding moment and get “har.koos” (henna) together. Now we can send her home in style! We also took a little family trip to the beach on Saturday and had a relaxing morning together with our “three” kids.

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Randy and Anthony: Bathhouse victims?

You are only a victim if you are made to go against your own will. Also, the fact that both boys went back a second time makes me believe that it’s true… the bathhouse is just that good!!

Both Randy and Anthony loved the bathhouse. So much so they bought their own de-skinner (basically a steal scrubber-like device for your body that removes all your dead skin).

Here’s my prediction: within the next two years bathhouses will begin to break out all across North America.

Here are three short videos that take another in close look at Randy and Anthony getting their weekly treatment:

Randy Scrub down 1

Randy Scrub down 2

Anthony Scrub down 

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We will miss you Randall!

Brother, it was so good to have you hear and we will anticipate the day when you return for a visit.

Thank you for all your help, all your encouragement, and all your first class treatment.  We love you and will miss you.


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Never Stop Noticing Funny!

Life can get stressful, but remember, we are all committed to NEVER STOP NOTICING FUNNY when we see it, wherever we see it.  Go!

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Ella’s 1st try riding without training wheels!

She may be older than most kids are when they start riding a bike without the extra plastic tire assistance, but we were traveling a lot all of last year and it’s taken us a year to feel safe navigating the streets here. So give her and the rest of us a little break 🙂

After this video all she wanted was to practice on her own. She fell once and didn’t blink an eye. She stayed committed to it well after dark. She got to the point she could do two quick pedals without putting her feet down. Tomorrow we will go at it again and I am sure she will get it.
I told her, “Ella, you got to be willing to do two things in order to ride a bike. One, you got to be willing to take risks.” She said, “what does that mean.” I said, “you got to be willing to do scary things.” And then I told her, “You got to be willing to fall, get scratched and beat up, but then keep going.”
It was inspiring how she stepped up to the plate and accepted her growing pains.
Lots of fun. Max has a wonderful example to learn from!

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