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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Independence Day in Antananarivo

Photo Source

Photo Source
This is what Independence Day looks like in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Colorful paper lanterns everywhere, and fireworks are being sold at road-side vendors.

We had our own little paper lantern parade in the dark. The kids looked forward to this night, with fond memories of their last Independence day in Madagascar two years ago.  :) Fun.

Madagascar was a former French colony, and became an independent country in 1960.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Heat! Yay!

Our latest project at the house - finished! (aka. functional) Rob would still like to make a wooden frame to go around to hide the rough edges and make it look pretty. But for now, we are enjoying our newest source of heat upstairs where we often relax together at the end of the day.

Rob started this welding project at the MAF Garage during July 2012, our first winter in Madagascar. The following June we came to Canada and enjoyed summer with everybody there! And when this winter arrived in June we were all anxious to see the project finished and working! 


Bashing the existing fireplace hole to make room for the insert Rob built.

Have I mentioned that I'm super thankful for my husband's God-gifted ingenuity?  :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bunny Problems

If you're wondering where the bunny is.......

We woke up the morning after Rob made it a nice little house for some protection against the wind and there was no bunny to be found. Only a hole broken through the wire in the bottom, and large dog foot prints around the outside of the cage. Our guess is it ran to the opposite corner of its cage away from the dog's paw, and then after the dog became bored and ran away, hopped out of the hole and disappeared someplace. This is our theory anyways after not finding any trace of it anywhere around our compound. Where did the dog come from? Any number of places... there are plenty of strays that roam the streets and slip under the huge gap under our compound's gate during the night.

Will we get another bunny? After Rob 'beefs' up the cage a bit more and makes it dog-proof we will likely get another one. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

School's Out! - for the Winter :)

After a full year of Grade 2 (Faith) and Kindergarten (Wesley), we are finished for the winter school break. I have to force myself to call it winter-break though, as I still catch myself saying "Summer break." It actually makes a lot of sense to have winter off here in Madagascar. Our home, being concrete, stays quite cool on winter days. Winter here is nothing like winter in the Vancouver area. It's not rainy, or drizzly.. however it has been "misting" these last couple of days. Strange. Generally though, we work through two seasons. The wet season, and the dry season. Winter falls during the dry season.Very unlike Vancouver! We go outside in the sun to warm up, because our house is cold. So, unless we wanted to move our entire school area outside, which is definitely a possibility, it's better to just have school break, to avoid shivering away at the kitchen table trying to get math or language arts done. :) However, snuggling under blankets and reading out loud hasn't been a problem.

Even though we will likely keep certain routine activities like reading out loud, and phonics practice, we are on an official break now for the next few weeks. I wanted to commemorate finishing the school year with a special "party". I asked the children how they would like to celebrate, and everyone agreed that roasting marshmallows and having hotdogs would be great! So that's what we did.

Emerging Grade 1 student - even missing teeth! Sorry for Joyanne on this party evening. She was feeling "under the weather."  :( 

Happy school break to all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Work & Play

It's been a busy few weeks around here. Not as much at home (no busier than normal), but at the hangar more so. Maintenance on the airplanes has kept Rob very busy. Not only has maintenance been pressing, and different unforseen issues popped up here and there, but the aviation authorities have added pressure to all of the staff with audits and legal demands within shorter-than-planned-for time-frames.

Not only has life at the hangar been busy, but Rob started welding together a woodstove the first winter we lived here, back in 2012. We are all feeling the coolness of winter this year and want the stove finished, so he is spending Saturdays at the MAF garage where the project, and the equipment are kept. The project definitely would have been completed and installed last winter, except this time last year we were packing and planning our trip to Canada. I can't believe that was already a year ago!

The bunny in the photos above were a gift from work  :)  Rob and another volunteer were playing practical jokes on one another over the past few months. This was the final joke played on Rob, right before the volunteer's plane was scheduled to leave last weekend, taking him back to his home country. :) Me, the kids and even Rob, weren't too disappointed in the joke. We were thinking of getting a bunny anyways!

School is starting to wind down for us. We won't take 2 full months off. But we will definitely take a breather. Mom needs it. ;) It has been a fantastic year of learning, exploring, laughing, persevering, and crying together. And, even though Joyanne has been learning unofficially over the past year, I'm excited to officially add her in to our routine as a Kindergartener this coming year.