Tag Archives: mom bloggers

If we go down to the woods today…

8 Mar
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Singing in the rain….

How do you summarize the onset of verbal diarrhea, seriously, that is what is literally is. From the times her eyes open to the time she goes to sleep it’s an explosion of words complete with the most adorable facial expressions and appropriate body language. A gentle reminder that this in fact a living, breathing and most definitely thinking human being who will not be ignored, even by the most disinterested of neighbors…

She has started to go to a group daycare called CEFA 3 days a week, as you can see in the picture they wear uniform so to help with the distinction we call this ‘school’ and to Natasa’s two days a week she just going to see Baka (this is Gogo in Serbian and also what Gagi calls her) and play with Gagi. She took a while to settle in. Nearly 3 months to be exact. She wasn’t unhappy but neither was she happy. She was polite, did everything she was asked to do, she ate what she could stomach (and proceed to act like a hungry street kid when we picked her up), she got by with minimal effort. We have come to the conclusion she was just observing the situation, figuring out where she fit and if these people knew what they were doing (they were going through a staffing change so a few substitute teachers came and went but the main teacher remained the same). They thought she was a model citizen and they were ‘waiting for her voice to come out’. Then her highness settled in and began to exercise said voice and say no! That was when I knew she was now comfortable and happy. LOL!

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Chilling like a boss

She loves to go to school though and play with all her friends who she quite happily enquires as to whether they too are being forced to sleep at night by their dictatorial mothers. “Where’s … Raazik?”, “At his house, sleeping”. Where’s…. Isabelle?”, “At her house sleeping. “Where’s … Kaysan?”, “At his house sleeping” and so it goes on until we have named Nadia, Semra, Jai, Cameron, Nyssa (Anyssa), Amber, Krish, Cory and Nika (Annika). I am sure you can see where this is going, we also tend to be very very hungry at bedtime and we might also need to go pee pee or enquire as to whether is cloudy, raining, sunny, snowing, dark or windy. We however learnt that when it’s time no talking, no crying, just sleep which she repeats a few times to check just in case the rules have changed.

The most important event surrounding school though is the train. We take the train to school and we have 2 stops which take 5 minutes and then another 5 to 7 minutes to walk to the daycare, as long as she’s in the stroller, if she decides to walk well… I am sure you can imagine. The Skytrain system has two types of trains. The older ones are white and the newer ones are a grey/blue/black color combination. To Missy they are black. She only wants to go on the black train and she has been known to scream bloody murder if she is made to go on a white train. The trouble is that sometimes you can wait for 8 or even 10 trains before a black one come along. Oh boy, it’s painful, more so on chilly windy mornings. She’s happy bundled in the stroller, me .. not so much. I am less patient since I need to be at work by 9am, Baba can take his time cause it’s usually his day off when he takes so, so as a result she’d rather go with him because he’s willing to wait for the black train.

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Snow eating Mt Seymour

We also truly began potty training a month ago and it’s been going very well, one or two accidents a week but that’s all so far. I know…. On hindsight now I can see some of your faces when at 8 months I said I would slowly start it. I abandoned that once she started to use the potty as her TV watching platform whilst she was fully clothed! She’s good at telling you when she needs to go and now she only has a pull-up diaper at night. Over the weekend we had just had breakfast and we were skyping Gogo when she started to run to the toilet saying I need to do poo, I started to run behind her and then she turned back around, ran to her books and was yelling “Book, book Mama, duck book”, “Really is this your priority right now, reading, I thought you wanted to poo?”. Then I can only imagine out of desperation she grabs a book and runs back to the toilet, I help her on and she says “close door mama…please..” and she proceeds to do her business and read the book out loud! Hmmmmm, I think I missed the memo, when did this start…. LOL! Now it’s standard procedure.

 

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Going Shopping

Missy likes to help us cook and clean up. For Christmas, Baka gave her a set of pots, pans and utensils that she has ‘picnics’ with and she cooks her pasta and chickpeas. She cautions us that ‘it is hot and no touch mama’. Then we have to sit down and let her mix then we can try some. She is also dying to go to the beach and I keep telling her she has to wait until it’s sunny and warmer…. She keeps agreeing but I am not sure we’re on the same page because two days later I get the same question. Her birthday is also always tomorrow and she’s guaranteed to have a party and lots of presents.

I took her to a Goodnoise Gospel Choir concert on Sunday, 5 minutes in she complained it was too loud and she proceeded to start singing Happy Birthday Baba just went the solo was going into a beautiful rendition of ‘Oh Happy Day’, you know at the beginning when the music is melodic and soft…Missy starts her own song,clapping as she jumps on the pew… Popular music is not her thing by any stretch of the imagination. If you play the radio in the car or at home, play my own music I get ‘Turn it off mama!’, she can tolerate her father’s reggae, namely ‘One Step Forward’ by Max Romeo, I think mostly because of the actions that go with it. The clear winner is Classical Music, that is the only music that doesn’t get dismissed or deemed as too loud. It started off with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Netflix. The program is accompanied by what I think is very average imagery and animation and classical music, Missy loves the book and the music seems to literally make her heart sing.

On a final note the main way I get her to do what she would rather not do now is say “Missy I am going to count to 5 then you have to do…” Now she’s taken to pre-empting it and just saying “Count to 5 Mama”….. clever little girl…

Be kind to one another people, stay blessed.

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Lunar Festival Year of the Monkey

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The princess is here: a day in the life of a strong-willed toddler.

24 Jul
Princess and her crown

Princess and her crown

Where do I begin, essentially her words have arrived and this has empowered her to well and truly establish her reign over her subjects. She can now also open and close doors by herself so she has no real need for us save for the bare necessities of life!

On, Monday, daycare was closed so Malaika had the pleasure of spending the day with Mammi (I am still quite annoyed she’s chosen to reject calling me Mama unless she wants to sugar coat her request). I am going to digress here a little. We both do our best to speak to her in Shona, tell her the Shona equivalent of things but it is easier said than done. Much to our disappointment her first words have been English ones, perhaps we are fully to blame, perhaps we are not. We’ll see how her language develops. It has made us more determined to Shona-fy her! Anyway back to our day. We started off at the library, it was story-time, a session she used to love to take part in, that was until she paid more attention to the fact there are unmaned computers outside the story-time area. I even switched off the screen before she got to it but she adamantly sat at the blank screen and banged away at the keyboard for a good chunk of time, enthusiastically forcing a kiss on me and saying bye-bye so I could leave her be. This happens a lot lately and she did it twice later on in the day, once when she wanted to hang out in her room with the door closed (turns out she has the runs, I guess no one wants to share those moments either) and another time when she was ‘on-the-phone’ with a toy car. She’s not even a teenager yet and she wants to be left alone! Anyway after the keyboard had no life left in it and she briefly bound up the stairs and then discovered other toddlers players with lego, dinosaurs and trains. This could be fun you’re thinking, until a little boy didn’t want to share his train, she grabbed it from him, he took it back, she sulked, he gave it back and he wanted him back and she smacked him! He was clearly close to melting point anyway because he cried so much he began to heave and his mother took him home….

Sunny day in the play park

Sunny day in the play park

We then made our way to the baby area where is a rather popular kitchen, she didn’t want to share the kitchen with another little girl who got there first, that produced a few tears and when she moved on to some books another girl wanted to read with her and she would have none of it. I told her she wouldn’t make any friends if she didn’t learn to be more friendly to which a lady produced commented “well she’s pretty enough not to have to worry about making friends!”. Really? Wow, I was at a loss, all I could say was you can’t get by on just your looks, she clearly begged to differ. After these ‘words of wisdom’ we went to watch free CBC outdoor #musicalnooners concert before going home for lunch and a nap! The rest of the afternoon included a brief bike lesson, a meltdown at WholeFoods over chips, a reading and singing session followed by dinner over Pepper Pig for her whilst I dreamed of a large glass of wine!

This was also  the first day she has been able to properly open and close a door with no hesitation. Her world is now suddenly filled with all these possibilities. The prime one being, if she doesn’t want to sleep she can just get up, open the door and be on her way to more interesting things. It used to be for many months after dinner we would brush our teeth, hop into bed, read a book or two, sing a rhyme, whisper a lullaby, have a few sips of tea, kiss and hug goodnight, I would say ‘goodnight I love you, see you tomorrow’, she would nod and wave, I would close the door and that was it until the morning. Sometimes she would stall and ask for ‘pee pee’ or ‘num num’ (food) but that was all, now she can let you leave, think you’re out of the woods, settle in for some telly and dessert and then you see this little face in the shadow, slowly creeping towards you saying ‘Mamma……what’s this?’ Before you know it, it’s been 4 attempts, your ice-cream is melted, it’s midnight and you haven’t the energy to catch up on Being Mary Jane. It’s like this all week…as my mum reminded me ‘Some mothers do have them!’

Eating chibage

Eating chibage

We have some new words and phrases, No is still ranking at number one followed by ‘What’s this’ , ‘What is this’ (this is for when you reply incorrectly and she needs you to get it right, emphasis on the IS) , ‘Who’s this’, ‘All done’ (this generally signals the end of whatever you or she is doing), ‘Bye-bye see you’ (a must at the end of every elevator ride, screamed louder if the occupants do not respond the first time) and ‘Oh no..’. Then we have more new words book, phone, shiri (bird), car, choochoo (train). There are many more and she’s learning and asking the words for things all the time.  When she masters a new word she has to keep repeating it over and over again until you just about lose your mind. It’s hard to be stern with her, we really have to work at it. It’s funny the things you remember but I remember my mother I think either trying to shout or hit me and then she burst out laughing instead. I have been doing this at least twice a day the last week and a half I have been spending all day with her. That face looks at your and you can’t keep a straight face!

Today we are going to try uniforms for daycare and then we are off to the lake house with Uncle Matty for 4 days! A much needed break.

Have a great weekend everyone, stay curious…

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly

p.s. we have moved on from chicken skin , we now eat the whole wing and munch on the bones…

Malaika Fierce

20 Jan
Oh christmas tree

Oh christmas tree

Towards the end of last year Natasa was quite sick. For a month we juggled looking after Malaika as she couldn’t go to daycare. The other family found a place for their son in a group daycare so when Natasa was better Malaika went back to daycare on her own.

Natasa has a grandson Mateo who is about Malaika’s age. At least twice a week either they go over to Richmond to spend the day playing or he comes downtown with his mother. They’ve become great friends. Natasa says they play and interact in a way she doesn’t often kids that age do.

Yesterday they went to a playground. There were hardly any kids around which is good because they can have free reign of the place. After a little while an older boy came over to hang around. Mateo was playing with a ball. Malaika was a little ways away doing her own thing. The boy came over and took Mateo’s ball. Mateo didn’t resist. He didn’t kick & scream or attempt to get the ball back but he clearly wasn’t happy about it, he was a little sad as his grandma put it. Malaika came over , stood in front of the boy , took the ball back and have it to Mateo. And that ladies & gentlemen is what friends are for.

Wish I could have been there…. Considering Malaika is quite small for her age that’s pretty brave. I am soo proud of her.

Here’s wishing your New Year is brave, strong, courageous and in the spirit of friendship & standing up for what you believe in and those you love.

Have a blessed week

p.s. apparently we like cooking

What's cooking good looking

What’s cooking good looking

 

 

All I want for christmas is…. rice cakes

18 Dec
Onesie

Onesie

Last night Malaika ate her dinner, by herself from start to finish. This is not from lack of trying on her part but usually I intervene because I feel she’s taking too long and I want to take advantage of a good run before she loses interest. Last night her highness wasn’t having it, she took hold of that fork and she wasn’t letting it go for anyone. She brought the plate closer to her chest with one hand to avoid spillage, Gogo Parktown would be proud, she’d say “arikushandisa munyati” (she’s using her brain). She ploughed through her rice, occasionally picked up some chicken breast , checked it for what I can only imagine is poison given the suspicious look on her face, gobbled it up, pick up the fork and nibbled on more rice. Once she had eaten most of it and what was left was a little too fiddley for her chunky cutlery to navigate she used her fingers to literally pick up and eat every last grain. If I didn’t know better I would check for signs of kwashiorkor, poor child must be starved! Thank you @biglousbutcher , my daughter has only been eating meat in the form of mince or disguised in whatever she’s eating. Whilst she was eating her rice she would occasionally take a few sips of her tea and wash down her gourmet meal.

Let me elaborate on the tea drinking. She still doesn’t drink milk. With all dairy products except for butter she simply smells them and turns away in mild disdain. If it makes it into her mouth she swallows it but puts her hand up ever so emphatically and that is the end of that. We have decided she’s lactose intolerant and her body is telling her to stay away from it. As a result she will be breastfed until she starts to eat enough calcium-rich foods that we won’t be at risk of having a osteoporotic toddler! At any rate what she does drink a lot of is water and rooibos tea. The tea is Rooibos Cape Town from @TheTeaPlace1, infused with lovely flowers and fruit , no sugar, just tea. She doesn’t like juice or any other liquid really. Her Auntie Cher thinks she’s sophisticated, her friend Malaika (what are the chances there’s two of them in Vancouver?) who is 4 thinks it’s just silly, I tend to agree.

After our meal she took great pleasure in helping me sweep up the bits of rice that didn’t make it into her mouth, even holding up the dust pan, it was going really well until she started to pick the rice from the dust pan and eating them! A lesson in domestic hygiene is sorely needed…

Tidy up time

Tidy up time

As you may have gathered she’s running around now. Talking a mile a minute complete with hand actions too. The main problem is she still doesn’t say things we understand so we pretend to have a conversation, totally agree, act appropriately chagrined on her behalf and most of the time seem to get it right. Occasionally we don’t and she looks at you as if to say ‘That’s totally not what I am saying!” Her strong will continues to shine through, my only hope is that she learns to be flexible and admit when she’s wrong, something my mother wisely says is up to us all to teach and guide her through. Here’s a funny picture, on the day in question it was -2 degrees out, we were going to an Eco Fashion Vintage Pop-up Shop. It wasn’t raining, she’d newly discovered her love of umbrellas. She insisted to she hold the umbrella all the way out of our building and  on the 10 minute walk to the pop-up shop. Thank goodness this phase only lasted a day or two. It’s tricky to navigate a stroller downtown, around lots of other pedestrians whilst trying to help her keep up the umbrella. And of course something would catch her eye and she’s simply let the umbrella go then look at me in annoyance when it hit the ground, huh.. duh…..

RainCouver

RainCouver

Favorites snacks at the moment are LoveChild Organics pat-a-cakes (rice crackers) and toodle-o’s (which are essentially cheerios without the sugar and packed full of goodness) , all sweetened with fruit which is good not only because it’s better for her BUT mainly because she still doesn’t seem to like sweet things. No complaints here at all! Thank you @lc_organics.

We’ve also done a photoshoot for a local kids store : Parade Baby ! Now who wouldn’t want to buy from her? She’d sell ice to an inuit no doubt…

 

Drop Everything

Drop Everything

My sun and my moon

20 Sep
Watching the world go by

Watching the world go by

Today Malaika Rudo Mudzamba is 1-year-old. That’s 365 days, that’s 52 weeks and 1 day. There have been many highs and lows, the lows have been higher than I have ever been. My life has been turned upside down and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They say having children changes your life, I say it gives you a new life and if you pay attention and learn from them, it’s better than your old life could ever have been. I read a blog once entitled ‘I gave birth to my boss’, this is soo true and my boss is uncompromising…

The mayhem of summer adventures, travel and visitors has been over for nearly a month now. I had to hit the ground running at work because of a few big projects we are working on so there was no easing into it. Malaika had not settled into daycare as well as I had hoped, we had to go get her  early a few times but it’s all coming right now. She spends her days with Natasa and a little boy called Hank. Hank is a big boy, he’s a couple of months older and they’ll be best friends in no time. For now, Natasa says she keeps Malaika close because Hank could easily knock her over until she gets stronger and more confident on her feet. Natasa has been moving her hand up and down and saying no when he looks like her might bowl her over, now apparently Malaika has learnt the hand action and so she can protect her personal space on her own now. One thing is very clear about Malaika, she knows what she wants, she’s persistent and she is strong-willed. Hence we are sure the reason why she hasn’t taken the whole you’re spending the day at daycare and not at home lying down.

We still only have 6 teeth, yes Auntie Anne I am checking and counting BUT now we can take a few steps on our own AND we can have whole conversations , well monologues, which the idiots around us don’t seem to understand because they don’t respond appropriately! But she doesn’t mind she carries on happy as Larry. Her favorite things to play with: the remotes are still number one, then mobile phones and also thanks to the advice of Mai Nove, AKA Gogo London, when Mama is cooking the bottom kitchendraw that is full of containers and lids gets a complete makeover all the way to empty and doesn’t get refilled until an adult nearly trips on something and puts everything back in frustration!

She loves to stand by the windows and look down to see what’s going on across the road, on the road, giggle at the birds flying and landing on the building across the road, watching people cycling and walking by. It’s constant entertainment and she spends a lot of time taking it all in. On the food front it’s still mealie meal porridge for breakfast, I tried to go back to the other cereal one morning I woke up a bit late and hadn’t cooked it, it was an epic fail. She’s eating well at daycare and then at night now she just eats what we eat: rice, stuffed pasta (only way to sneak in cheese cause she still doesn’t seem to like diary), baked potatoes. As long as it’s not mushy and she can chew it, she’s good. Meat is not a favorite, I guess the chewing isn’t easy with only 6 teeth but she’s have a couple of mouthfuls of fish. Carrots are still in, green beans are out along with mashed potatoes.

Books, books, books are a favorite too. All her books are the bottom of the bookcase and she habitually takes them all out and flips through them, I noticed the other day she can tell if they are upside down and turns them around (did I already mention my child’s a genius?). Two books are at the top of the list: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (thank you Auntie Ethel) and I call it the Moo book, but it’s the one with all the animal sounds. She loved that one and its the one that been chewed the most too!

So here we are looking back on a year and its been smiles, smiles and more smiles with our Afro Canadian Princess…..

Munching on corn and grapes

Munching on corn and grapes

Count your blessings name them one by one

19 Aug
Haircut

Haircut

A weekly post seems more and more difficult as the back to work routine gets established but once Malaika is in daycare, visitors have gone and we both have a more predictable routine then it may very well happen but for now, posts will come as and when I get a free minute (literally).

So I have been back to work for two weeks now. As the title says I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one because it is hard to believe how smooth the transition has been. My boss and colleagues have been beyond understanding and I am very thankful that I work for an organisation that actively promotes a healthy work-life balance. I have started to go to the chiropractor to fix my ailing body (apparently my spine is straight and neck is so far forward my body feels like my head weighs 25 pounds (11 kgs). I have been going three times a week, before I go to work so I get up put her porridge on, shower, go to chiro, pass by the supermarket if needs be, come back home, breastfeed the princess and then dash to work, most times I am only into the office after 9, sometimes more like 9:30. But on the positive side she’s been happily waving goodbye when I leave and then the second I walk in she breastfeeds, then clings to me for a good hour before I am allowed to put her down, let alone out of my sight. She’s been doing great hanging out with Baba, Mbuya and Sekuru. Her eating has been less than ideal but she eats when she’s hungry which apparently these days is not that often… Breakfast and dinner are good, the rest of the day she just nibbles. The fan favourites are sourdough bread and a fruit puree recipe that I got from Auntie Ethel that has raspberries, blackberries and pears. I pour it into re-usable pouches and she happily sucks away at it! She refuses to drink cow or goat milk, just even smelling them she turns away and raises her hand in protest, she’s not having it. I made a vain attempt at trying to give her formula too, it didn’t even get a lick in, she just smelt it and turned away. I am going to pump whilst I am at work and see if she’ll drink that. If not, c’est la vie, she’s missed the boat and it may be time for weaning.

Dinner has been a consistently good meal and the trick we have discovered is variety and eating together. If we all sit and eat, she’ll eat off everyone’s plate and eat way more than she would of her own food in her own plate. So as a result she eats what we eat, so that means very little salt in all food, not a welcome nor easy feat in a Zimbabwean household but its working so far.

Potty training is going as well as can be expected at this stage. We put her on the potty when she wakes in the morning and from her naps, sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t. The other day I got a number one and two! It felt like Christmas! I happily snapped away and Whatsapp-ed them to a few people, much to Auntie Nove’s disgust, “OMG you’re one of those mom’s”, she says, “Hang on, you’re a nurse, thought you could handle it”, to which she cheekily replied, “You ain’t paying me” hmmm….., fair enough ~

Malaika has started to stand on her own with the confidence and speed of one just about to break into a run! She stands up, proudly pumps her chest out and coasts away like an avid surfer, when she falls she claps enthusiastically to our happy chant “Amira mira nhanha , amira mira! ” Literally translated it’s “baby is standing, standing”. It won’t be long now and she’ll be walking, then the fun will begin. As my mum pointed out life will totally slow down cause she’ll want to walk everywhere, and with her level of curiosity she’ll stop every 5 seconds to look, inspect and giggle at everything and we’ll never get anywhere fast again …joy..

She also got her first haircut thanks to Auntie Yani Pacific Hair  . So now she looks like a pretty boy! LOL! It actually makes her look so much more mature, no baby face. It’s cute, we all like it. So no need for anymore outcries, she no longer looks like Blue Ivy, though there was nothing wrong with it in the first place, it was just quite uneven. So no, it won’t be getting combed much, but it’ll be more even.

As parents go, we couldn’t be prouder and in the words of the late Robin Williams:

“Everyone has these two visions when they hold their child for the first time. The first is your child as an adult saying ‘I want to thank the Nobel Committee for this award.’ The other is ‘You want (yam) fries with that?'” (they are healthier for you..kkkkkkk)

The Mother of Lions…

4 Jun
Chilling like a boss

Chilling like a boss

Those of you who are Game of Thrones fans will appreciate the analogy: Mother of Lions. I am not quite in the realm of Khaleesi and her dragons but we are all mothers right? My husband’s totem is the lion hence his reference to me as the Mother of Lions. I referred to Malaika as our lion cub before she came and she’s proving to be true to the nickname. I appreciate that all babies have nails that grow at the rate of knots that need to be cut quite often, they end up being sharp because they use them as tools scraping at everything but my daughter has taken to scraping and pinching me…. I can see the puzzled look on your face. If I ended up in ER they’d probably call child services for me, not her, its ‘mother abuse’… LOL! So this is what she does, when she’s breastfeeding she likes to clutch, pinch and pull at things, I guess it gets boring and she needs something to do. The objects of her entertainment end up being my arms, lips, nose, neck and anything else fleshy enough for her to claw at. It’s a real problem, I need a trauma unit! I hope it is just a phase and she’ll move on to the next thing much like the grunting she was doing a few weeks ago. Why let her do it you say, why not stop her?  I refer you to Einstein on the definition of : “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, she doesn’t understand why I keep stopping her, she doesn’t understand me when I say ‘Malaika that hurts mhamha don’t do that’, if I pull away it is I who has wronged her, she gets annoyed and tightens her grip, hmmm, so lest I do become insane, I will let her be and hope she moves on soon… like tomorrow.

 

Nursing Necklace

Nursing Necklace

In the meantime I have come across Nursing Necklaces, the very efficient and helpful Angie is sending me one from her Etsy Store. It is supposed to give her a focal point, something she can reach for, grab and play with saving the ‘feeder’s’ hair, clothes and skin. It also doubles up as chewbeads for teething. Hmmm, I hope it works, don’t need scratched up arms for summer.

On the subject of moving on or more precisely growing up she certainly is. She no longer looks like a baby, she looks like a little girl. She’s sitting up quite well one her own and moving around more easily. Yesterday for about 20 minutes whilst I was making more chapati/roti (her current favorite snack that she chomps with her gums) she got the giggles. She giggled at anything and everything.

She continues to be very engaged and alert to her surroundings, something that people always comment on when we are out and about. Another person cautioned me last week that I ought to be careful, she’d get stolen, you have to wonder if this is a valid concern. Imagine the reaction of the grandparents if such a thing happened, how would you even say, ‘Mwana abiwa’ (the child has been stolen). Good luck getting a ransom payout.  Bhabha is the only one paying the bills whilst Mhamha is on EI/benefit and the grandparents only have Zim kwachas (dollars) that you’d return quicker than Western Union could wire it to you!

In the meantime we count down to all our summer visitors Gogo, Mai Nove, Nove, Auntie Ethel, Jakob, Auntie Lucy, Mbuya, Sekuru, Uncle Nelson … Oh my, even the Queen doesn’t get this lucky…

Chapati chomping

Chapati chomping

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