Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween From the Williams' Family

The bean's first costume.
{Art by Will Williams, Photography by Sydney Hubbard}

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chobe National Park

Last weekend we took a bus down to Livingstone with our roommates. On Sunday morning Will and I went on a safari in Botswana which is only about an hour from Livingstone. The safari started by boat where we saw plenty of animals drinking water and staying cool. Because it is the end of the dry season all the animals are looking for water so they all congregate at the same watering holes. That afternoon we got in a Land Cruiser and headed for the plains. Since this is the slowest time of year and the hottest we were the only ones in the truck. We stayed the night in Chobe and camped out. Beside our guide and the cook we were also the only ones at the campsite. It was such a nice time for Will and I to get away and have some time together. 

The morning boat ride.

One of the 120,000 African elephants at Chobe.

An Impala

While we were on the boat safari these guys decided to pass
over to the other side.
They held on to each other by the tail with their trunks.
It was so incredible.
The waterbuck also known as the animal that sat on the
painted toilet seat.
Lioness braving the heat.
A Cape Buffalo
Year old lion cubs
Isn't this guy the cutest? There were tons of baby elephants.
Our guide said this was the time of year a lot of the elephants
gave birth.
A Sable
We saw some more lions out prowling for their
dinner as we were headed to camp.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

22 Weeks

Last weekend Will and I went to Bostwana for a safari. We had a wonderful time. I will post more pictures later. I didn't post a 21 week picture so I made sure I used this scenery to my advantage. 

The bean is 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and weighs almost a pound. His/her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct. Which means he/she is looking more like a new born instead of an alien. 

I have been feeling great. My feet have started to swell which is just beautiful let me tell you. I can feel my belly stretching more and more each day. It is getting harder to get comfortable and the bean's kicks are getting stronger. All and all I couldn't be more blessed. Everything is going well. We go for our next appointment next week. 

{All the facts came from}

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Case of the Mondays....All week long.

Lately I have been very cranky...just ask Will. It is October otherwise known as suicide month here in Zambia. We don't have air conditioners just fans. I get up from my desk and my entire backside is damp. I grumble all the way to the bathroom. (The rest of the day is pretty much a repetition of this.) All I can think about is being back in the States where everything is familiar and cooler. I am happy to be pregnant but carrying a little one in tow is like carrying an easy bake oven all the time.  Today when I was having lunch with Will it occurred to me I have the power to do something about my grouchiness so here are my solutions:
1} I am going to buy some ice packs to take with me to work so I can stay cool.

2} Go to Vasilis where they make homemade bread and get a baguette or two.  I don't have access to the foods that I love from home so I have to find substitutes which is hard in a country that has limited packaged food. Their bread melts in your mouth. I will keep it by the bed and when I wake up looking for something to eat at 3:00 am I will feed my face with all the bread I want.

3} Be Thankful. I will list off the things that I have to be thankful for when I can't kick the grouchies. This usually helps me get a little prospective.

4} Think about upcoming travel plans. Will and I made a list of things we wanted to do while we are here and have started finalizing the details.

Chobe National Park

Bat Migration in Northern Province, Zambia
Cape Town, South Africa

Zanzibar, Tanzania

I know no one feels sorry for me now. Hopefully these methods will work, only 18 weeks to go until the bean shows his/her face. I am excited even though I am grouchy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Devil's Pool-Livingstone, Zambia

I was finally able to get my hands on the pictures from Devil's Pool. I have been able to go to some amazing places but this one tops almost all the other places. It is breathtaking.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

This weekend was pretty laid back. A few weekends ago we bought some material for pillows and a dress. We picked them up on Saturday and they turned out great. Saturday evening we went with a co-worker to a poetry slam. It was an incredible evening with many talented people. All in all it was a pretty relaxing weekend.

They have so many great fabrics.

Here is another dress to add to the few
things I can still wear.

Here are a few of the artists.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 6-Recovering a Sense of Abundance

This chapter is entitled Recovering a Sense of Abundance. She explains how money can be a creative block. It is easy to use the excuse oh I don't have money for an art class. This may be true but we don't necessarily have to go that extravagance to unblock our creativity. She challenges the reader's view that of money, God and creativity. Some examples of this would be, "Do I  believe God would provide for me in a way that also includes my creativity?" I often think of creativity as a luxury or I think that in order to create it needs to be big or take a lot of money. An example of small luxuries may be how often do I buy flowers for myself or take a trip to a museum? It is these small things that nurture our spiritual and creative growth.

It was interesting to see how quick  I assume these are her Western ideas for those that have plenty.Here in Africa where there is little people still create and make the most amazing craft like this  (crocheted plastic bags).  The truth is I don't believe God cares about creativity. I don' t think it is possible to have these desires also be God's desires. Cameron states"thinking like this is grounded in the idea that God is a stern parent with very rigid ideas about what is appropriate for us." 

If you have spent any time around me it wouldn't take long to see that money is a quick way to witness my anxiety. I am scared of the power that it has over people. It can erode relationships,compassion,sincerity, and justice. As I began to think more about how I fear the power of money what I realized is that I believe money is more powerful than God. If I were to fall into the trap of money God would leave me to my own devices. I  know this sounds crazy, but this is what I fear. This glaring reality led me to think about verses that I could remember off the top of my head in regards to money. The one that came to mind was 'the love of money is the root of all evil.' The funny thing is that what I remembered the verse saying was 'money is the root of all evil'. Somewhere along the way I have made money evil not greed. I don't exactly know how to process this experience but I do hope because of this discovery I can begin to adjust my thinking. Money has been used to do some amazing things in health care, education, and so many other areas. It has been used to provide for people that may not have been given certain chances.

There is an exercise at the end of the chapter that asks you to complete the phrases. Some examples are:
People with money are....
Money makes people...
In my family money caused...

Once I read all my answers I realized I had an extremely negative view of people with money. I found I was judgmental and harsh towards them. This harsh tone was concerning because I knew this was not accurate of all rich people. I made a list of people who I considered to have money in order to decide if these accusations were true of them. They weren't. I know some absolutely lovely people who are rich and not consumed by greed. People who have been gracious to me and so many others. The more I though about it the more stories came to mind where people had used the resources they had to do good.

I really enjoyed journeying deeper into this part of myself. I have known my been aware of my anxiety but it was nice to be able to put my finger on some of its origins.

{The following topic and quotes are taken from the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halfway!!!- 20 weeks

We are at 20 weeks the halfway point and you guessed it the bean is the size of a banana. He/She is 6 inches long from head to bottom and weighs 9 ounces. The bean is practicing his/her swallowing. This week has been the first time I have been a bit emotional. I have missed my mom a lot more this week. All I wanted to do was lay my head in her lap and have her play with my hair.  It was a feeling I haven't felt in a long time, I felt very young.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Laundry Day

Laundry day looks a little different in Lusaka. We have a washer but no dryer. We put our clothes out on the line and since it is so warm here it only takes about an hour for them to dry. The catch to laundry day is you have to iron all the clothes you put on the line. The reason for this is because flies lay eggs in the clothes and the hot iron kill the eggs. Sound appetizing? Needless to say we dread laundry day, so much so that we have created a mix drink to go along with the ironing. I don't get to partake, but you get the pic 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Livingstone-Permission to hate me

I would like to add that while it has been great being in Africa it hasn't made my life any easier or happier. It is easy for me to see travel pictures and think man I wish I was there I bet things would be different. I still get lonely, bored, sad, and frustrated. I haven't found the cloud of happiness. Just something to keep in mind when you see the following pictures.

Last month we went to Livingstone for a long weekend. We took a bus 8 hours south. It was much like a Greyhound in the States, but no bathroom. We stayed at a hostel in town. Livingstone is filled with extreme activities like white water rafting, bungy jumping, or ziplining between cliffs. Since I wasn't allowed to do any of these things my trip was a little more laid back than Will's. I read by the pool and played with lion cubs. It was pretty great. Will got to go rafting on the Zambezi which he loved. We also got to see Victoria Falls and swim in Devil's Pool. I waited to post this piece hoping the couple we met would email the pictures from Devil's Pool, but no luck yet. I will post them later. I have to say I have been to some incredible places, but Victoria Falls trumps them all. Who wouldn't love a place where there is always a rainbow?

Walking from the bus to the hostel.

Roaming Zebras

Victoria Falls at Sunset.
There is that beautiful rainbow.
Me just playing with a baby lion...crazy. They will let you
 do just about anything in Africa.
The guides on the lion walk.
Victoria Falls...see what I mean. There was a double rainbow.
I kid you not.
Momma giraffe just hanging out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ultrasound Pictures

Here are some ultrasound pictures from our visit this week. 3-D hasn't hit Lusaka just yet so we had to settle for an old school version. It was fine though we still got to see the baby jumping and kicking. 

The baby has its hands up by its head and its knees bent.

This one is a bit scary. You can see the face and the body.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

19 weeks-Baby Bean

I confess I put Will up to a photo shoot of sorts. I really wanted a regal pregnancy picture. It all started when I saw Family Stone for the first time. I love the picture that Sarah Jessica Parker gives all the know the one...the mother is sitting by a window with the sunlight coming in. It is so classy. 

I am 19 weeks almost half way. The bean is the size of a slice of watermelon, about 6 inches and weighing 8 ounces. His/Her brain is developing millions of neurons. The bean is sleeping about 18 hours, spending the other 6 kicking my tummy.

The facts used in this post are from the pregnancy countdown book.