Life Unparalleled

Loving Life as a Foreign Service Family – Current Parallel 6° 27' North- Lagos, Nigeria

September 2, 2018
by Dy
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Monterey Bay Area

The Monterey Bay area, I had never been there prior to meeting Ben. It is the home base for his mothers side of the family having lived there for generations. He spent many Winter and Summer vacations there while he was growing up in Arizona. 9 years ago his mom and step dad moved back. It is a beautiful area with so much to do and nature to enjoy. Fresh produce grown in the fields just out of town that help supply much of the US with delicious cravable things like artichokes and strawberries. That pretty much sums up our lovely two weeks here. Nature and good fresh food. Although we enjoy our jetsetting it was nice to just sleep in the same bed for a while. Thanks to generous grandparents the kids were lucky enough to enjoy some special excursions and camps.

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August 17, 2018
by Dy
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Saratoga, Seattle, and Whidbey Island- 17th Wedding Anniversary

We were excited to continue our R and R (Rest and Relaxation) trip onward to the US. We started in Saratoga California where we visited with Ben’s grandparents. It was so great to see them. It had been a couple of years for the kids and I and the kids had grown so much. I adore his grandparents. Really good people all around and I try to live my life by his grandmothers philosophy. ” Every person on the earth is either a plus or a negative. Just be a plus.”

The most simple and concise life goal I know. They have lived in this house for over 50 years and just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Relationship goals right there. The kids played with old toys, and we watched old movies of Ben as a baby. His grandmother looks exactly the same with the same hair and even the same clothes. A special moment was watching Dannica play piano with her great grandfather. He used to play and teach piano lessons. The kids got to listen to stories shared by their great grandmother of their grandfather and great aunts and uncles growing up in Chicago, great grandpa talking about working as an engineer for NASA, and Aunt Joanna sharing the work she did on her recently completed phd. It was a special couple of days for us and I relished in the fact that the kids managed to get along the whole time we were all together so they think we are awesome parents. Ben’s sister and dad were also there and I somehow managed to get zero pictures. Oh well.

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August 14, 2018
by Dy
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Denmark and a Tiny Bit of Sweeden

This is a LONG post, with a lot of photos.  You’ve been warned.

June 20 –

We depart for the Lagos airport after work, to enjoy one of the perks of serving in a hardship post, R&R travel. When they wanted to widen the road on the way to the airport they didn’t tear down the whole building, that would be a waste, so they just took out a wall or two.

 

June 21 –

We arrive after our redeye flight and get settled in to our first home away from home away from home. We went to Copenhagen, to stay with friends we made back in A-100.  They were very generous to open their home to us, and it was really great to see them again. Continue Reading →

July 29, 2018
by Ben
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Flowers and Suya

I got back from R&R before the rest of the family, while I am enjoying the luxury of paid time off for the first time in my life, I only have so much of it, so they stayed in the US for an extra few weeks when I had to come back to work. I miss them like crazy, but I’ve been working a lot, and my friends here have been keeping me busy as well.  I’ve also been walking our dog a lot more than I ever did before (she’s our son’s dog and normally he walks her).  All over the streets here, there are small businesses.  Nearly everyone in Nigeria, even those with other full time jobs, are also entrepreneurs.  One that is common, at least in this area, are flower stands.  People plant flowers in bags and grow them on the side of the road. It rains here more than enough, and with the tropical sun, they grow very well.  They’re also quite pretty.

This one includes the owner’s phone number, if any of you would like to place an order. Continue Reading →

July 20, 2018
by Ben
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More New Experiences

We had gone dark for a while, in part because we were out of Nigeria on our R&R vacation to Denmark and the US.  We told ourselves that we might make a blog post from the road, even said we’d at least put up our Denmark photos while we were in America, but somehow the relaxation (and million things-you-can’t-do-from-Nigeria-so-you-have-to-do-them-while-you’re-in-the-U.S. that we were taking care of) won out, and we haven’t done it yet.  We’ll have a whole series of travel posts coming sometime soon.  For now, though, I’m back in Nigeria, my family is still in the U.S. (I only had so much annual leave), and I’m back with my nose to the grindstone.   Having worked exclusively at small law firms and then for myself, I’ve never really had paid vacation before I could take time off whenever I wanted, when I ran my own shop, but then I paid the price in that no money came in the door. It was glorious to use up all the annual leave I’ve earned over the last 15 months or so. (New Experience Number 1) Continue Reading →

June 16, 2018
by Dy
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24 hours of the unique mundane

Living in Nigeria isn’t always easy. Some days it just feels like too much. To many people, too much pollution, too much noise, too much traffic, too much hassle. I am ready for a vacation, some time out of Africa with feelings of a more “normal life”. It has been a year since we have left the continent of Africa. We leave for 6 weeks of vacation later this week. But as I sit here today I have tears in my eyes over the truly unique experience my family has been blessed with. For an example of the unique mundane that saturates our every day life I would like to share some highlights from just the last 24 hours. There is nothing particularly unusual just life as it is.

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June 6, 2018
by Dy
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So you are moving to a developing country..be prepared for clutter

This post may seem pointless to many of my Foreign Service friends, but many people from the US have never lived over seas. Even fewer have lived in a developing country. I wasn’t prepared for how cluttered my house would feel because of gadgets, technology and other systems I would need to stay sane and healthy. These pictures show some of the small differences from life in the US.

Cooker(stove) on and off switch. There are many fires in developing countries. So the gas it turned off after cooking.

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