Friday, August 12, 2011

Braid Locs

Ann Marie decided to have braid locs put in her hair again.  We did these quite a few years ago when she first came to us from Sierra Leone.  At that time I was unfamiliar with braiding African hair and took too big of sections for each braid so the locs got too big.  We eventually took them out....that was a lot of work!  Since then we have done extensions, straightened her hair, and various other hairstyles.  They all look great, but are difficult to do on your own.  So with leaving home in the very near future Ann Marie decided she needed a hairstyle she could manage herself since she will no longer be living with her hairdresser!  Braid locs need maintenance, but most of the time is a fairly simple style. 

So I braided, braided, and braided some more!  Over two weeks, 28 hours, and 557 braids later...we were done!!  The braids are so tiny this time!  Each braid is about the size of a piece of thin yarn.  Because of the small size of the braid each individual braid does a ringlet at the end. 

As her hair grows every couple months we use a latch hook to loop the braid through the new growth to extend the braid.  So this should make the hair keep growing longer and longer.  We are hoping this is something she will be able to do herself or easily have anyone help her with.  The style looks great on her!  Ann Marie you are so beautiful!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mainit Falls

Steve and Ethan, Tyler, Kailee, Alyssum, and Adams enjoyed half a day at the Mainit Falls and Hot Springs.  It is only a few kilometers from our house, down a dusty dirt road.  But a very beautiful place hidden away!
The kids would go from hot spring pools to the waterfall to cool off.  The hot springs have a sulfur smell...the kids said it smelled like hard-boiled eggs.
They enjoyed these hot pools, but definitely had the most fun in the waterfall!  Hopefully we will get to do this outing again while we are still staying here at Lada.

Creepy Crawlies

This gecko among others has found our house to be his home.  This one plus two buddies of his hide behind the refrigerator during the day and come out at night to hunt insects.  They certainly keep the cockroaches under control.  Check out this link on the gecko of the Philippines. (click on word gecko)
Interesting "pulsating caterpillar".  We don't have any idea what it is called, but it sure is one of God's unique creatures!
This HUGE spider was found right outside our house.  I don't have any idea what kind of spider this is.  It was so big that we could easily see its mandibles working on lunch!
And only one person was brave enough to put their hand close enough so we could have a reference of how big this spider really is!
Brave Ann Marie!

The tropics certainly has its fair share of creepy crawlies!  That takes some getting used to for this Alaskan family!  Just today we found a snake skin in the bathroom.  Now that's a first for us!  We've seen several snakes, but always outside.  We are hoping that snake only stayed long enough to shed its skin and then left because we make too much noise.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fruits and Veggies!

One of the wonderful things about staying here at Lada is the great market in town every Monday!  It is kind of a fair like atmosphere each Monday morning with so many stalls of people selling fresh produce, fresh meat, cooked food, clothes, shoes, and whatever else one might need.  We have to get there early in the morning in order to get enough meat...the best cuts are bought first! 

Then we fill Steve's back pack several times with fruit and vegetables!!  A variety of bananas, mangoes, pineapple, and local fruit.  The pineapple was in season for a couple months and so inexpensive!  We made so many things with pineapple!  Pineapple upside down cake, pancakes with pineapple, and of course lots of fruit salad with all the fruit!
Pineapple upside-down cake
Mmm so delicious, homemade mango jam
Vegetables are plentiful as well!  Tomatoes, a variety of peppers, squash, eggplant, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and avocados.  We enjoy seeing the variety of produce that comes and goes with the seasons.  Avocados are now in season and are so inexpensive.  We love homemade guacamole. 
Homemade tortillas
Ann Marie's specialty...English muffins
So many of the foods we enjoyed at home we have to make by hand here.  A little time consuming, but we enjoy them even more that way!