Sunday, November 15, 2009

The News of Late

After a few trips and slew of visitors, things are settling down on the home front. Well, sort of. Millie has become so active that she is rarely content to sit on her play mat and play. She'd rather be cruising the premises on her two feet with someone holding her hands. But we're otherwise staying put and gearing up for another 6 - 12 months of life in Arusha.

That's right friends, we will be here a bit longer. Although there is nothing in writing at the moment, it looks increasingly more likely that Roger's contract with the ICTR will be extended at least until June, if not Sept or Dec. UPDATE: Roger just signed a new contract last week. Goes through Oct 2010! We are quite pleased with this development as this adventure seems to just be getting underway now that we're settled in a house, know our way around town and have multiple entry visas!

What is the news of late? Well... Roger and I are developing a burgeoning night life in Arusha! Bear with me loyal readers, it's the simple pleasures! Since Millie goes to bed around 6:30pm we rarely venture out (unless a grandparent or good friend is available and dying to play computer solitaire all night at our house!). But a couple weeks ago we arranged a standing babysitting gig with our nanny for Fri nights. Psychologically and maternally, this is a huge leap, let me tell you. We're quite enjoying ourselves, I must say, although Fri nights out is going to quickly exhaust my sparse "going out" wardrobe.

Next week we will be hosting two of our very close friends from Peace Corps (Honduras & Togo), Adam and Ben (who coincidentally were roommates in Cairo a few years back) for Thanksgiving. They live on our side of the globe (Nairobi and Jerusalem, respectively) and they're coming to hike Mt. Meru, our local 14'er (for you Colorado folk) with Roger and some other fellas from the Tribunal. Millie and I will hold down the home front and then I will get my "hike" in one of these days - possibly on the "mountains" of Zanzibar or London.

Being at home with Millie has been quite a rewarding and challenging experience for me. I am reminded of it's perks when Roger asks 'has she ever done that before' and I reply 'yes.' But I am also reminded of its challenges when I have to plan my day around her feeding schedule and when no binky in the diaper bag is an utter calamity of global proportions. While keeping my eyes on the prize and the treasure of this time, I have also started branching out and will be doing some volunteer grant writing for a local NGO. They are seeking someone to help them with their program development efforts and I was up for the task. Just getting started, but am looking forward to a different perspective on the Tanzanian adventure we're having.

And lastly, I think I mentioned as an aside in one post that we have bought a car. In fact, we're importing it from Japan. How very worldly of us, que no? It's a Toyota 4-Runner but in the right-hand drive world it's known as a Hilux Surf. It's blue with very low mileage (even though it's a 1996) and it's got, get this people, a cassette deck! Oh yeah, stylin' and profilin' on the dirt tracks of Arusha. Just have to pick up some pirated tapes from the Central Market and we'll be good to go!

Anyhoo, just wanted to send out some Kili love as we approach the holiday season and are thinking and missing you all very much. Unfortunately, we will not be making the journey home for Christmas this year as the UN has not granted home leave. But we hope to celebrate in spirit with some overeating, a visit from Santa and day dreaming about white Christmases back home!


  1. RLP, it's great to read your update. Wonderful news about your work with the NGO. Oh, and Millie is one of the cutest little girls ever.

  2. Thanks for the update.cute is that a real elephant or what? WOW if that is? can't tell from pic you guys look great though..
    Miss you all

  3. That's great news on the job front for both of you guys. With Rog's new contract and treating himself to a new Hilux, I think Becky's due for some embellishments to her going out wardrobe. How far you guys have come since our visit.

  4. Congrats on Roger's new contract and more adventures for the Phillips family :) You didn't mention though, what kinds of fun you've been able to find on Friday evenings. I'm curious.