Posts Tagged ‘birds’

This Week’s Happenings 7/16-7/22

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Yesterday (7/22) marked our one year anniversary of our arrival at St. Philips.  We left the states on 7/19/11, but because of some travel delays and long flights we didn’t actually arrive at our new home until the 22nd.  It has been a great year and we fill very adjusted in our new lives.  In the last year we have experienced so much, it has been wonderful!  It is hard to believe that one year has already passed us by and we still have those moments of "We live in Africa!".

In the last week we have had several bird sightings, both inside our house and outside our house.  One night I was in bed and Ben and Joe were just hanging out, when this little guy popped right into the house.  He hung out by the microwave for a bit before the boys caught him and released him back into the wild.

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Bird in the house 010

Another bird in our house was this precious baby owl.  The people of Swaziland have a huge superstition with owls.  Because of all the witchcraft that occurs here, certain things are taboo…owls being one of them.  They think if an owl lands outside your house that someone is trying to bewitch you.  So you can understand the confusion and hysteria when an owl showed up at the hostel this week, right as several guests from Taiwan arrived!  To make a long story short, the bird was injured and so Joe sent a kid down to my house with the bird.  I got a call that said a kid is coming down with an owl, can you please find something to wrap it in.  I assumed the bird was dead and so I went for a trash bag.  When the kid arrived the bird was very much alive and I had to rethink my plan.  In the end, Joe and Katie drove the bird to Big Bend (town about thirty minutes down the road), to a guy who offered to care for the injured owl.  Quite the experience!

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Unfortunately, we had to dispose of Mikayla’s box car after this because the owl pooped inside it.  Oops!

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Here are a few of the birds we saw outside.

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Not birds, but I thought it was pretty!

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Speaking of experience, on Thursday Mikayla and I ventured out to watch some of our hostel girls compete in a National Dance Competition.  It was completely different from any competitions that I have been to in the states.  For starters each group competes doing the same dance. Secondly, the girls are all in traditional attire, which means they are topless.  At first it was weird for me to see primary students performing topless, but then I came to terms with the fact that this is part of their culture and sat back to enjoy myself.  Our group of girls won third in one dance and fifth in a second dance.  They did great and got to bring a trophy home to the school. 

On Wednesday, Ben headed to Jo-burg to drop three of our staff members (Sharon, from childcare, and two health care staff members) off for a trip to the US.  They will be heading to the AIDS 2012 conference in DC.  They were so excited and seem to be having a good time already.  Ben spent the night in Jo-burg that evening and headed home on Thursday. 

And just for fun, a picture to show just how quirky and creative my little girl is.  She turned her kitchen (which is really just a carry on suitcase) into a crib for her and her babies!

ABC hunt and letter V 045

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Posted in Life |

This Week’s Happenings 7/2-7/8

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

We had a very uneventful week!  Ben was busy with work stuff and worked a lot of hours this week, which left Mikayla and I to entertain ourselves!  We had a lot of fun studying the Letter S this week and spent a lot of time at the hostel.  The kids were off an on with being out of school (which is a whole different conversation) so we spent a lot of time at the hostel this week.  I also did a mini training with the hostel staff on quick reading and math activities they could do with the kids.  Here are a couple pictures from our week.

Two new birds for Steve –

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Two of these were swooping around the sky this week.  They were loud too!

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Bird from above sitting in the tree at a distance.

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Heard this guy pecking away in a large tree this week!  Obviously this is the bird’s backside.

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I looked out the window while doing dishes last night and just saw Mikayla hanging around!  What a monkey!

We have a busy few weeks coming up.  Ben will continue to stay busy with work as a lot of quarterly reports are due.  Katie, who was here when we arrived, will return on Tuesday for a two month stint.  Joe has some friends coming in the middle of July for two weeks and then his mom will be here in August.  We are also trying to finalize our plans while in the states.  Speaking of, anyone have fun ideas of things to do with Mikayla while we are in NYC, specifically Manhattan?  Or London?  Thanks for the help!

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Posted in Life |

Kruger Bird Pictures

Monday, December 26th, 2011

We took lots of pictures of animals while in Kruger (you can find them on Ben’s Facebook page), but here are a couple of bird pictures for you.  We haven’t identified all of them yet, but will when we get back home.

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Not a great shot, but still a cool bird!

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This bird was just hanging out on top of a hippo!

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Some of these birds have amazing colors.

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This was some sort of eagle, I think an African fish eagle.

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Love this guy – we have actually seen him around our house too.  His color is beautiful!

I am sure I will post some animal pictures later, but if you want to see them now you can go to Ben’s Facebook page.

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Posted in Life |

Can You Name That Bird?

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

So after an extensive week of bird watching (thanks to our letter B study), we have been able to identify several African birds.  I thought it would be fun to host a little contest and giveaway to see how well you could identify these birds.  The rules are simple – Name/identify the following birds correctly the quickest and you are the winner.  Leave bird identifications in the comments section below or you can send me an email (  If you are the first to correctly name/identify each of the birds you will receive a special Swaziland token in the mail (not sure what yet, but I promise it to be good)!

Bird #1:

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Bird #2:

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Bird #3:

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Bird #4:

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Bird #5:

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Bird #6 (Hint – this bird has really bright orange legs):

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Bird #7:

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Bird #8:

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Bird #9 (please take note of the long tail on these two):

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Bird #10:

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Good luck!

Posted in Random |

This Week’s Happenings 9/25-10/1

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Sunday Mikayla and I went for a little bird watching around our house while Ben did a little work.  I must say Mikayla has a lot to learn about watching birds because she was very loud!  Every time we found a bird she would either talk or start walking very loudly. 

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We got our first package in the mail this week (thanks Rita and Steve).  It was filled with lots of yummy candy, real coffee (Instant is the main form of coffee here) and some jewelry/purse for Mikayla.  Great fun!  We also got another piece of fun mail from Lylah and Lara.  All of which were enjoyed immensely.  I just wish I could say we still had a lot of the candy left to munch on!

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Letter B and more birds 045

For the first part of the week there was a Peace Corp volunteer here checking out Cabrini.  He joined us for most of our meals.  It was good to talk with someone from the US face to face.  He lives about twenty minutes down the road from us and is hoping to volunteer some at Cabrini.  He will be here for two years, so a familiar face if nothing else!

Tomorrow is mine and Ben’s 7 year anniversary!  Hard to believe we have been married for that long.  We plan on making bacon in the morning and playing Settler’s after Mikayla goes to bed.  Who knows what else our day will include, but I can guarantee it will be filled with relaxation! 

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Posted in Life |