Friday, February 27, 2015

How do you get Water out of a 5 Gallon Jug?

When we moved to Abu Dhabi we knew we didn't want it to be a permanent position, so we didn't buy expensive things for the house as we knew we'd have to leave most of it behind. Sometimes this can backfire, but for us it has been a good strategy...

Except for this: water in Abu Dhabi is desalinated from the Gulf and stored in huge tanks at the apartments or water towers in Ruwais. Sometimes tests on these water sources come back contaminated so most people don't drink it but rather buy these 5 gallon or so jugs of water. (Because Benjamin and I first experienced these in Guatemala and because we don't know a handy word for them in English, we still call them "garrafones.")
Figuring out a proficient, reliable way to get the water out has been challenging! Because it needs to be something the children can get by themselves, lifting the whole thing and pouring it out, though fastest, wasn't feasible for everyday life. The inverted container mechanism given to us by the first water company (first picture on left) trickled out and took so long (20 minutes) to fill a gallon jug to put on the table for supper that we soon looked for a different option.

The second pump took two size D batteries... frequently! When it started costing more for batteries than for water we looked for something simpler.

The third pump was manual. You squeeze the blue part and it suctions the water out through a hose but it was difficult to control and flimsy and would only work for the top half of the jug and we'd end up pouring the rest out by hand again on the bottom portion.

The one we are using now is yet a different version: you pump the green button on top and it pulls the water out. Benefits to this one include an arm workout every time you use it and a clean table as it splatters every time. (It is a benefit! Really!)

You never know what seemingly insignificant part of life is just waiting to provide entertainment. I never would have expected it from the water pump. I'm thankful for accessible, clean water!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Seen in Abu Dhabi 32: Molokhia

I saw this in the frozen food section of the store here and wondered what it was. When I got home I found here ( that it was:

"the leaves of Corchorus species (Jute leaves) used as a vegetable. It is a popularMiddle Eastern and North Africancountries. Mulukhiyyah is rather bitter, and when boiled, the resulting liquid is a thick, highly mucilaginous broth; it is often described as "slimy," rather like cooked okraMulukhiyyah is generally eaten cooked, not raw, and is most frequently turned into a kind of soup orstew, typically bearing the same name as the vegetable in the local language."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ezra 9.5 Months

Ezra has been growing up so quickly! It's amazing to see how different each child is from each other, even at 9 (and 1/2) months!
The weather has been beautiful lately and only started heating up the last couple of days. Because of this they've been able to ride bikes outside a lot and Ezra loves joining them on the fenced front patio in his walker. He loves feeling the breeze, and watching his brother and sister play, but if we aren't careful, he also tries to sample leaves from the trees. 

He is in the beginning stages of walking and very curious about everything within reach. He's a very social child and is always very focused on a person's eyes, mouth and reading their body language. He is quick to smile and laugh at strangers, (if I'm holding him,) and overall a happy baby. It's so sweet to see him light up when he sees his brother or sister or father walk through the door! 

Something I haven't been able to find the words to write about is the friend and midwife I had with Elias passing away in June. I still don't have the words. Thalia's receptionist/accountant/friend/birth assistant got a box of fabric from her husband to give away. In it she found a quilt Thalia had started for me/Ezra and she finished it and sent it. I bawled when I got it from the post office. It's a Spanish themed quilt with words in Spanish and English and pictures of typical Spanish scenes. It is perfect and a treasure that seems fitting for where we would like a future placement.

We are so blessed to have Ezra in our lives. We all smile more with him here!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kid's Unscripted: Chapter 30

Elias: "Can I hear a song on the computer?"
Me: "Which song?"
Elias: "Whack a pony!"
Me: "What in the world!???"
Elias: "...POLO!"
Me: "Ohhh... you don't whack a pony, you whack the ball!"

Elias: "You're so nice... I love you so much!"
Me: "I love you, too..."
Elias: "It's not my nap time!"
Me: "Oh really?"
Elias: "Yes, I'm on a nap time holiday" (a vacation from naps)
Natalia: "What makes volcanoes interrupt?"
Elias: "The moon was broken and I had to go fix it. Then I came back to this world."
Elias, squinting in the sun this morning: "Mommy, the sun is shouting at me."
Me: "Elias, what do you want for your birthday?"
Elias: "A rolling pin! And a spatula!"
Natalia: "I think China looks like an upside down goat with a hump on its back."
Natalia: "Do you know what 'off-o-sites' are?"
Me: "What?"
Natalia: "Offices on opposite sides of a building..."
Elias: (pointing at a picture of a bunny) "I want one of those! I want a blue one!"
Ben: "What do you think is one half of a fourth?"
Talia: "Is it one-twoth?"