Whew, what a day! This morning I spent going through the motions of a normal day while inwardly I was rehearsing Hausa phrases in my head alternated with prayers that I could remember and hear my Hausa when evaluation time rolled around. Since it is October 31st my morning went quickly. I had plenty of distrations with making “ghost” pancakes for breakfast and prepping jack-o-lantern quesadillas for daddy to serve at lunch. It also helped that we got two packages mid-morning that added some fun to a tense morning.
At 12:30 I headed off for my 2nd language evaluation, which ended up being far less painful than my first one. I am so, so glad that it is over and I’m looking forward to taking a few weeks for focusing on my family and some R&R before hitting Hausa hard again.
I came home, took a deep breath and put my mom hat back on to prep the kids for an evening of trunk or treating. I got to work together with three other ex-pat moms to help host a fun time for the kids. It was great because we each took a small part of the responsibility and it wasn’t overwhelming for any of us. Each family that came decorated their own trunk and provided some sort of game or activity to go with it. We finished it all off with a hot dog picnic dinner. It was a great time.
Tonight was one of those times when I was reminded how things are so different and yet so the same with our life here. For example, the treats consisted of things like homemade granola bars, homemade donut holes, homemade cookies, and a few store-bought lollipops. One of the ladies handed out Koolaid packets, which my kids were excited about. I have no idea how she got them! Can you imagine eating homemade goodies in the States? Me either, but I can tell you, the kids are begging me to get that donut hole recipe!
Another thing I continue to be amazed at is the diversity in the ex-pat families here. Out of the 30 trunk or treaters we had there tonight, I know for sure there were representatives from Canada, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, America, Australia, Denmark, and Switzerland. That still amazes me.
Even planning the hot dog meal was different. One gal volunteered that her house helper made good potato chips, so she took that task. Her helper spent 6 hours yesterday making our potato chips, which were a big hit. With Lays running $5 for a small bag, WHEN you can find them, they were a treat! Another gal knew a bakery in town that actually makes hot dog sized buns, so she volunteered to order those. The third gal agreed to do the topping bar and was tickled when one of the other gals offered a can of her American jalepenos to add to it. I got tickled watching everyone go through the line and say things like, “Are these pickles, where did you find these?” or “Oh my, jalepenos, who found jalepenos?” I’m telling you folks, it’s a different world!
Anyway, it was a fun time and a great experience. I’ll leave you with some pictures of our evening.
Here is Abe, the pirate.
Here is the whole Campbell crew. We had a hippy, Nancy Drew, a scarecrow, a colonial girl, and a pirate.
Could there be a more handsome scarecrow?
My kid's loved this van! It was the Mystery Machine complete with Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby.
At this game the kids had to feed the pumpkins by throwing balls into the mouths. When they made it, they were awarded with a bag of pumpkin poop (which looked and tasted a little like cheese balls.) Speaking of cheese balls, I have a funny memory when I think of Nigerian cheese balls. When we had been here just a few weeks and I was struggling with figuring out food and groceries, etc., we were invited to eat dinner at the home of another family. The kids all had these individual sized bags of cheeseballs. I noticed because they were an individually wrapped convenience food type of salty treat, something that is not commonly found here. So, I asked the hostess where she found them. She explained that they were readily available in bags of 100 bags and that they were very cheap. I asked her if they were good and I don't think I'll ever forget her response which was, "The longer you're here the better they taste." That seemed like an odd response, but I smiled and decided that I would just try one. I couldn't make myself finish the bag, they tasted like styrofoam. Fast forward 9 months, I now love those puppies. I can't even remember what real Cheetos taste like, but at this point I'm all for cheesy flavored styrofoam!
Here are Ms. Laura and Ms. Ashley, two Hippie chicks who came and volunteered to help us serve drinks to the masses. So thankful for these gals who are currently two of my children's favorite people and who do kind things like bring me American candy the night before my language evaluation. They are great neighbors and great friends!