The Current Time in Stavanger, Norway!

February 27, 2009

Weather we like it or not (and we do)!

So what’s the weather like?
If I was a weather woman (and I always wanted to be a weather person when I was little!) here in Luanda, here is what my typical weather report would sound like…
“Well, it’s going to be another bright, sunny day here in Luanda , folks. The sun is going to be pretty intense, so don’t forget your sunscreen and a hat. It is looking like it is going to be around 90 degrees by mid-day, with a bit of humidity. No need to grab your umbrella as you head out the door, since it doesn’t look like we'll be getting any precipitation today. The temperature will drop dramatically with the winds picking up beginning around sundown, so if you going to be outside for dinner tonight, you may want to bring a light jacket. That’s all for today. Tune in tomorrow (for a very similar report).”
For the most part the weather is comparable to summer weather in Houston or the Midwest- really hot during the day with some humidity. The sun is a lot more intense though. It’s really not that bad to be outside during the day if you’re in the shade. The biggest difference in the weather here compared to the weather at home is the extreme in temperatures at night. It cools off dramatically here in the evenings. Around 5 o’clock when the sun is going down it starts to get a little breezy and it is pleasant to be outside. It’s great to go outside on the veranda after dinner and watch the sunset because it’s nice and cool with a chilly, little breeze!
It has only rained four times since we’ve been here and they say it usually only rains during the night. I find that really interesting and I’m not quite sure how that works (I should have paid better attention in my meteorology class in college!) We didn’t even pack an umbrella! It does cool off during the “winter” months (June-August), but not enough to need to wear long sleeves or pants. Unfortunately when the weather is the best here, in the winter months, we will be at home in the United States for our summer break and won’t get to enjoy it!
Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying the “evening weather”...

February 26, 2009


Everybody had the day off today to celebrate the local holiday- Carnival (car-knee-vall). It is basically Mardi Gras, Angola style. The actual celebration is in downtown Luanda and is said to get pretty wild, so most expats don't attend the real thing. We made our own mini-Carnival right here on the compound. All The kids dressed up in costumes and decorated their bikes or scooters and then paraded around the neighborhood making lots of noise! Zach dressed up as a baseball player, Colby as Batman and Nolan as Superman. It was a lot of fun for everyone! The celebration ended with pizza and homemade ice cream- a special treat, since you can't easily buy either of those here! Happy Carnival!

February 14, 2009

Beach Day!

Today we went on our first beach excursion and it was a great way for our family to spend Valentine's Day because we love the beach! Our friends, The Fieldings, showed us the ropes and took us to a beach called "Pria de Palmerenias" which is about 2 hours south of here. The drive to get to the beach was quite an adventure in it of itself! It would have taken a lot longer to get there, but our driver knew of a "shortcut"- he just went off-roading through a big field and then drove along the side the road, so as to avoid sitting in a traffic jam! (That would be like somebody in the U.S. just driving down the median when traffic got backed up.) For the majority of the ride we were driving parallel to the water. Most of the scenery throughout the two hour drive was of the beautiful coastline, with patches of run down, graffiti “houses” or stick shelters scattered along the side of the road and throughout the hills between the road and the water. We were on a hilly, paved road for most of the trip, but at some point we needed to get from the paved road to the water. So at some random big tree (there are no steet signs, at all) the driver turned onto a dirt road. It was actually a road this time, but it was so rugged and the pot holes were atrotious. We were bouncing around like crazy (which the boys didn't even comment on because they were busy playing their handheld games!). We were only on the rugged road for about 15 minutes (that the equivalent of approximately 200 pot holes) and then "boop!" the driver just drove right up onto the sand and parked and we were at the beach! We were the only people on that beach all day! As far as you could look, all you could see is sand and water. It was amazing. The kids had so much fun. And it was double fun because the family we went with has 3 kids too- each of their kids being a year older than each of our kids. So they each had a buddy for the day and they were off and running with their friends from he moment we hit the sand. Zach and his buddy, Braeden, spent a lot of time boogie boarding and looking for seashells (they found some really cool ones). Colby and his friend, Ty, spent most of their time making up games like "run from the waves before they get you", "dig, dig, dig" and "let's bury each other"! Nolan and his friend, Ashlyn, enjoyed playing in the blow up pool we bought and eating suckers! Will and I both went boogie boarding and it was so much fun. And of course it was fun just getting away from city life, being out in the middle of nowhere and hanging out with new friends. We all can't wait to go back...

the view from the kilo window

The boys looking for seashells and exploring the secluded beach

Ty and Colby "dig, dig, digging" Zach and Braeden just chilling

Me and Nolan taking a break from the sun to enjoy a sucker

February 9, 2009


Yippeee! Our shipment arrived today!! We are so excited to finally have all of our things and "junk" from home!
It was like total chaos in our house while the movers brought in all 36 boxes of stuff. The kids were trying to tear open all the boxes that had "toys" or "bikes" written in big, black letters on the outside of the box! Some of their friends from the compound were over here and I put them all to work helping me carry toiletries to where they belong in the house, pile up all the paper the movers used to wrap everything up in, and organize pieces of toys that got scattered in the move. They were more than happy to help- they got a sneak preview into what new and exciting toys have arrived on the compound!
It only took 42 days from door to door, which really is not that bad. It all had to go through a pre-approval process in Houston before it even left the U.S. Then it had to go through customs in Africa before being transported to our house. We've heard stories of people's shipments taking up to 9 months to arrive here because their stuff got held up in customs, so we are more than thrilled that it only took a month and a half.
It's so exciting to get all of our stuff, but now for the hard part...putting it all away!
Here are some pictures of the boys anxiously awaiting the moving truck, the mounds of stuff taking over the family room, and Nolan proving the theory that if you give a kid a bunch of toys the most exciting thing to play with is the cardboard box!

February 4, 2009

Breakfast Birthday Bash!

We celebrated Zach's 7th Birthday with a "Breakfast Birthday Bash"!
February 4 is Zach’s birthday and lucky for him it is also a local holiday, “National Armed Struggles Day” (I had no clue what that was, but I just google-ed it and it is...the anniversary of the outbreak of the armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism). Since everyone gets the day off of work and school we decided we would have a party in the morning and make breakfast for everyone. The kids all came to the party in their pajamas and slippers. We served pikelets (pancakes), blueberry muffins, cut up bananas grown right here on the compound, juice, coffee and, of course, birthday cake! It was really fun! The pikelets were a big hit! After breakfast we played a few games- balance the egg on the spoon relay and duck, duck goose- and then we opened presents and had cake! Short and sweet! And Nolan was nice enough to volunteer to clean up all the sticky syrup and cake crumbs for us!