Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

It was a busy day for Neo and Trinity - who teamed up with....

Spidey, a Ninja Turtle and a prizewinning astronaut

and we went out to trick-or-trunk - in the Embassy parking lot, which is a highly efficient system where trunks replace houses, so all the loot is collected in 15 minutes...

Then some brother bonding

Or was that brother beating?

Hope you all has as much fun as we did
The Swaneys

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to School

First - our big news

Our next post with be PARIS!!!!

In a very unexpected turn of events we ended up with a very nice job that we hope will let us see much, much more of our family and friends than Cameroon - and which should allow for an easy transition back to U.S. living for the boys... Please book early, and this time we really do mean it :)

Anyhow, after a wonderful summer we have settled into a busy but very nice school year - with Graham enjoying a tiny class of 6 students with the coolest teacher at school - Mrs. Swaney. The other boys are doing well also, particularly Lincoln, who needs the structure and discipline that school provides, but who has begun to show a lot more of his kind and gentle side. For Bill - work is much more civilized with new and talented staff on board, and many fewer applicants.

As a result we are mostly focused on enjoying Cameroon and Africa, which we are really, really going to miss - and not just because we no longer have the appropriate calluses for cooking or dishwashing...

Some of our recent fun:

The weekend kickball game on the Embassy lawn

Graham enjoying some pool time with some less-fortunate Cameroonian orphans
(If you're looking for a way to touch the lives of some special kids who have had a rough go in life we can vouch for the head of this unique orphanage - www.greeneyesinafrica.org)

Boys dressed up as future veterinarian, kung fu champion and soccer star for spirit week

More spirit - pajama day

Some local friends and (very) extended family

Kristie's favorite day of the year - opposite day - when she finally gets three little girls



Taking in a soccer match with fellow teachers and tennis coach

Lego Man

Cub Scout Pack 1 Yaounde holds its first ever Pinewood Derby

Monday, September 1, 2008

End of Summer

Summer came to a sun and fun-filled set of visits to friends and family in the mid-Atlantic region, where we enjoyed the beach, an amusement park, and deep south barbeque. All in all - a tiring but amazing way to spend our time in America - remembering what we are thankful for, but also why we were happy to come home to our very different, but equally enjoyable (and busy) life in Cameroon.

Lincoln showing his poker face with cousins


Lincoln Vs. Papa John - with the expected outcome

Swaney Boys looking into future employment options

Sand Men

Dinner at the Fish Market

Iwo Jima Memorial ceremony

Future Marines?

Kristie and Karma

and Adie

Memphis Nights

Best Buddies

Kings Dominion with our neighbors from Cameroon

The Mall with our VA pals
Back to Cameroon - the new Peace Corps Color Guard/Mascots/Cub Scouts

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boys (and girl) of Summer

After a hectic end to school we are back in the land of the Big Mac and Wi-Fi

Though it has been hotter and buggier, and we've seen more snakes than in Africa, it's been great to see family and friends to catch up.

A few highlights of the ongoing trip:

Stowe Mountain with Bill's brother + family

Waterbury Memories - Kristie's Family + Friends

Yaounde Summer Fun in the Sun

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Back in Business

Hi Everyone

Really sorry to have neglected the blog for so long. Soon as we got a camera back our laptop broke, and the the whole country fell to peices. Pretty depressing actually to come back from an evacuation in Chad and head down the same road in Cameroon... Oh well - I guess it comes with the territory. To summarize - the country has deep social and political problems and a minor protest snowballed into serious violence that threatened to spiral out of control. Order has been firmly re-established through use of force and threat and things are stable again, but it has become more difficult and unlikely that the government will be able to solve the underlying issues, and develop into a genuine democracy. Sad, but not hopeless.

Anyhow - the family is well - looking forward to the end of school - and visiting home, particularly our new cousin/nephew Jackson Frey. I should also note that we worked out how to webcam (bandwidth makes it pretty grainy, but better than nothing). So drop a line and the Swaney boys will be happy to put on a show.

With pictures being worth a thousand words and all - I think I'll shut up and post some of our latest shots.

In what was probably our best trip yet - we had the honor of witnessing and participating a bit in the wedding of our driver/gardener/surgical assistant/friend Richard and his bride, Doris. It was a long bumpy drive out to their town, but well worth the effort to see their rich traditions, meet their families, and see the joy of a sound union, which I suppose is universal

The Swaneys 5 with the bride and groom and son Thierry

This was at a part in the traditional wedding ceremony when the family of the bride rejected the union, pretending that they were unwilling to part with her because she is too special, is part of a set of twins, her would-be-husband is unworthy etc. - all of which is resolved with a few small gifts to mother and grandmother and character testimonials (by Bill among others) that Richard will be a good provider etc. etc. - Kristie and Lincoln meanwhile made friends by playing with babies. Interestingly, while our youngest is still in training to fight in the Thunderdome from the Mad Max series, and routinely beats up his brothers, he is very sweet with the babies - which gives us some hope that he is not beyond redemption...

Lincoln was quite the novelty for the Cameroonians, and enjoyed every minute of it. He chatted up the chief/Minister of the Peace and sat himself down in the middle of the action.

Eli also enjoyed himself - and began a self-study program in stick fighting

Graham was the official photographer for the event, and his work (like the photo above) will be gracing these pages in days to come
We're also happy to report that the boys have now crossed over the 50 percent mark, and are spending more time as best friends than as worst enemies (though our calculations are preliminary)...

Anyhow - that's enough for now - please do keep in touch - we miss all of you and look forward to catching up soonest
All the best
The Swaneys