MaustsOnTranslation

MaustsOnTranslation

Well, I was going to go home for lunch but seeing as the road I have to cross to get there is blocked off for presidents to pass by, I thought I’d linger to blog just a little bit.

Not are we only the MaustsOnToast, but we’re also the MaustsOnTranslation. We still regularly get asked why the name MaustsOnToast. If you’ve been wondering, but too ashamed to ask, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve provided a response right here on toast. As for the why of MaustsOnTranslation, that should be a little more obvious seeing as we’re in Africa to help with language development and the translation of the Bible into local languages. More about that over here.

Is this a good time to note that we wished we blogged more? Well, we do. But four kids–including twins–really diverts our attention away from electronic screams to tend to energetic screams. We trust you’ll understand.

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Taxi on Toast

Pick Your Pocket

Heading downtown—to the belly of the whale as I call it—is sure to lead to scintillating sights and curious encounters.

Today a friend and I grabbed a taxi and traveled the stress-free way down into town. Arriving at the photo lab where we wanted to get prints made, a man seated in the waiting area informed us that we better wear our bags in front. Beware of thieves the invisible sign on his forehead read. Forearmed with his forewarning we collected our prints and made our way to our next destination. So far so good, so far so safe.

“I’ve never been pickpocketed,” my friend boasted.

“…that you know of!” I quipped. We both assured the continued presence of our wallets.

Taxis on Toast

When it came time to head back home, we waded through the sea of pedestrians, peddlers, and prowling vehicles to reach our spoke of the major roundabout which would put us on the path out of the whale. The taxis pull up slowly to the curb, make eye contact, and listen attentively for your desired destination. A honk means you’ve been accepted as a client. Silence means try again.

After several ineffective tries, the voice of a smartly dressed mature mentor sounded, “This area is dangerous. Watch out for pickpockets.”

Turning towards the concerned citizen, I replied, “You mean like me?” and reached out my hand towards his back pocket, falling short as a result of the quick hop he executed in the opposite direction. The confused look on his face quickly turned to laughter.

I confess that I did steal a smile from that man; every once in a while you have to tickle the belly of the whale.

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Easter in Us

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

This Easter we took advantage of the holiday to take a new family portrait—finally! Since the birth of the twins we’ve been longing to get ourselves together enough to capture our family of six. The occasion eluded us until yesterday when we finally went for it.

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Setting up a tripod and setting down a weaved mat in our grassy Yaounde background, we did our best to keep everyone’s focus fixed on the camera while I remotely snapped away via my phone. The portrait we settled on among the dozens and dozens of attempts is the one you find above and now featured on our about page, so you know it’s official. Had we known at the time that Poppy was making a kissy/fish face we (probably) would have encouraged her to go with a more natural expression, but after half an hour of trial and tribulation, yea a test of parental endurance, we throw up our hands and say, “Well, that’s our family. That’s us. Good enough.”

We now offer you a few outtakes, just to give a taste of what we went through to get to the point where we were ready to settled with the best of the bunch above.

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Should have hired a beast of burden

Flying (Part 1)

Posing behind Uncle's van full of our luggage.

Posing behind Uncle Simon’s van full of our luggage

I gave up watching in-flight films roughly four and a half years ago.  We took Poppy on her first long haul flight when she was 18 months old.  We went to the UK for Christmas and I vowed never to fly with a toddler again.  Too bad we had to fly back to the US shortly after!  Flying with young children is a little less stressful, especially if they can focus on a game/film or colouring for a time.  But the constant interruptions are still endless.

So, you can imagine my nervousness when we faced a very long flight with one connection thrown in for good measure.  Firstly we had to get through the airport to simply get on the flight.  I had the winning formation laid out in my head:  one twin to one adult, strapped to.  Big kids in big stroller, or running along side.  Two large rucksacks, one large camera bag, one leather satchel, a rolly suitcase and two mini rucksacks in blue and pink stuffed with kinder egg toys and random bits of toot deemed irreplaceable.  I was at the point where I almost needed to sketch it out on paper just to believe it was even slightly possible.  I’m trying to think of more ridiculous things we have done as a family but I think this may have trumped the lot.

Should have hired a beast of burden

Should have hired a beast of burden

We got to the airport in plenty of time to check in our 13 (maxed out to capacity in every conceivable way) bags.  Plus the TWO car seats and a smaller umbrella stroller. It was quiet and we walked straight up to the check-in desk. We said a brief farewell to my parents (trust me it’s better that way) and headed off holding our breath.  It was, however, a complete breeze.  I’m not blowing my trumpet or calling myself Super Mum but if I didn’t believe in God I would say that the stars were all aligned that day.  We got to our gate and Drew and the kids went off to find a bite to eat.  By this time we had put both twins in the stroller and they were fast asleep.  Not too long later we were boarding.

To be continued…