Knocked up Abroad Again

No, it’s not that sort of announcement.  I’m not expecting, but once upon a moonshine I was and hopefully you will soon be able read about the slightly less conventional road to parenthood that we travelled in Lagos, Nigeria in an actual book.

Following on from Lisa Ferland’s anthology Knocked up Abroad, a second book, Knocked up Abroad Again is in the imminent works and I’m excited to have contributed a chapter.

Winging it in West Africa is my account of being an expectant-and-then-new mother in Lagos and trying to circumnavigate tropical diseases (a phase of shoe licking did nothing to quell my anxiety), field ‘helpful’ parenting tips from our steward Augustine and assess the perils of being pregnant in a Lagos traffic jam.

Parenthood is daunting enough, but hurl cultural conundrums, language barriers of life overseas and in my case, the utter craziness that life in Lagos hurls at you on an hourly basis and you end up with a melting pot of fascinating stories.  In this case 26 stories set in 25 different countries contributed by an interesting and resilient group of expat women.

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Discover Sci Bono

Sci Bono Discovery Centre is situated in an old power station in Johannesburg’s Newtown. We’ve taken our kids a few times and they love it.  We hosted a birthday party there this morning, which included a guided tour of the best bits and an awesome exploding science show.  Quite a few of our guests had never been, which made me realise that plenty of Jo’burgers have never checked this place out.

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Exploding Science in Sci Bono’s Party Room

This is why they should…

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Which School? An Expat Parenting Dilemma

Parents everywhere want the best education for their children.  However, when you move to a different country every few years, the decisions, trade-offs and problems multiply.IMG_3435

American School? British School? French School? German School? Local School? Home School? Boarding School? Anywhere-that-has-a-place-for-my-child-School? Which school is the right school?

This is a conundrum faced by many expat parents.

There are a whole host of factors to consider and I’m sure I’ll have more to share on this subject in future, but in the first instance I’m including a nifty little table I’ve put together to assist you in working out which grade/class/year equivalent your child may fit into moving from one system to another.  It’s something I would have found useful to have over the the last few years, so I figured it might help a few other people too. Continue reading

Cultural Conundrums in Constantinople: Time Warp Tuesday III

November 2011 – Istanbul

Sultanahmet is the original heart of old Constantinople, now Istanbul.  This is THE area that draws tourists in the by the coach load.  The magnets being Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cisterns, all located within spitting distance of each other.

View across the Golden Horn of Sultanahmet, taken from Galata Tower.
View across the Golden Horn of Sultanahmet, taken from Galata Tower.

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Litre of Light

Today’s post is actually a little science project to make over the long school holidays with kids.  It’s particularly relevant if you live somewhere like Johannesburg where sunshine is plentiful, but the power supply is not. Continue reading

(Not so) “Plane” Sailing

Have you ever flown with children?  Have you ever flown on your own with children?  Don’t unless you have to.  It is the curse of the expat wife.  I remember somebody once asking Mr Incredible what it was like to fly with the kids.  “Oh, it’s no bother”, he replied breezily.  Yes, that would be because he’s never travelled solo with the children.  It is a real treat and I would like to share just a few of my highlights with you.  Continue reading