Tuesday, March 26, 2013

world of wizards

Some Spring!  Taken on Monday, March 25, 2013 on my walk to the Metro in the morning
After seeing a fireball, Abdoulaye and I thought it was time to check out the Washington Wizards, too!  With Alys' birthday around the corner, we decided to celebrate at the Verizon center with some seats high enough up so we could see the entire stadium :)  It made my eyes hurt to be so high but it was still a fun Monday night and birthday celebration adventure!  The Wizards won (107-94) and we made it home by 10:00pm after a full night of tasty Chinese food, cupcake eating, basketball watching and catching up while trying to avoid the feeling of vertigo.

OK, so those aren't basketball players on the floor but the Wizards did win!
The snow weighed pretty heavily on the daffodils on Monday but now it's all melted away and Spring-like temperatures are back.  I love these pictures of us in Washington DC's Chinatown - I won't forget your birthday Alys!  Loading these pictures and writing these blog posts is such a special way for me to hold on to my (our) memories; I'm so thankful to blogspot for the platform to do so!

Monday, March 25, 2013

a fireball, applesauce and wizards

Image Source
Walking to the bus stop on Friday night on our way to celebrate Beatrice's birthday, Cassie, Abdoulaye & I chit chatted about education and development in Guinea.  Then, like the raccoon that I am, a shiny thing caught my eye.  I looked up and squealed "Look!  It's a shooting star!"  North and a little East, a stream of white light was shooting toward the city.   It was so close and was moving so slowly, and then disappeared so quickly, we soon agreed that it was a Cleveland Park firework (albeit just one and silent).

Then, Cassie was checking out the weather on Saturday morning and saw this article, which confirmed that what we saw was not a shooting star - it was a fireball!  How thrilling!  Almost as thrilling as Abdoulaye's discovery of applesauce thanks to Cassie :)

Tonight we're headed to a basketball game at the Verizon Center - go Wizards!  The snow on the ground this morning caught us off guard - I wasn't expecting anything since there have been so many false alarms!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

our little bunny: three weeks old

three weeks old
 I remember when Michael and Courtney called last year to say they were expecting.  Informal bets akin to the March madness currently taking place quickly ensued.  A boy or a girl??  we all asked ourselves.  On February 23rd, 2013, though we already knew the gender, we were blessed with Jarrett Michael's arrival.  He had already captured our hearts before coming and now that he's here, well, take a look at some of the pictures to see for yourself :)
our little leprechaun looks ready to watch the 8k!
 While it doesn't seem like Michael and Courtney have much choice with our boisterous family, I love how they let anyone (whose hands are washed!) hold their treasure.  I'm so excited to see how he develops and to watch him grow.  Any tips for new aunts??
with his aunties

Special treat alert!  Louise came down for a visit and we got to see Anna, too!!
 On Saturday we all went down to the beach to see Dad, Sheri & Dan race in the 8k Shamrock run.  It was fun cheering on the green runners and even better when we got out of the yucky weather just in the nick of time!
I just can't get over how wild  it must be to see your child have a child - my Mom here with her grandson
 On Saturday night, Louise, Abdoulaye and I headed to Blue Pete's with Mom & John.  Yummy food, fun atmosphere, beach music dancing.  Virginia Beach - you really are a treat!
Tonton Abdoulaye!
See a link to more photos here!

Monday, March 18, 2013


Abdoulaye, me & Cassie sitting on the front stoop
As another week begins and the rain makes tap-tap-tapping noises on the aluminum roof outside, I'm going to hold onto the sunshine from this photo taken last weekend.  I hope you have a week of sunshine!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Habib Koite and Eric Bibb: Brothers in Bamako

Brothers in Bamako (l to r: Habib Koite, Eric Bibb, Mama Kone)
 On Friday night Abdoulaye and I shared a quick meal after the sun set (since he's fasting) and then boarded an Arlington-bound bus to get to the Spectrum Theater to see Habib Koite & Eric Bibb's sold-out show.  Proof of purchase in hand, we picked up tickets from will-call and headed into the theater to join Cassie, Alys, Beatrice and friends standing in a jacket-and-bookbag-reserved row.

Friends from almost all my circles combined - work, Peace Corps, Mali and beyond - to listen to music that blends the rhythms of Mali and the American blues into achingly beautiful works of art (thank you so much Beatrice and Alys for sharing the link to the show!).  I spent most of the concert on the edge of my seat, legs tapping to the beat of the music and my upper body in a half sway.  Closing my eyes, I could see myself at the French Cultural Center in Bamako listening to Vieux Farka Touré or Rokia Traoré.  Eyes opened, I saw a room full of Washingtonians, either Mali and/or music enthusiasts, gently nodding their heads along to the beat.  

When Eric Bibb announced their last song my friend Louise and I frowned - already??  As we filed out of the concert hall, passing fans dressed in full complets or wearing embroidered tops with jeans, we sighed to one another about what a great show it had been.  Cassie's and my favorite song was Needing Time (I believe!) where Habib and Eric simultaneously played a song from their respective musical traditions and volleyed lyrics in their native languages (see the YouTube link below for a little taste!).  Made me want to watch Martin Scorsese's documentary, From Mali to Mississippi, again!

Maybe because it was the second-to-last night of their tour and they were tired that there wasn't much (or any?) mention of what's happening in Mali.  Maybe they assume anyone that would go to their show is keeping abreast of the news and doesn't need a reminder from them.  Maybe they wanted people to associate Mali with their music and not the newspaper headlines.
The picture that almost wasn't - thank you Abdoulaye for taking it and encouraging the shot!

You can get the Brothers in Bamako album here.  
See more pictures from our last days of winter here (these are the last days of winter, right?)

Friday, March 8, 2013

with arms wide open

Brunch/lunch/lundin/fasting at Open City
Last weekend Abdoulaye and I were spoiled with visitors.  Sarah and Jackie came up to hang and Roshanak was with us for the day since she was in town to talk about this dance she choreographed, which is a tribute to Iranian political prisoners (wow!).

We lunched/brunched/afternoon ate at Open City (yum!) before walking home and working on wedding invitations (almost ready to ship out!).  Sarah brought French candy and a confetti game and Abdoulaye marveled at how much Jackie and I look alike.  Sweet weekends!  Looking forward to this one, too!

Jackie tells the bird to follow her!
Wow.  Abdoulaye, I love you.  Thanks for pretending to be like a bird in this front yard!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

surprise! and snow day!

Last week I turned 27 - woohoo!  It was a great week - kicked off by the birth of my nephew, Jarrett Michael, on Saturday (and with a quick stop at Sarah's birthday party on the way!).  I hadn't been thinking much about my birthday with the any-day arrival of Jarrett on the horizon and so was completely surprised when I came home on Thursday evening to find (almost!) all of my DC favorites in my living room!  Abdoulaye and Cassie planned a stellar birthday smash complete with delicious food (yassa and avocado salad and Papa John's pizza!) and marvelous birthday desserts (above).  I'm so thankful to everyone who came out (and to my awesome roomies) for making me feel so special on my birthday - thank you!  Here are some of my favorite shots.   
roomies of the year award goes to Cassie & Abdoulaye!
With WRI friends
(Surprise!) Birthday celebrating peeps on a roller coaster :) Thanks for the photo idea, Sarah!
I thought I'd add these since we had a snow day yesterday.  Well, we hardly got any snow but it was nice to work from home as a first!
Snow day in Boston :)
Timed pictures in front of a TV?  I can't handle the suspense!  Probs why I can't watch too much - I get so consumed!

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