Where in the World?

30 03 2012

(Image via)

As a blogger, I often look at my stats to see how many people have dropped by my blog.  When I see the numbers, I wonder who are all of these people and where do they come from?

Well WordPress has answered one of those questions for me.  They’ve just added this really cool new map to the stats page which shows which countries have had visitors to my blog on that particular day.  It’s sort of becoming an addiction for me as each time someone new from someplace new comes a long, another country gets coloured in on the map.

To date (since the end of February when the map appeared), I’ve had…

visitors from 54 countries.  54!!!  That is so cool.

Some of the most unique include:  Qatar, India, Malta, Togo, Kuwait, Latvia, Jordan, Peru, Belgium, Rwanda, Botswana, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Hungary & Trinidad and Tobago.

I would have thought my biggest audience would be from Canada but the top 10 rankings are as follows:

1. United States
2.  Canada
3.  United Kingdom
4. Gabon
5.  Singapore
6.  Germany
7.  Qatar
8.  India
9.  South Africa
10.  Brazil

(By the way, the USA visits double the Canadian.  I’m disappointed in my countrymen!) 

Anyways, I LOVE this new addition to the stats page.  Bravo WordPress, Bravo!

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Where would you live?

11 03 2012

Given our current state of affairs, Joe and I have been talking a lot about where we’d like to live.  Of course there are a lot of factors out of our control but if we had the chance to move anywhere in the world, where would we choose?

My dreams are big and thankfully you don’t have to worry about money in dreams!

New York City

Broadway, shopping, culture, museums and an endless amount of amazing restaurants to explore.

Indonesia 

(You already knew about this one!)

Beautiful beaches & islands, friendly people, great food, tropical climate and having so many travel opportunities in the palm of our hands.

Cape Town, South Africa

We LOVED Cape Town and I’d love to have a house on a cliff overlooking the water.

Amsterdam

Canals, bicycles and European living.

Sydney, Australia

Fun-loving Aussies, beaches, parks & great weather.

I could easily call any one of these places my home for a year or 2!

What about you?  Where are your dream living destinations?

(Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)





I’ve Expanded My Phrase Book

9 03 2012

I’ve acquired some new phrases that regularly pop up in daily life.

Sometimes I hear myself saying them and wonder how I got here.

What a difference 20 months can make.

1.  I’m outside your house but I can’t find your guard.  Can you let me in?

2.  How deep is the water on that road?  Like, will I make it through?

3.  I asked my guard if the bananas in the yard were ready to cut down but he said no.  I’ll give you some when he thinks they’re good to go.

4.  The mosquito men are coming and the maid leaves at 10:30 so I have to stay home.

5.  Shit – Joe, there’s a cockroach in here.

6.  It is so HOT today.  (This is everyday right now.)

7.  Edgar, (our relief guard) you are not on vacation here.  Wake up, put your shirt on, turn the music down and let me sit beside my pool in peace.


Ok… I didn’t say that last one but I think about it every, single Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!





#FEBphotoaday – Photo Challenge

29 02 2012

About a month ago I stumbled upon a photo-a-day challenge set up by this blogger.

Basically, she created a list of photo prompts for you to follow and then post your photos on Instagram (an iPhone app,) Twitter, Facebook or even just to keep them for yourself.  It’s nothing life changing but it’s fun and a neat way of capturing some of the ‘little’ things in day to day life.  (And it gave me a chance to play with my newly downloaded Instagram.)

I thought I’d share a few with you…

1 - Your view today

7 - Button (on my favorite jeans)

10 - Self Portrait (unhappy in traffic)

13 - Blue

16 - Something New (a gift for my maid who is now on maternity leave)

17 - Time (and reflections)

23 - Your shoes (before my morning walk)

28 - Money

If you want to play along in March, check out the new challenge below and find full instructions here.

** If you want to follow me on Instagram, my username is cjstjohn.**






The Vacuum

22 02 2012

Or “l’aspirateur” as the French call it.

(Photo Credit via)

The vacuum is a fairly common appliance in the North American household but not in the typical African household (along with clean running water and electricity so I suppose it makes sense.)  I pulled it out when training my menagère as sweeping can be so arduous not to mention all the little bits that get left between the cracks of our wooden floors.  She looked at it with horror and terror in her eyes.

I quickly pulled out the cord, put everything together, turned it on and did a brief demonstration before abruptly handing it over to her to give it a whirl.  She abruptly handed it back to me and asked me to show her again, this time a bit slower.  After another orientation with the vacuum, she decided she was ready to give it a try although she did ask me to stay close and watch her for a bit just to make sure everything went alright.  I hadn’t even thought how foreign this might be to her.

I watched her that first morning slowly and timidly pushing the vacuum around wondering if she’d ever feel comfortable using it or if it would go back in the cupboard never to be touched again.  Each week she pulled it out and after some practise, she was quick and confident.

Last week she went on maternity leave but beforehand she gave her replacement a tour of the house and a brief rundown as to how she organised her week.  When she got to the vacuum, she pointed at it, giggled a bit and told me I’d have to give another demonstration.  Round 2 went a bit better but I’m sure they both think we’re crazy for lugging around this big, noisy thing when there’s a broom just around the corner.

 





Spring Travel

18 02 2012

When life gets us down, we plan a trip.  It’s the easiest way to pull yourself out of a funk and it gives us something to look forward to.

So… we’re heading to SPAIN!

We'll start off in Barcelona.

And then we'll head to Valencia.

We'll rent a car and head South to visit places like Granada and maybe Seville.

And we'll end our stay in Spain with a few days in Madrid.

Before we return to Gabon, we'll spend a weekend in Paris.

 We depart 2 months from now and we’ll spend 2.5 glorious weeks abroad.

Have you been to Spain?  Recommendations are welcome!

(Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)





Weekend Recap

5 02 2012

This started out as one of those weekends where we had a lot going on.  We had a dinner out on Friday with a group of friends, games night at our house on Saturday with another group of friends and then Joe’s commuting colleagues coming over on Sunday for a homecooked meal and the Gabon vs Mali quarterfinal game.  With the exception of the Friday night dinner, everything else ended up cancelling at the last minute which left us with a nice relaxing weekend at home.

We started our own game night with Joe figuring out how to play Backgammon and then teaching me.

Sunday was spent reading and having a beer poolside before heading in to watch the Gabon vs Mali quarterfinal game.  We’ve let the guard off an hour and a half early to go and watch the game, barred the gate and are enjoying a halftime snack in the still scoreless game.