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1. Captured in the wild.
Considering bébé Ndeye is now seven months old, we decided it was time to have some family photos with all four us taken. We were able to get one of Ashley‘s very last photo session slots before she leaves Dakar. I’ve only seen the sneak preview above, but love that it truly captures our family at this stage in life. Plus many of my family photos growing up were taken in front of banana trees, so that’s a special touch that’s significant to me.

2. Loo wax?
Wolof immersion has begun. Our apartment is now a ‘try saying it in Wolof first’ zone, which means all day long I’m asking people what they just said to me, “Loo wax?” and to speak more slowly, “Waxal ndank.” But it’s working and my Wolof is slooowly coming back and getting stronger.

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3. Pumpkin-n-spice, and everything is nice.
My friend Jane surprised me with a bag of pumpkin spice coffee that is perfect for drinking by the Christmas tree (yes, it’s already up.) as I de-groggify myself in the morning. When it’s 80 degrees out, you do what you can to create holiday spirit!

4. Water.
We have it! Enough said.

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5. Shopping.
Lots and lots of shopping. The biggie for me is this weekend’s Christmas Bazaar put on by the Dakar Women’s Group. But so many other good shopping events this time of year!

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6. Listening.
Every morning after breakfast, as a family we take a couple minutes to stop and listen to what God has to say to us. Sometimes it’s clear and big, sometimes it’s quiet or we don’t hear anything. But it all gets written down in this notebook.

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7. Fruit & veggies.
Along with cooler temperatures come a wider variety of produce. Melons, green beans, papayas the size of my melon and more…

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8. Monday morning dates.
It’s on the calendar for each week. No matter how tired we are from wild parties kids waking us up or how many things on our to-do lists for the week, Monday morning is either a coffee date or brunch date for us.

9. Electricity.
We have it! Enough said.

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10. Jeans.
Cool season is arriving and we welcome it with open arms and legs covered in denim.

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11. Frozen and packed solid.
My freezer, that is. We’ll be celebrating with a small crew of friends, but the meal is still, of course, a full-on production. Just the way I like it! So my lists are going, my shopping and prep started and my freezer is getting filled to the brim with everything that can be done in advance.

12. Naps.
Not for me, don’t be silly. Kid naps. At the same time. Like they are doing right now. Which means I can actually type this whole post in one sitting.

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13. Do you dashiki?
I’m a little lot obsessed with dashiki wax print fabric these days. And I got a little more obsessed when I found out it’s in short supply in Dakar markets. I’m like a dashiki hoarder now. Interesting tidbit: Locally this print is called addisébé, because the style comes from Ethiopia. (According to my tailor.)

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14. Baskets.
These are one of Senegal’s best inexpensive treasures. Good for storing toys, piling in laundry, keeping bread fresh, organizing junk… Love them.

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15. Soup’s on!
I made a giant vat of roasted vegetable soup. Onions, green onions, carrots, butternut, sweet potato, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peas, red beans, blackeyed peas, corn, celery and herbs. Pape had three bowls in one sitting.

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16. This kid.

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17. And this one.