My Recent Publications

Two of my articles were published recently."Bujumbura: Tropical Paradise on the Rebound." Go to State Magazine and click on the December 2009 issue. Go to page 24 and start reading about Bujumbura!"Language Lost and Found," in Foreign Service Journal on page 76. It's about the benefits of learning the local language when you move overseas....more

What I Eat While Pregnant

I have celiac disease, I live in Africa, and now on top of that I'm navigating the world of eating for two. The gluten-free part is easy. The lack of variety here is my big challenge. I haven't really had cravings, but I've had some very strong aversions, which makes the lack of variety even more challenging. Like every expectant woman I want to make sure the baby and I are getting enough of everything that we need....Read the full post at What I Eat....more

And Then the Stomach Bug

I've been struggling all week to come up with something positive or at least novel and interesting to write about. But I'm at a loss. It's been a week of ho-hum to not-so-great.I had a stomach bug that kept me couched on Monday and Tuesday. When I was finally feeling good enough, stomach-wise, to drag myself to work, I was overcome by the aches and discomfort of pregnancy, which everyone assures me is normal but that doesn't make it any less annoying.......more

Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.

It may seem like a post about a restaurant in Washington, D.C., where I haven't lived for over a year, comes from out of the blue (ha ha!). But I read at Obama Foodorama that the Obamas recently went to Blue Duck Tavern to celebrate their wedding anniversary and it brought back memories of Mike and me dining there. During our last week in the States we wanted to treat ourselves to some of the finer points of American life....more

30-Day Fitness Challenge Day Twenty: Disco Is Alive and Well

I watched Saturday Night Fever on Friday night for the first time in years and I’ve hardly been able to sit still since then. There’s a brand-new “disco” playlist on my ipod that’s been playing nonstop. I love this movie. In college my roommate and I watched it all the time. In fact, I just recently decided it was time to replace the worn-out VHS tape that I’ve been watching all this time (I graduated college ten years ago) and recently bought the new-ish 30th anniversary DVD. ...more

30-Day Fitness Challenge Day Seventeen: Two Days in a Row

Ouch. That was all I could say at the start of my run this morning. Yesterday morning I told myself that if I could get up and run under the conditions of too much food and drink and not enough sleep the night before, then I could get up and run under any conditions. So what choice did I have but to get up and run for the second day in a row. Consecutive running days is another feat I haven’t accomplished in several years. ...more

30-Day Fitness Challenge Day Sixteen: The Four Miler

This morning I ran four miles. It’s been a long time since I ran that distance. I’ve been sticking to two- or two-and-a-half-mile runs, maybe three miles if I’m feeling good, for several years. Many moons ago, I was a longer-distance runner. From eighth grade through college graduation I ran the 3K, 5K, and 10K races for my track and cross country teams. After college I continued running for a few years and made my way up to a couple half marathons. ...more

30-Day Fitness Challenge Day Thirteen: The Mud Run

It doesn't seem like I'm that close to the halfway point, but Monday was Day Thirteen. And it was a good day. I was on a high. After some dismal days last week, I bounced back on Saturday with the best tennis I've ever played. (That's not saying much, since I'm not very good, but I'm so happy to be improving.) I was tired after the tennis so Sunday was a low-impact recovery day with some arms work and some abs work. ...more

Zara Tanzania Adventures

Overall, we had a sucessful Tanzania adventure with Zara Tanzania Adventures. We did their thirteen day Kilimanjaro trek (via the Machame, or Whiskey, route) and Serengeti safari package. We made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and we saw the "Big Five" (plus dozens of other wonderful animals) on safari. But there were a few times when we thought, "This could be better." ...more

30-Day Fitness Challenge Days Four Through Nine: Bitten by Two Bugs

It may sound odd to say that one of the bugs I've been bitten by is the writing bug, when I haven't posted any content on any blogs for a whole week. My writing has been offline and I've also been seriously considering how to go about writing full-time. My job will only last for a few more months and do I really feel like going back to another office? We'll have to wait and see.  ...more