Rentree, new routine
The rentree feel like ages ago already, but hope it went well and you are in a groove with a new routine. As for mine… well, a bit of background first…My son had a particularly tough time making friends in our first year here. This worried us and put a damper on how things would be this rentree, as he was quite teary and blue on the plane home. The universe heard our prayers and we were fortunate enough to be put in touch with two new families brand new to Abidjan with boys in the same grade as mine
We scrambled to get all three boys to meet before the start of school. This little rencontre did my son a world of good. He made two new friends in the comfort of a family setting, and on the first day of school was happy to find his new buddies on the playground. This was the spark that brought back his smile and confidence. He finally has found his place at school with his buddies. I have no doubt he will have a great year. Thank you, Universe!
As for me, I started working full time :) To facilitate this change, we upgraded the home logistics with a second fridge (which we bought at GIFI,) as I now do a big grocery shop on Thursdays. So far so good! A great investment!
Here are two venues I can report back on:
The Cercle de la voile had a porte ouvert beginning October. It's situated just behind Yopougon, so a bit of a drive, but totally worth it, we had a ball!! The boys went out on the smaller boats (optimistes) which they navigated themselves. (It’s cornered off with buoys about 250m out,) and then the 4 of us went on the catamaran with a guide. Lunch was included in the price and we were home for around 4pm. It was a great day! There is a WhatsApp group, but check them out here...
Maison de la Crepe We finally tried this little gem in Zone 4 - And we found it just as you would in Normandy- with checked table cloths, cider glasses and cutlery to match. They serve all the crepes you can imagine, sweet and savoury, along with imported ciders to make a cute Sunday lunch.
Us on the Catamaran at Cercle de la Voile and what a vertical garden can look like with Potager M'badon
Potager M'badon. Run by the lovely Caroline and Stephan, we are learning how to cultivate and grow a small veggie garden in Abidjan. The lessons are well structured and interesting. We have successfully sprouted spinach, lettuce and tomatoes... Stephan and Caroline's gentle encouragement keeps our curiosity going despite our flops and failures, (if you know, you know 😉) Caroline hosts the classes in a lovely open green space, and my boys love the morning out, with their fingers in the sand learning about nature. Check them out if you are looking for things to do on a Saturday morning with your kids.
Dinners and more dinners (Not that I am complaining)
We have been invited to many, MANY dinners- in different and separate social circles. As a married couple we are finding this wonderful! We have cultivated a social life quite quickly. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming with an "anything goes" kind of attitude, which is so refreshing coming out of pandemic life. Are you hosting dinner parties these days? What's on your menu and how are you finding it?
On the weekends, you'll find me at the Equinox pool doing laps. I like to keep my body fit, so when an hour or so becomes available - I throw on my costume and head for the pool. I am getting stronger and stronger, and for 6000 CFA for the day it's worth it. If I have extra time I may do a bit of treadmill, but for the most part, it's just laps. I love it!! Come and join me!
(Goggles and a swimming cap are easily found at Decathlon)
Week day activities
The boys are still enjoying their afternoon activities, this semester they are doing:
Tennis at Ivoire Golf Club
Horse riding at the Poney Club du Golf
Athletics and roller skating organized at their school.
We continue to be invited to a lot of birthday parties. I try to stock up on 10 000 CFA-or-less gifts to keep on hand, as last-minute invitations arrive regularly. We find lots of cute things at FNAC and the Casino at Cap Sud. If you know of any good shops that sell quality goodies, please let us know!!
One last little bit...
New food on the menu
Sweet Potato Fritters, Lentils and rice
As of the rentrée, we eat lentils! I'm not sure how I did it, but here we are! We eat ours in a tomato-based sauce much like a bolognaise with rice and a BBQ and apricot jam sauce. We eat this once a week and for now, it's still a happy item on my week-day rotation.
We still keep a giant Tupperware of fruit salad in the fridge- I tried with dragon fruit - but alas, no cigar, the boys didn't take to it
Sweet potato hash browns / fritters
Also a nice add in the rotation... they crisp nicely with little oil and they go very, very fast and are easy to cook!!
There we are! All my news! Now that I have a new routine going and feel more settled in my job, look out for my posts, I'll be posting!