Archive for the ‘Coffee Guy’ Category

I made a deal with God, which, you really never should do. My deal? I’ll move to Burundi IF…. we see a house we could live in while on this trip. Please God, please God, PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSSSEEEEEE! Ok, so maybe that’s begging, not dealing. I never have been really good at making deals. I was the girl on the playground that started trading marbles and ended up with zero in the end. My brothers and I used to “trade” baseball cards, which really meant that they shoved my head between their armpit and their forearm and shouted, “Give it!” Which, not only traumatized me, but left me with zero negotiating skills. My brothers have instilled in me a belief that has served me well in my nine years in Africa, “If you have something someone else wants, they could beat you up for it. So, watch yourself!”

Anyway, we woke up on morning four ready to hunt some house. Hunt we did. After trudging through the rain over pot holed roads to house after house after house… I began to re-negotiate my one-sided deal with God. “Ok God, maybe if we could just see something that slightly resembles the type of house where LIGHT streams through the windows and the bathroom tiles aren’t pink and the furniture isn’t a complete disaster.” We didn’t. We didn’t see a place that we would live in all day. We don’t want some grand old house either, we just want a simple house where light actually comes through the windows and the yard has space for growing boys to build a tree house and where there’s space to grow some veggies. Nothing major. No luck.

We did visit some friends of our South African hosts, Jesse and Joy, who live in our-kind-of-place, so there is hope. I ended up shooting a newborn session of their new baby Elliot while we were there. Isn’t he adorable?

We also looked at places to have our wee ones educated. We had good luck there. There are two schools that look good enough to pass our super duper high educational standards. An english speaking school run by the English (duh) and a french speaking school run by Belgiums (huh?). So, our kids will either shout “Hiya!” or “Bonjour!” Or maybe “Hiya! Bonjour! Howzit.” Howzit is a South African staple. I love South Africa, have I mentioned that? Once or twice? Maybe?

Our South African hosts were so great. They drove us to all these crazy houses and places and ended the day with us at Bujumbura’s only coffee house, Aroma. Here’s a video of Coffee Guy chatting away as we drive along. Prepare to be seasick.

Next? Hold onto your hats, I’m taking you to Zanzibar… if we don’t die on the way, but that’s tomorrow’s story. If I did die, then I’m truly a ghost writer (hah!). Ok, I’ll stop now.




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Hi there.

Coffee Guy is MCing this event for like the bah-zillionth time in a row. He always comes home after its over with no voice. It’s so much fun to hang out with the Durban baristas and shop owners as they compete for the regionals win. I used to be a Durban coffee shop owner, but I gladly opted out two years ago and picked up a camera instead. I still cheer hard for the guys though!

This is Dirk. We taught him how to make coffee when he was just a baby. Now he’s a big shot.

See, big shot.

Smiling while the judges look on. Acting like a… big shot.

Fancy pants big shot… Here’s his “coffee daddy” and current boss, lookin’ nervous for him.

Yeah, enough with the big shots. How about tuckered out babies!

And pretty coffee equipment!

And coffee…

View em all (oh yeah, there’s more!) on Flickr.


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We’ve not only had the Chicken Pox, we’ve had a serious case of the cranks and our CRAPS have been off the charts! My CRAPS are down to about a two on the very prestigious Crankiness Rate Awareness Positioning System (CRAPS), of which I am the author. The CRAPS operate on a sliding 1-10 scale. One being little to no cranks on your CRAPS, ten being your CRAPS are plumb loaded with cranks. Variables include, but are not limited to: 

Amount of sleep procured in a 24 hour period

Amount of times edges of the mouth turn upward in a 24 hour period

Amount of times escape diversion from those infected with a worse case of the cranks than you is possible

Here’s what cured my case of the cranks and brought my CRAPS right down. It began last night with a hug from my friend Jo and supper with her adorable family at their FATY. Then…

Coffee Guy spent the morning with the kids and sent me away to a beautiful spa. This is the road leading up to the spa. I saw these trees and this road and my CRAPS began an immediate downward spiral.

Then I came home to this, and that was just fine. Believe it or not, his CRAPS are down too! Soon we won’t even need the CRAPS because we’ll be so happy.


Mrs. Crank

author and creator of the CRAPS system, patent pending

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The last time we got family photos taken Myles was still in diapers and Neo did not exist. The amazingly talented Krystal Muellenberg changed all that for us! She even managed to shoot most of our session with her almost two-year old Chase strapped to her back! Now that’s talent! We were so glad she brought her kids along, they were a great distraction for our two and we all just relaxed and played around.

The thing about Krystal is she’s not only talented and knowledgable… she is humble and incredibly nice. She let me follow her around while she shot this wedding back in June, which was so much fun and such a learning experience. All those years in college that we knew each other, and were friends, but not great friends… wasted years!

You can view our full family session on Krystal’s blog. Here’s a sneak peek…

Thank you a million times over Krystal, our time with you was incredible! It was a joy to run around with you and your “crew” in downtown LaCrosse!

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