internet marketing The Big Sis Diaries: September 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Funny/cute pic of the week

This animal is called a dik-dik (if you don't know what that is, don't worry, a page wasn't ripped out of your animal book when you were a baby- we didn't know what they were either until we saw one). They're very small- this little guy is actually an adult. We saw one on safari in Kenya, and other than that I don't know much about them, except for one interesting little fact: our safari driver told us that they never drink- they get all of their fluids from the foods they eat!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Thought it might be time for a weekly update, so here's the run-down of life in my family:

Kristian is doing fall ball, a casual baseball program which consists of about two games a week. He's also doing cello and his school orchestra, and will be starting fencing soon. The only thing Carsten is currently doing is soccer, which is one practice and one game a week, but he'll start floor hockey soon. I am in the marching band, which is pretty time-consuming, as well as three clubs including International Club. I am also doing a flute ensemble which has rehearsals once a week. Soon I'll start tennis lessons so that I can try out for the team in the spring, and I'll do winter track when the season starts after Thanksgiving. Don't ask me how I'll have time for all this- I haven't worked it out yet! All of this is aside from baby-sitting, which I do pretty frequently. I do love it though- the kids in the families I sit for are always angelic with me. I really hope my little sibling won't be a handful (or an armful?) when he/she arrives. Nevertheless I know I'll love helping out, as much work as I know it will be.

Oh, and of course I have to make time to watch the new seasons of all the shows I love! I'll admit it- I love America's Next Top Model.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Canada 2006

Another day without much homework. Wow. What IS this? I guess it makes up for the ridiculous day I had last week where I had to play at a football game until 7:30, then had to come home to a Mount Everest-size pile of homework including three quizzes to study for the next day. Anyway, using this precious gift of time to its full potential, I've decided to take the time to post some pictures of our Lake Erie trip in August.

Okay, I know there are none of me. I was
there yet somehow I didn't wind up in any pictures! Just as well though- I'm not very photogenic. Good thing I don't plan to be stalked by the paparazzi anytime soon.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

ANOTHER amazing video

I have to make a confession: I am addicted to YouTube. But you have to amit, it's pretty incredible how you can search for anything, specific as it may be, and something will come up. On a whim I put in "african babies" not expecting much of anything. Much to my surprise, a video came up of what looks like babies in an Ethiopian (or at least African) orphanage! Words can't describe how adorable the babies are, or how amazing it is for me to see up close (in a way) the kind of place my baby is, or will be, living in. I guess you'll just have to see it for yourself:
For those of you who have you recognize this as one of the orphanages in Ethiopia?

Funny/cute pic of the week

For our family, an adventure is adopting a baby from Ethiopia. For a kitten, it's exploring a shower.

(Picture taken a few weeks after bringing Coco and Fifi home)

This week I truly discovered just how amazing it is the way your thoughts are firmly molded by what's going on in your life at the moment. Between International Club, marching band, a load of homework, tests and quizzes to study for, and just keeping up with my social life, adoption has been the furthest thing from my memory- as unbelievable as it seems. I don't feel that this detracts at all from the excitement I feel when I do think about it- in fact, the reminder of our baby in Ethiopia makes my day a little brighter. As high schooler, my life is naturally insanely busy, which I like as long as I can handle it. I know we'll get our referral before we can turn around, but as soon as we do...let's just say I'm sure I'll have to try extra hard to focus in class!

Oh, and another thing- my mom ordered "There is No Me Without You", the book that has been recommended to me numerous times by numerous sources. I haven't started it yet, but I'm already looking forward to it! I promise to update periodically on how I'm liking it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Susanna for VP

I just wanted to say that I've been elected vice president of our school's International Club this year! I'm happy for many reasons, but aside from the fact that it will look pretty good on college applications in the future, the best aspect of my "inauguration" is the involvement I will now have in this fantastic club. The whole idea of the club is to learn about other countries and cultures, so of course it draws in many interesting people. This year we have people who have lived in five of the seven continents (no one from Australia and obviously no one from Antarctica, but that would be very interesting!) That includes Africa- there is a boy from Ghana in the club. Throughout the year, we hold fundraisers to support children in other countries, have presentations done by the members on countries they are in some way connected to, and of course eat lots of great ethnic food :-)! Last year I presented on Norway, since I was my father is from there and we visit very often (I was actually born in Oslo and lived there until I was three- the boys and I maintain our connection by speaking Norwegian fluently with our father at home and with our relatives when we visit.)

Anyway, I've decided to present on Ethiopia this year, after we come home (I'm even thinking of bringing in my baby sibling that day!) I also hope to hold a drive at my school collecting various items the orphanage may need- pens, pencils, used clothes and toys, etc- which we will bring when we go. I'm so glad that I can be involved in such a phenomenal school activity which ties me closer to the wonderful cultures throughout the world, especially the country where my younger sibling has his roots.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Amazing Ethiopia video

I just found this on YouTube- a video of someone's trip to Ethiopia this year! It's amazing how one five-minute video can transport me to the country where my baby sibling lives. Definetely worth looking at!
*Note: The music is Ethiopian!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Our Africa Photos (click to make them bigger)

Since this is a very gloomy day (even though it IS Friday) and because we're in the middle of a particularly violent downpour, I have decided to post some pictures of a much sunnier, warmer, (and okay, more interesting) place: AFRICA! Two weeks in Kenya equalled a lifetime of amazing memories (and pictures!) Just reflecting back on our adventure- we went to Nairobi, on safari, and to a beach resort near Mombasa- makes the fact that I'll be going to Ethiopia in a matter of months all the more thrilling. And this time, we'll bring back a sweet, adorable child, just like the ones we met on our last trip to Africa(left.)

*Pictures (from top): Carsten, Kristian and I taking a break on safari in Lake Nakuru; Kristian riding an ostrich on an ostrich farm just outside of Nairobi (we also ate a piece of one at a restaurant in the same day!); Kristian and I interracting with the children of the Masaai tribe; an elephant in the Masaai Mara national park; the women of the Masaai tribe singing and dancing to a typical womens' tribal dance; Kristian petting a cheetah in the Animal Orphanage in Nairobi (don't worry, Kristian was completely safe- the cheetah he was petting was raised by, and therefore completely used to, humans); the city of Nairobi; the men of the Masaai tribe in a jumping competition/dance; a lion in the Masaai Mara; a giraffe in the Masaai Mara; kids from the Masaai tribe crowding around me (they were intrigued by my blonde hair); another picture of the Masaai outside of their huts.

Monday, September 11, 2006

SABA- Susanna's Africa Book Awards

Since I have very little homework today (to give you an idea of how rare this is, think about the frequency of a solar eclipse) I have decided to use my free time to compile a list of must-read books.

Ever since my family started preparing for our trip to Kenya (December 2004) I have had a mild obsession with books about Africa. Since we are adopting a child from this continent, it is not far-fetched to say that my craving for these stories is all the more prevalent. So here are a few that I have either read or plan to read in the future:

The Flame Trees of Thika- Elspeth Huxley
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight- Alexandra Fuller
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency series- Alexander McCall Smith
Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe (I'm reading this one now and so far it's great!)
Born Free- Joy Adamson
Out of Africa- Karen Blixen
My Life With the Chimpanzees- Jane Goodall

I know that there are many more enthralling Africa stories out there I have yet to discover. Please, any suggestions will be much welcomed!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Funny/cute pic of the week

When I see this picture, I really can't imagine why I actually want another younger sibling.

(The credit of causing the tornado in my room does go to the kitties though. Sorry, boys.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Funny/cute pic of the week

Here we are in San Francisco April 2004. The orange skeleton-guy literally crept up behind my mom and grabbed her shoulder. I guess in San Francisco, you don't have to wait till Halloween to dress up and scare people!

Daily Drama

If you're looking for some humor in your day, I have a funny story to tell (though of course we didn't exactly burst out laughing at the time.)

We have family friends visiting from Massachusetts for the weekend- two adults and their two kids, a boy and a girl around the boys' ages. It had been raining off and on the day they came, and we were in the middle of a particularly big downpour when we went out to dinner. Well, halfway through, the power went out in the restaurant, but luckily we had our food by that time, and the place emptied considerably so it was actually kind of nice.

When we got home, though, the power was out in our house. We couldn't get in through the garage and no one had a key, so we were locked out in the rain. My dad ended up breaking off the screen of a window, climbing in and opening the door for us. As if that little story wasn't bad enough, our street was the only one in town without power until about a half hour ago- meaning that we didn't have power for nearly 24 hours. Living without electricity for a full day is harder than it seems! I must have instictively flipped light switches about 20 times, and cooking and warm showers were luxuries we all sorely missed. The worst, for my parents anyway, was not being able to have coffee- my dad had to run out and get some the second he woke up.

How do those Ethiopians live????

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