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December, 2010:

Statistics Solum 2010

The Solum domain received over 18.000 visitors in 2010, equal to about 50 a day. They downloaded nearly 5 TB from the site which is mainly due to visitors looking at photographs. About 50% of all traffic came from the Netherlands, 35% from extensions that cannot be traced to country (e.g. .com and .net) and the remainder from other countries. Russia (??), Germany and Belgium are leading but other regulars like UK, Canada, France, Israel, and of course Tanzania are following. The last two months were exceptionally busy. Therefore, my advice to anyone wanting visitors on his/her website : Have a baby.

Statistics Solum per month in 2010

Christmas dinner

No preparation of consumables this year, a swim and a pizza at Mediterraneo.

happy travels


As you probably concluded from the lack of posts – we’re a bit busy. It seems it doesn’t matter too much if you have a lady cleaning the house, a lady watching your toddler and, as of today for 3 weeks, a cook coming in once a week to cook up 3 dishes in less than 3 hours: life is still incredibly busy with 2 young children. Three cheers for single parents, like my mother was and Cecilia is.

Besides busy and hot and sticky, we’re okay. Miko’s heat rash is finally subsiding. The doctor was not impressed with us flying her over after 2 weeks. If only Miko had decided to join us a little earlier it may all have been a bit easier. Anyway, she seems to be settling into a routine of sleeping the whole morning, wailing in the afternoon and sleeping in the evening and at night. I try to go to bed early, meaning we wake up twice to feed her, once around midnight and once around 4 a.m. We have a new mattress so in between feeds I sleep like a log – yeah!

Tarek seems to have finally readjusted to life here. No more wailing when he has to leave my side or go to bed. No more refusing to speak Swahili and no more ordering people who speak Swahili to ‘Noooo …. Speak English!’  He still requires a lot of attention, he’s a toddler after all. So Hein and I are perpetually tired and sigh with relieve when Leonarda appears at 7:30 in the morning. For Tarek we actually have more people than Leonarda helping us. As you may remember Tarek is in love with Alfons, our once-a-week gardener. Currently Alfons is filling in for the head askari Niko, meaning he spends every day on the compound. Five days of guarding and two days of gardening. And 7 days of playing with Tarek. Currently, Darren the 12 year old son of our neighbour, is home from boarding school for the holidays …. even more fun for Tarek. Those two have become friends across generations. They play football together, draw together, sit in hammocks together and … (‘Darren boek lezen?’) read books together.

friends reading

Quick quick

Hein is in Nairobi for 4 days. That’s just great when you’re stuck at home with a 3.5 week old baby with a heat rash and a 2 year old toddler that’s got separation anxiety. As soon as Hein left this morning Tarek tried to hit Miko on the head with a miniature London bus. But I was faster, nothing wrong with my reflexes just yet. Despite Tareks’ continuous ‘Maya this’ and ‘Maya that’ (he’d prefer me to be glued to him currently) we had a lovely dinner of French toast and soup, bath time went well and he’s now asleep. Like Miko is. I’ve done the dishes and cleaned up the living room.

This whole blog post is just a little pat on the back for myself: Well done Maya, you only lost your patience once and are now going off line in order to get some sleep.

Hot in Dar es Salaam

Miko is now three weeks. She has adapted quite well in the hot, humid air that now surrounds us. Quite a change compared with the dry cold weather 1 week ago. She has a heat rash and her eye is a bit fuzzy but overall she looks healthy, drinks loads of milk and and now weighs 3,8 kg (up 0,3 from birth). She also experienced her first traffic jam. We went to Oyster Bay and tried to buy as many consumables possible. Now the fridge looks pretty full. It is a shame we forgot to bring Crombach appelstroop as Tarek really likes it, so if anybody feels the urge to send a package….

Thanks to Cecilia and Leonarda the house was pretty clean upon our arrival. Today the last basic facility (internet) was restored, so we have a 100% working household again. Water was the major missing factor, the pump had to be replaced. The batteries of car and generator survived our stay in the Netherlands (!?).