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harvest holiday

Today is Umuganura – Rwanda’s National Harvest Day. Even though it typically falls on the first Friday in August, the government did not confirm the public holiday until this week, meaning that we got an unexpected but much appreciated day off.

scarlet-chested sunbird

D has to go in for a slate of afternoon meetings, so he only got the morning off, but there’s still the bonus of a late lie-in. Or, more accurately, there would have been if Munchkin hadn’t gotten up with the sun and spent a solid hour crying over a series of deeply hurtful slights and personal insults, such as S changing his diaper and then refusing to let him put the dirty one back on.

His occasional early morning and late evening shenanigans notwithstanding, it seems that Munchkin has acclimated well to the move. At the very least, he and our housekeeper/nanny quickly have become as thick as thieves. “Where’s Kate?” was the first thing Munchkin asked D one morning, rubbing sleep out of his eyes, followed by “Where’s mama?”

Two weeks into their relationship, there is already evidence of cross-cultural integration. Kate informed us one evening that Munchkin is a good eater and that she had fed him a big bowl of yogurt and kasha just before we had come home. She also said that he liked being golyi and spent half the day running around naked. While she has picked up some of Munchkin’s Russian vocabulary, he has reciprocated by adopting some of her customs. This morning not only did he attempt to dip his toast into S’s tea, but also he asked why there was no milk in it.

As for us, we’ve stopped thinking in terms of how settled we feel, partly because work has been too busy to allow time for such idle speculation. D has plunged headfirst into his portfolio, while S, who also started work this week, has had only four days to learn the ropes before her boss went on vacation, leaving her nominally in charge. This is the first time in our three tours overseas that S has had a job lined up before we arrived at post, and while we are definitely thankful that she has found excellent employment, having both of us out all day obviously makes it more difficult to get the house in order.

purple-banded sunbird

That’s why we are extra thankful for this unanticipated holiday – for the opportunity to spend an extra day with Munchkin and enjoy a lazy morning bird watching in our back yard.

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