Monday, June 30, 2014

More About Babies.

Often babies are carried on the backs of their mothers. Elmer is very fascinated by this, since elephant babies are typically forced to walk due to their large size. As we mentioned before, in Malawi, women use a cloth called a chitenje to wrap their babies on their backs. My sister's students came over one day to help Elmer and I learn more about baby carrying. 
 Can you find Elmer in this photo? 

He likes the ride!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Corn. It's Called Maize.

People grow corn all over Malawi. They call it maize. Americans like to grill our corn and eat it off the cob. Malawians wait to pick it until it is very brown and dry. 

Then they make corn flour. You can see it drying here on mats. It is also a good picture to notice clothes drying on the line. Nobody here has electric dryers, but the sun is always bright and dries the clothes. 

On Top of the World

Elmer was a little bit nervous about using hammocks so close to the cliff. Susan and I enjoyed them though. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Elephant Ears!

Elmer has officially found his favorite plant. This gigantic green leaf is referred to as an "elephant ear." 

Climbing a Mountain

Malawi is a country full of mountains. Elmer wanted to brag that he made it to the top of one of the mountains, but I reminded him that riding in a backpack is a bit easier than climbing. 

This mountain where we spent two nights looks over Lake Malawi. Some people say that a view is pretty. I am going to use a better word, kindergarten friends. The view was gorgeous or perhaps you might say stunning

Elmer thought perhaps we might see a lion or a cheetah on our hike. He knows from our trip to the zoo this year that they are both African animals. However, since they do not roam these parts of Malawi, we settled on another member of the cat family. (The common household cat). 

Hiking Buddies!

I wish I knew more about plant names. I can tell you this though, flowers are different in a tropical climate, where it is usually warm all year. You often see very large bright blooms on trees. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Where We Are.

Elmer and I are having many adventures, and we are both learning a lot. It takes time to get things on the internet here, but you will hear about it all in time! For now, Elmer is pleased to be settled in at my sister's house. Some Malawian people do not have electricity or running water, but her house has both. There is no hot water though, so we boil water for cooking and bathing. 
My sister and Elmer outside her house. 

Elmer enjoys playing in the front yard. The fence is homemade out of long grass. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welcome to Malawi!

Elmer was very tired after his long journey, but we both finally made it to Malawi. We immediately set off traveling and hiking, so there has been no internet connection. We are now at my sister's house, and Elmer and I will be updating his blog much more frequently. 

Malawian women carry their babies on their backs. They use an African skirt wrapped around them that is called a chitenje. They also often carry water on their heads.

Boys do not wear chitenjes, but Elmer wanted to try it out anyway. 

One stop in England!

When you have a very far way to travel, you often have to stop in different countries along the way. Since Elmer had never been to Europe, he was nearly giddy with the idea of spending 10 hours in the London airport. He wanted to look at all the gift shops and learn as much as he could about the British people who live there!

Peeking out of a tote bag with the British flag. It says "Keep calm and carry on," but Elmer is already the calmest elephant I know. 

I told him all about the guards at the Palace in London. They wear funny tall hats just like these ducks have on. Elmer thought he would make a good guard. 

And, of course, we saw the British flag. It has the same colors as the USA flag, red, white, and blue. Of course, the pattern is very different. 

No trip to London is complete without a cup of tea! British people love to have tea time. No coffee for them!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Elmer Flies Off!

Elmer was excited to see the airplane and know that we were finally going to be on our way. We had to get on three different airplanes to get to Malawi. It was a long way, and we were on the airplanes for a very long time. 

Lucky for us, the airplane has a little TV to watch. Elmer REALLY wanted to see Frozen. I was amazed he already knew all the words! (I'm guessing he watched it several times during his weekend trips in kindergarten!!) 
 After the movie, Elmer got very tired. He had no problem falling asleep with his eye mask and pillow! 
When you go on a long airplane ride, the stewardess serves you a meal. Elmer helped me smear jelly on the croissant for breakfast. See the little tray? It folds down from the seat in front of you so you can eat!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elmer Hits the Airport!

He's ready to go! Elmer has a safe place to travel. 

While Elmer waited for the first flight, he reviewed and updated his blog. 

Then he called all his friends in the USA for the last time before he left. 

It's important to have your ticket while you travel. 

Elmer checked out all the other passengers. 

Eventually, Elmer began to get bored and started to do headstands in the waiting area.