Tag Archives: Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot: Home Sweet Sweet Potato



It’s always nice to go away, and it’s always nice to come home, especially when the garden is growin’. After getting home from our recent travels in South Africa, Alex and I began our first sweet potato harvest. We dug and dug, following long, reaching roots to their ends, where we found some sweet potatoes as small as cherry tomatoes and others as big as grapefruits.

Photo Cred to Alex.

Sunday Snapshot: Chilly in Chintsa



On an early morning walk on the beach in Chintsa, on the Wild Coast in South Africa, I faced into the rising sun, feeling a bit silly and a bit chilly in the wet, coastal winter air. Look for a post soon about our road trip from Cape Town to Durban.

Photo cred to my lovely husband, Alex Romanyshyn.

Sunday Snapshot: Life is Good on the Indian Ocean


The Indian Ocean was at peace this morning, turquoise and flat and calling my name. We hurried from our friend’s house with her two stand-up paddleboards, before any wind picked up over the water. We paddled with the beach to one side and the Bazaruto Archipelago to the other, watching a couple happy kids swimming, a group of women gathered together, men working on their boats.

We jumped in for a swim ourselves a couple of times and stopped to drift in the current some on the way back. As we look ahead to the coming year, we know we can always find peace and contentment in these waters.


Sunday Snapshots: School’s Out


I remember the first day of school in February, standing in front of my classes to sing the Mozambican National Anthem with butterflies in my stomach.

‘Those lines are really long,’ I remember thinking, looking out at my stretching lines of 8th graders, 50 or more to each class. I was scared; I had never worked with kids of this age, and certainly never in groups this big.

Now, I know all of their names, most of their personalities, and, for a few, I know about their families, their opinions, and their aspirations. I can recognize their voices when they call from the gate of our neighborhood. A number of them, we have seen six or seven days a week all year.

These students have challenged me and frustrated me. They have been 8th graders: crazy and loud and emotional and just plain mean. They have done strange things: plucking my blond hair from my head, grabbing my hand to examine my white skin, smelling my hair, and telling me I have beautiful legs.

For all these odd and angering moments, I am grateful to them. I have a long ways to go, but I am at least a bit stronger and tougher now. I have been challenged to find ways to manage a large classroom with limited resources and to encourage their confidence. I am more aware of where I need improvements as a teacher and of where my strengths are.

I am grateful too, for all the good things. These students have educated me: I understand a Mozambican classroom a bit more and I understand some of the problems these kids bring to school with them.

And they have surprised me , too, a few of them, with their eagerness to learn and to help, their curiosity, their silly nature, and their occasional appreciation.

So, I say goodbye to my first-ever classes as a teacher.

Até a proxima.






Sunday Snapshot: Sirius Twinkles


What is that? There, out toward the ocean, blinking red to blue to green.

It’s a satellite.

No. It’s not moving.

It’s the top of the nearby cell tower.

No. That’s further south. Not straight ahead.

We have no moon right now. And we have no running water in the house, ever. Brushing our teeth outside each night is both a habit of hygiene and ritual of watching how the night sky changes.

It’s Sirius. Bright. Right ahead. Twinkling. Changing colors above the line of palms.


I’ve never seen a star twinkle and change like that.

So, bed time can wait until we are satisfied by looking up at this big wide universe.

And suddenly there’s that feeling that I love, but haven’t felt in a while: the feeling of being so small, in comparison.



Photo Credits to Alex Romanyshyn


Sunday Snapshots: ‘Feliz Dia de Você Teacher.’


This past Wednesday, October 12, was Dia de Professores- Teacher’s Day- in Mozambique. We celebrated at the town center with teachers from all the schools in our town, students, and community members.

Each schools’ staff prepared a dance and a number of student groups performed songs and dances. Plus, we all got to wear really good-looking matching orange shirts (…ahem..) and received many special greetings for the day: kisses on the cheeks wishes of ‘Feliz dia de Você, Teacher.’

Happy ‘You Day,’ Teacher.


Singing and marching to the Town Center with a police escort.



Twelfth graders from our school performing a cultural dance.


Primary school cultural group performing a song and dance.


The exceptionally well-organized primary school staff having lots of fun dancing.

Performing a choreographed dance with our colleagues:


Sunday Snapshots: Peace, Love, and Baby Jane


I remembered this week that I went through a short phase here on Happily Lost of posting a Sunday Snapshot every week. I am not sure why I got out of the habit of the Sunday Snapshot, but I have decided to start up again. Without further ado, some happenings from this week:

This past Tuesday was Day of Peace in Mozambique. This is a national holiday to celebrate the signing of the Peace Accord on October 4, 1992, which put an end to the civil war that took place in Mozambique from 1977-1992. The political situation in Mozambique has been complicated for decades and conflict between the two main political parties continues, but Mozambicans want peace in their young country.

Our town held a Dia de Paz celebration at the town center and, not knowing quite what time it was to start, we ended up arriving near the end, just in time to hold hands and sway along with some colleagues to a peace song and then hang out with some Mapinhane kids for a bit.




Cleverly-made cars that many kids around town run around with. This one was extra special, sporting the Moz flag.

The next day, October 5, began Alex and my anniversary celebrations, which take place 3 days apart. On the 5th we celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary and on the 8th we celebrated 11 years of being together. I love October, and it is made even better by getting to kick-off the month each year with celebrations. The celebrations were simple and reminiscent: we looked at a lot of old pictures and wedding pictures and video and cooked crepes and butternut squash pasta and carrot cake on the charcoal stove (the gas ran out..). This year, the anniversaries came with a bit of extra emotion: happiness, of course, saudades for home and our normal Fall celebration, and a strange confusion that hit me as I realized how much our lives have changed in the 3 years since our wedding and in the 11 since we started out.

I remember how we started our wedding vows to each other: Our love is journey; from mountaintops to ocean floors; from childhood to adulthood; and from this day forward into the great unknown.


Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado.


Magaruque Island, Mozambique

Last but not least, our newest niece, Jane Kingsley, was born in Colorado on October 6 (October 7 in Moz 😉 ). She came a bit early and is an itty bitty thing at 5lbs 10oz. Like the anniversaries, the birth of Baby Jane brought with it a mix of joy and a bit of disbelief and a bit of sadness about not getting to meet her right away. But we sure are happy she’s here!

Welcome to the world Ms. Jane.