The Complete Tales

I like lists. I also like seeing the big picture of somebody’s blog at a glance, and getting an idea of their backstory quickly. I dislike hunting and pecking through loads of “older posts” to get this information. Especially when every click on the Internet here is precious; some days it takes 20 minutes to load a single page. By then I’ve usually forgotten what I was looking for.

I also dislike how blogs are organized in reverse chronological order. My husband tells me that’s the whole point. Well, call me old-fashioned, but I like to follow stories from beginning to end.

So for anybody else who’s like me, here’s the big picture and backstory of this particular blog. I’m listing the posts by general topic of interest and in chronological order. So there.

First, here are the unimaginatively-named original emails, including my naïve rose-colored perspective (which lasted a good 3-4 years, perhaps it was a wise strategy). Some of these early writings are a bit cringe worthy, but I promised a backstory, didn’t I, so here it is.

How life has continued (and changed) since then:

Anniversary compilations — for a quick read of how our year went (and mostly in pictures!):

About how food and cooking are extraordinarily different here:

About schools and my friend’s pen-pal project:

About teaching English:

About more impersonal/regional topics, like money or the weather (though still from a personal perspective):

About my 6-month exodus in Arizona (among other places) during Congo’s presidential election season (that we’re still waiting for) as well as our transition to becoming a Chinese-owned company:

About my philosophy (subject to change!) on replying to comments:

About other places in Congo we’ve been lucky enough to visit:

About our travels and vacations beyond Congo (where I’m woefully behind):


I have a friend who told me once she hadn’t kept up on reading my posts, but one day was planning to sit down with a cup of coffee and just plow through them all. I don’t know if she ever did, but at this point I’m afraid that would require way too many cups of coffee! This list, I hope, can help someone like her ease into a much less overwhelming subset of stories. (And it also helps me keep track of what I have and have not already written about… call me old-fashioned and forgetful.)