Tag Archives: Toys

Where’s the baby ?… Here’s the baby !!!

1 Sep

From the day we are born until a certain age we are taught and incited to play. Our rooms are filled with toys, books, games of all sorts. Playing is part of our evolution, our education, our growth.

Just like we teach our animals to sit, lie down, roll over or play dead through games and treats, we teach our kids the same thing.

This got me thinking… Why do we become so serious and stop playing ? We reach a point in life where playing seems “childish” and we forget to enjoy these rare and relaxing moments. I’m not talking about gluing yourself to the iPad, iPhone, Nintendo and any other brain numbing machine. This probably kills braincells faster than vodka !! Nor am I talking about any competitive games where you end up wanting to beat the crap out of your opponent and where your self esteem is wracked if you loose.

Now that I have a baby of my own and that I am dedicating my days, aside from boring and numbing housework, to play games, make noise with rattles, pretend to be a frog and a princess whenever I shake that finger marionette in front of an hysterical baby, play with weird looking animals that make noise, I admire his innocent smile and ability to enjoy a moment that we would (and that we do) consider silly and a waste of time. He will, for the next 4-6 years, learn “life” through games. Hold (highly important) conferences with his toys. Play loud instruments that people (other than his parents of course) will be offering him. Learn what’s a tree and an apple through books and puzzles. Swing for 15 min on a rusty swing in the park and have the time of his life…

At what point do we wake up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror and think that this is it !? That we are now too “old” to play (and optionally enjoy ourselves) !? The more important question is – why ?…


Christmas day in Africa

25 Dec

It is Christmas in Africa.

Christmas eve, far from snow and family was a nice evening shared among expat friends. Champagne. Wine. French finger food, snails and frog legs… We sat, we talked, we ate, we drank and we waited for Santa. It was lovely. Around 2.30 am we headed home as we all realised, to our horror, that Santa would not be showing up in this part of the world until at least the early morning hours, so may as well rest and greet him well.

So we went home. We slept.


On this summer Christmas day, we awoke, fresh like birds, at 9am. The alcohol buzz from last night was long gone … Santa came around bearing unexpected gifts… African decoration and jewelery for me. A home-made embroidery Christmas card (the first thing I probably made since I was 13) and a ‘joke’ made-in-China water gun for him to play with… Which was a huge mistake as the ones who ended up soaking wet, were the house walls and myself… obviously, I didn’t think of getting myself one for self-protection. Note to self : don’t let him get you again ! Get ammunition !! Take him down !! Take him down !!

Utunde Beach

Utunde Beach

Saturday, Christmas day, obviously it was time to head to the beach and celebrate Santa. And so we did. At the Utunde beach with Champagne, Foie gras and a rain storm. It was absolutely fabulous !! Standing under that sun umbrella for shelter and the breeze… Heavenly ! … Caramel (the dog) running around fetching coconuts and everyone playing in the water or resting their eyes on the sand with Champagne in one hand toast in the other. Ho Ho Ho…

Christmas Mass, Bata

Christmas Mass, Bata

In the afternoon as we got back home, we changed for our nice Saturday church (…) cloths and joined Anne and Pierre for a Christmas Mass at the Bata Cathedral. I won’t claim that I (we) expected a “Sister Act” like Mass but something a bit more entertaining than what we actually got. Barely half an hour later, we left and headed to the Paseo, usually empty, to find it filled with people, kids and life.

I found out today that Christmas gifts were distributed to kids all morning in the streets. Water arms for the boys. Blond dolls for the ladies… The Paseo was full of blond and blue-eyed dolls while the boys were all walking around pointing guns at each other or holding their dolls by the hair. It was quite a sight.

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas day !!

From Bata with love

Merry Christmas from Bata E.G

Merry Christmas from Bata E.G

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