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Seychelles, 2006

Yay, I finally have internet access! Well, actually, I am writing this without internet access, but I am optimistic that I will be able to find an internet café tomorrow, (Saturday) where I can send this.

We are staying with my great grandmother, "Grandmere", who is 94 years old. She is nice but it's hard to talk to her because she has trouble hearing. (Hmm, I guess that's what its like talking to me sometimes.) Even though she is old, she still dyes her hair brown all the time so people won't know she has gray hair.

My mum and I took Grandmere to the casino earlier. I was trying to help her walk inside, but she is kinda wacky so she was dragging me into things. She kept trying to walk through doorways with me right next to her and I kept getting squished! LOL, a guy at the casino was laughing at me as he watched us try to get through the front door. She is such a stereotypical little old lady, feeding her social security money into the slot machines! I think she said that she spent 150 rupees, which is about $30, so I guess that isn't too bad. My mum and I are cheap, so we only played for a few minutes, which I guess also gives away that we were not very lucky!

Eep! A tiny baby gecko just ran across my foot. Only in the Seychelles, right? Earlier, I went into my room and a gecko was trying to get into my bag of gummy bears. When I turned on the light, I heard its little claws running over my suitcase.

We went to the agricultural show earlier today. It was fun. It was just like the state fair, but without the rides and the ridiculous prices. I took lots of photos to show when I get home. They had the cutest animals on display, including guinea pigs and baby bunnies. There were booths with people trying to teach things, but unlike the similar booths at the fair, no one was trying to shove annoying pamphlets in your face. We bought some chicken curry for lunch. We also got some soda, which caused a tiny argument between my mum and I. There were 2 kinds of soda to choose from: lemon and orange. My mum and grandpa chose orange and I ordered lemon and she got mad. She says that I need to try new things. I have tried orange soda before! Yeesh!

I hate to admit it, (hate, hate, HATE) but I am actually having a good time so far. My mum has been nice most of the time. She is having such a great time being back where she used to live that she hasn't been in that bad of a mood. The only really crummy part of the trip so far was waiting in the Paris airport for our flight here. We were there over 10 hours and were not allowed to check our luggage until just before the flight, so we had to drag it around everywhere. It was FREEZING and there was nowhere we could go near the airport so we just stayed there. There were so many people there and it was filthy and hectic, with soldiers walking around holding gigantic, scary guns. I didn't expect the Paris airport to be so run-down. We were so tired. (Our plane landed in Paris at 1am Albuquerque time.) We had to wait to have a seat, as there are almost no chairs in the airport. No one in Paris knows how to drive. We were watching through the window and people kept parking where they weren't supposed to and blocked all of the other cars. Cars kept zipping out of the parking lot without looking and almost getting hit by busses!

The flights were good. We flew from ABQ to Dallas and only had 1 hour before our next flight. I was a little bit worried that we'd miss our flight because its such a huge airport. However, we had so much time that we were able to eat at the airport and were still waiting around to board. We ate at Popeyes Chicken because we'd both heard good things about it. The food was okay but it was too expensive and there were not enough tables in the airport. Our flight from Dallas to Paris took about 10 hours. They showed TV shows and 2 movies, The Incredibles and King Kong. (Which was okay, I guess.) Our flight from Paris to the Seychelles took another 10 hours but it was really nice. We flew with Air Seychelles and it seemed like 1st class. (Although, I have never flown 1st class, so maybe a more experienced traveller would disagree with me.) They gave us slippers and sleeping masks and hot towels. They handed out menus before dinner, which included personal bottles of wine, mashed potatoes, poached egg, vegetables, mini peach pie, cheese, bread, and either salmon ravioli or some kind of fancy chicken. It was tasty but it was more food than anyone could finish! Everything was on real dishes and in real glasses, with cloth napkins and metal silverware. Breakfast was good too. I got coffee and hot chocolate, (so I could mix them together, of course!) There was yogurt and warm croissants and jam and applesauce. There were other things too, but all this writing about food is making me hungry. It's after 7pm - where is my dinner? Ah, the joys of being a guest in someone else's home.

We finally arrived here yesterday, (Thursday.) My grandpa, Papa, picked us up at the airport, along with my mom's aunt and uncle. People kept coming by all day to see us. The house was full of people speaking English and French and Creole and German all at once. I was so tired though. Since I've never really had jet lag, I always thought people probably made a bigger deal about it than necessary. I remember going into our room to unpack and the next thing I knew my mum was waking me up for lunch. Which reminds me, the food here is delicious. Yes, there is a lot of fish, but there is also a lot of curry, which is one of my favorite foods. I tried some fish today and it wasn't too bad. It didnt taste fishy. (Does that make sense?) We had pizza for dinner but ended up freezing most of it because we ordered too much. My mum's aunt told my grandpa that they ordered pizza but my grandpa thought she said to order the pizza, so we ended up with twice as much as we needed! And, of course, it was all the exact same kind, covered in revolting, slimy, fungusy mushrooms. The pizza here is odd. It didn't come sliced and its very thin and it tastes like they brushed it in olive oil after it was cooked. The plan was that everyone would have pizza leftovers for breakfast, but it wasn't very good, so when my mum and I woke up we ate granola bars in our room. It's a good thing we're both weird and packed lots of snacks.

We went for a drive today. I got out was because there were 3 tiny kittens on the side of the road. We pulled over to move them away from the road at them and they ran under the car. I spent forever trying to catch those darn kittens! They were so cute though, so I moved them all where they would hopefully be safe from cars. I wanted to drive them to the humane society, (we were driving around pointlessly anyway) but my mum and grandpa said no.

I just took a little break from writing this to eat dinner. It was some kind of soup with ginger and beef. Tasty! We went into town today because my grandpa needed to see the dentist. The crown came off his front tooth when he was eating a piece of fish, just in time for all the family photos we'd planned to take. There are lots of shops here. Seychelles is definitely more modern than my mum was expecting. There are a lot of cars. We looked around at the Supa Saver, which is like a little Wal-Mart. Some prices were reasonable, but some were outrageous. They were selling 8oz boxes of pre-cooked Oscar Meyer chicken for over $30. $30! They had Baskin Robbins ice cream for about $20. I want to buy some things before I leave, like curry spices that are too expensive or hard to find in New Mexico.

My mum and I stopped at a restaurant called Pirate Arms to get some coffee and water. We waited forever to be served. I've heard that when servers aren't working for tips, they don't care about giving good service. In the menu, I saw that I could get a scoop of ice cream for just $1.50, so I told my mum to order that but to specify one scoop of ice cream. As usual, she didn't completely listen to me and only ordered ice cream. Well, I wanted her to be specific because ice cream was also in the menu for $10! Sure enough, they brought us a big bowl with several scoops of ice cream instead of just one scoop. It was good though. For lunch, we met up with my second-cousin, Natalie, and 2 of her relatives. I hadn't met her before but she is awesome. She's about 30 years old and she's nice and so pretty! She recently won 2nd place in the Miss Seychelles contest! She is living in Texas so maybe she'll come visit some time. She is so rich that she just donated almost $1 million to the Seychelles hospital. I think I'm going to dye my hair blonde so I can look more like her. She was telling us that she doesn't have her cell phone anymore because she accidentally left it on a rock at the beach yesterday and the tide came in before she remembered. She's one of those people who can talk for hours about nothing and have everyone listen to every word she says.

There isn't much to do here at the moment. Hmm, what other random things can I tell you? Not that what you're reading is just my way of killing time. Goodness, no! We learned that the 1st person on record to ever be eaten by a shark in the Seychelles was a guy with the last name Lefevre, which is my family's last name. Sigh, why doesn't that surprise me?

There are big, beautiful snails here that look like seashells and there are shiny lizards that run along the steps. Everyone thinks I'm odd for taking photos of the snails, but they really are lovely! It is hot and humid here, but not enough to be uncomfortable. The windows in the house are designed so that they are always open because of the heat. There are geckos that climb the walls inside the house and they are very cute. They make kissy noises! A stray cat sits outside meowing all the time but it will not let us pet it. Dogs wander along the beach and sometimes jump in the ocean to try to catch fish and swim. My dog at home would be carried off into the sea very quickly! I was annoyed because I got a bug bite on my face. However, when I woke up this morning, I had a bug bite on my butt, so now the one on my face doesn't seem that bad. LOL.

Busses here are called ta-tas, which would have been good to know when we arrived. We were driving home and my mom yelled out, "Wow, those are huge ta-tas!" Needless to say, I thought she was talking about something else and was mortified that she would yell that out! Right now it's 9pm here on Friday, which is 11am in ABQ on Friday.

I forgot to write about the fight my mum and I had right before leaving for our trip. I have a big carry-on bag with a laptop case inside of it. After packing, I realized that I only needed the laptop bag, so I left the carry-on bag at home. My mum freaked out and yelled until I took it, even though it was completely empty. So, I ended up dragging around a giant carry-on case with a broken handle that weighs about 8 pounds empty for absolutely no reason. How upset was she with the way I packed? Just ask my neighbors - she was screaming and cursing and threw all my luggage onto the front lawn!

Now it's 2pm on Saturday and it doesn't look like I will be going online today, so I may as well add to this. We are going to go into town later because there is a carnival for the 30th anniversary of Seychelles independence. For lunch today, we had breadfruit, which tastes a little like squash. My crazy family kept trying to make me put margarine on it to make it healthier. I think they are confused about what is healthy! I also learned that bananas + fish + coconut milk = soup. (Eeeew!) It's called "kat banan". It didn't taste that bad at first, but after I realized it was full of tiny bones and fish scales and banana lumps, I lost my appetite.

We went for a walk on the beach this morning before going swimming and were followed by a cute little dog. We named her Katica. (Kah-Teak-Ah) Katica waited on the beach for us while we were swimming and she followed us all the way up and down the beach for several miles. She brings other dogs to see us, including a dog that looks like my dog Britney, and 2 other cute dogs. I wish people here took better care of animals. It would be nice to be able to bring some of these strays home.


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