Foodie Friday: Returnees in “An African City” explore African veganism and vegetarianism

An african city, africa's returnees, returnees to ghana

My cousin Papa (right) is a Cornell graduate returnee to Ghana

Young, highly educated Africans are returning back to their home countries in droves. Affectionately called “returnees,” they are building and rebuilding entire industries and alleviating the brain drain Africa has faced for decades. Science, government, tech industries are thriving, global investments are pouring in, and the arts are making it pretty, and serving Africa’s renaissance up on a gilded platter.

Africa’s creatives are telling Africa’s story, and leading the way for many who desire to find their way back home. I plan to talk more about returnees very soon on the blog, but there is a very promising web series my cousin Papa Yaw, (a Cornell graduate and returnee who currently lives in Ghana and works for a startup tech company) emailed me about called An African City. It’s like a very well put together African version of Sex and the City; where the intricacies of returning back home after life in the West is unpacked by five gorgeous, stylish, smart and sassy professional women. I’m in love.

Anyway, one of the women, Ngozi is Nigerian–and Vegetarian!

So a fellow African Vegan blogger Sarah from Vegivoirienne is exploring this anomaly–African vegan (vegetarian)–further by interviewing other African vegans for her blog. Starting with yours truly, moi.

Hop over there, support her and, enjoy!

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Throwback Thursday: Myrtle Beach

I was sleeping on Myrtle Beach—figuratively, at first, and then literally. And we loved it!

black family travels, black family blogsFirst off, last december I was dreading this trip. A trip’s a trip, right?

Well, I wasn’t too keen on the timing of this scheduled trip; the week of Christmas eve…we drove back up from our little vacay on Christmas Eve. The timing was the main issue for me. The destination was a drag too. I didn’t want to go to Myrtle Beach South Carolina because in my mind it was a tired ole beach town with murky brown beaches and old people.

I was wrong!!

Myrtle beach ended up being one of the most memorable vacations we’ve had yet. The weather was PERFECT, in the near 70s, the week we went. We stayed at a 2 bedroom villa (a villa!) at the Sheraton, compliments of Ev’s boss—as a end of year bonus—and the girls we’re amazing the entire ride there!

myrtlebeachfamilyvacation12 myrtlebeachfamilyvacation02 myrtlebeachvacayOur road trip was fun too! It was about a five-hour drive from where we live and we left very early in the morning. We had planned to leave before dawn but both of us were too tired after an evening of last-minute to-do items to get up any earlier than 7am. We hit the road by 8am and arrived at about 4pm. The pit stops, gas refills and potty breaks stretched out our arrival time, but we got there nonetheless.

I made sure I had all kinds of coloring books, activity crafts, stuffed animals, puzzles, the iPad (with games and videos pre-downloaded) and SNACKS! This helped a lot. Ollie snacked her way all the way down to South Carolina. I wasn’t complaining. No fussy babies for me! Our snacks were mainly fresh fruit, dried fruit, veggie chips, and yummy sandwiches. Who wants to be bloated in a bathing suit? So I stuck with the healthy snacks.

black family blogs, black family travelsThe beach was peaceful and quiet and tranquil. It wasn’t Caribbean blue, but it was beautiful with soft brown sand. Like I said, the weather was beautiful so I really got to see the town without throngs of  people. There were big restaurants, little ones, water parks, and theme parks spaced widely apart, and attractively mixed in with tiny, colorful, beach town homes. The Sheraton was very nice, our room was amazing. The girls had their own room, each with a fluffy luxurious queen sized bed. We had a kitchen, a porch that overlooked a duck-filled pond. The girls liked that. The master suit was on point, that’s all I’ll say. There was a living room and a dining area so there was enough room for the kids to run around when we found ourselves inside.

Most of the time we were at the pristine sandbox and play ground. Every morning the girls looked forward to a warm sunny walk across the property to the white sandy play area.

thegirlsthisafropolitanlife myrtlebeachoffseason myrtlebeachFun

The town was a nice mix between a tropical island and a southern city. The restaurants we saw were mainly chain, which is good and predictable, but Ev and I prefer hole-in-the-wall local joints when we travel. They usually have the best food ever. I brought good ol’ oatmeal for our breakfasts (the kids love the stuff), fruit, and we picked up lunch at a local Chinese buffet. Variety for everyone. And there’s always rice—you can never go wrong with rice.

athebeach myrtlebeachindecember

We made it to a few attractions too, compliments of the hotel staff (we had to sit through one of those boring timeshare presentations to get free tickets to shows and restaurants—but it was well worth it). We saw a drive thru Christmas light show, walked the hotel-ridden pier topped with a ferris wheel and county-fair-like setups, but the highlight of our trip was Ripley’s Aquarium. It’s a little aquarium with a big impact. We all enjoyed seeing the different fish, sharks, and other sea animals from different angles and perspectives. Like through the escalator drawn tunnel, where we spotted giant sea turtles, sharks and stingrays!

ripleysaquariumSC myrtlebeachfamilyvacation31 myrtlebeachfamilyvacation29I won’t be surprised if we visit Myrtle Beach again.

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Happy Birthday Beautiful

Nope, it's not her birthday. despite what she thinks. lol

Nope, it’s not her birthday. despite what she thinks. lol

Today was Ellie’s fourth birthday! I can’t believe I have a four year old. I would say, “I can’t believe how time flies,” but I won’t. Time flew alright, and I’m happy with where we are in the development of things.

thisafropolitanlife

She speaks so clearly and eloquently. Her sentences are sprinkled with big words like “frustrated,” “vanishing,” “disappointed,” “similar,” etc. Sometimes I don’t know where, in her big brain, she stores these little gems she blesses us with–used in perfect context.

She dresses herself, brushes her own teeth, and is eager to “help” me around the house all the time. She sprays floor cleaner and windex for me, puts things in the trash, picks up after herself, and puts her plate in the sink after every meal–by herself.

I’m so proud of her, and of our little family. We are a team and we make it work.

black families, black mommy blogger

Happy birthday beautiful!

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As tradition would have it we celebrated small, with balloons, cake and a present. (Perfect for a snowy day like today–12″ of snow!)

This year she got a piggy bank. She was all too happy to fill her up with my loose change.

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her face when she saw all the balloons at the breakfast table!

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spring birthday birthday 05

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The face I get when it's cake time, and she doesn't see her plate.

The face I get when it’s cake time, and she doesn’t see her plate.

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