You’re gonna do WHAT to that kid?

June 8th, 2007

This thought process started here. Rockystring/©2007SHBenoiton International adoptive parents' desire to bring as much birth culture as possible into the life of their children is nobel and respectful, but no matter how much you strive to duplicate native foods, celebrate important holidays or practice ancient dance in traditional dress, you can't help but be missing most of the basic of basics your kids would be have been experiencing. Although I can't pass on subtle differences between Cambodian parenting and the more American way of doing things, I can point out some things I've noticed over the years I've lived in Seychelles to illustrate the wide range of variation in attitudes, styles and methods that parenting takes in different places. For example, babies here are always… [more]

Different Ideas About Babies

June 8th, 2007

Cjbed/©2005SFlam As international adoptive parents, we're all well aware that our children are growing up differently than they would in their countries of birth. They're learning a different language, dressing differently, becoming accustomed to foods they well might otherwise never have come across in a lifetime, and learning to turn their noses up at things that might have been considered tasty treats ... fried spiders and frog-on-a-stick come to mind. They dress according to trends and climates they would not have experienced, listen to music that may not have been available, travel on eight-lane freeways and fly in planes. One thing you may not realize, however, is that the list of differences is longer and more subtle than… [more]

Advocating for Adoption in Seychelles

March 7th, 2007

A while back, I won a $150 gift certificate from for coming up with some greeting card copy. I don't think the cards are ready, but they did send me the virtual gift cert, so I did what anyone would do ... I went shopping. Cruising around the adoptionshop was fun, but being out of the ritual of regular shopping has me thinking that there's not much I can't live without, so I didn't find anything I needed to have. What I did find, however, was an idea. Those colored wristbands the rest of the world has been wearing for a while to tout various causes are just beginning to appear here in Seychelles, so still have a bit of cachet and give off that insider appeal many like. People… [more]

CNN World Report: The Benoitons

February 3rd, 2007

Since almost no one in the US was able to catch my family's appearance on CNN last weekend, I've downloaded a clip of our segment. It's not the greatest quality, but viewable. Please forgive the music, but I couldn't figure out how to do it without, and you can still hear the audio. My kids look adorable, of course. Me? Well, I'm reminded why it is for the last 25 years or so I've much preferred doing radio. This was a repackaged bit from a thirty-minute program aired locally on adoption issues in Seychelles…

The World is BIG today

January 13th, 2007
Categories: Seychelles

I have no idea when I'll be able to publish this blog post, as Seychelles has lost its Internet connection ... again ... and word has it that this outage is likely to last a while. Ack! If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be driven to distraction by a disruption in global communication caused by a January storm in Austria, I most certainly would have wondered what in the heck they were talking about, and would never have guessed how much of my life would be tied to and impacted by such events. I mean, really! Austria? January? What does anyone expect, other than foul weather, snow, wind, freezing temps and the like? It's Europe, facryinoutloud, and that part… [more]

The first S.S.S.S.D. of the year.

October 16th, 2006
Categories: Seychelles

For the first time since I started writing this blog back in February, I took a day off. Yep. I unilaterally declared yesterday, Sunday the 15th of October, Sandra's Sedentary Sunday Siesta Day, and aside from an email to my mom, I didn't write a word ... not one, nada, zippo zilch. And did I feel guilty about the oh-so-blatant shirking of all duties blog and book? Well ... yeah. And of course I'll be paying for my day of brain rest for the whole week now, as I'm behind on every self-imposed schedule I've self-imposed. So, why did I do something as foolish as give myself a break? First, I'd met my first book deadline, and my editor was happy. This had me thinking… [more]

Home again …

September 1st, 2006
Categories: Seychelles, Travel

Ahhhhhh. It's so good to be home. There's nothing like a week away to have me appreciating just about everything about home. Even the quirky and normally annoyingview/shb aspects of island life ... the chaos of baggage claim taking more than an hour at 4am, subsequent power cuts, and a total dearth of yogurt available anywhere ... meld into the warm fuzzies of dogs happy to see us, the comfort of my own bed with a view, the loving embrace of friends and family, and everything else that spells H O M E. Cj was so happy to find herself in familiar territory that she actually giggled when put down for her first nap back in her crib. Running her traditional trajectory from couch to couch… [more]

Pretty Money Doesn’t Convert, Part 2

August 19th, 2006
Categories: Seychelles, Travel

Continued from the previous post Foreign exchange for purchases from overseas and payments due in US Dollars, GB Pounds or Euro takes at least a week to get, you must have a really good reason for wanting the money and be able to prove exactly where it will be going. To renew my US Passport, which requires a Bank Check (or as it's known here, a "Banque Cheque") for $50.00 made out to the US Embassy in Mauritius. If you think getting such a thing is a cake walk, you'd be wrong. There is a bit of help specifically for travelers, however. Within three or four days of your trip, you're allowed to request foreign exchange from your bank. You must present… [more]

Pretty Money Doesn’t Convert

August 19th, 2006
Categories: Seychelles, Travel

Preparing for an international trip while living in Seychelles involves some rather important details that need working out in advance. Since we've been organizing for our trip to Singapore for a while now, I'm of a mind to let you in on some things that are just a bit different in this part of the world. In addition to tickets and passports, exit visas, departure tax, seat assignments, boarding cards, and so on, one thing people need to have with them as they prepare to board their flight to where ever is money ... and Seychelles Rupees don't count. Our local cash is not a hard currency: a Buick-full of the stuff outside the country will buy you nothing; zero, zip, zilch, nada, napa… [more]

Seychelles: How to open a birthday gift …

August 10th, 2006
Categories: Seychelles

I should have written and posted a blog hours ago. My routine calls for most of my work happening morning-ish, and it's now 4:30 in the afternoon. Some days, however, are not routine, and this was one of those ... silly, out of kilter and running away with morning hours in a way oh-so-very possible and far too common here on this island. Gay called with the fab news that someone had phone her saying my birthday present from her and Mark (they'd gone in together, meaning she did the choosing, the shopping and the arranging to get it here ... he contributed some cash and a bit of enthusiasm ... ) had arrived and was waiting at the airport. Did I want to go along with her to pick it… [more]