A FREDAY in AFRICA!

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Levi has had thick black hair since birth. He came into this world with his hair, fried, dyed and laid to the side! As he has gotten older, his hair has taken on a personality of its own. Initially it was slick down and laid close to his hear but it soon became curly and thick. Now we are starting to see it take on new dimensions and what we can expect… Read More

Moving is stressful! Anyone who has ever had to pack up their house and move to a new location knows how stressful moving can be! And moving between countries has its own level of stress and challenges. Sheila and I moved out of our apartment in South Africa on December 13, 2021, and we (or rather I) moved into our Tanzanian apartment on January 12, 2022. Now, in all honesty, there was… Read More

2021 was a very challenging year for the Barnes Family. We started the year in Mount Vernon, Alabama, eventually made our way to Kigali, Rwanda and finally returned to our home in South Africa in October. During this time, we made three trips to the US and took a much-needed vacation to Dubai. Sentell also had to travel to Tanzania for work twice. A baby dedication ceremony was held for Levi at… Read More

Sheila and I left Johannesburg, South Africa on July 12, 2020. We spent 447 days away from our house, sleeping in other people’s beds and having little to no personal space. July 11, 2020 was the last time we ate dinner in our own space and watched people walk up and down our treelined street. Let me say this again, for 447 days we lived with other people and slept in someone’s… Read More

Booking a flight when the international airport and land borders closed is difficult. We had to wait until the US Embassy announced repatriation flights. At the end of June, the US Embassy released a list of flights through mid-July that included a July 11 flight to Amsterdam on KLM. We initially tried to book the flight out of Johannesburg but was too late. By the time I could talk to Sheila about… Read More

Wow! 2019 was a very busy and challenging year! It is ending very similarly to the way it began…extremely busy and a bit unsettled! It started in the heat of the Nigerian election season. There was not much time after getting back from the US after Christmas to rest before jumping directly into Nigeria’s over the top election process. Less than a month after getting back to Abuja, over 60 foreign delegates… Read More

A few weekends ago, Sheila and I went to Gurara Falls probably the last time. The Falls have been associated with my time in Abuja since 2014. Each time we have visitors, we drag them to Gurara Falls to witness the majesty of the rapids as the water cascades over the rocky cliffs. And each year, the road to Gurara Falls become more and more difficult to traverse. In 2014, our only… Read More

On Thursday, Sheila and I took a road trip that led us to the most unlikely of places for us to visit – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). We were following the travel books and tour guides that suggested taking a day trip to the city of Mostar. Mostar is famous for its old bridge, the Stari Most (photo above). Stari Most is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that was unfortunately destroyed during the… Read More

Two Years and counting… You are probably reading this thinking, “how in the world has it been two years since the start of #Shentell?” I don’t know what to tell you but we are two years down and already planning our Diamond Anniversary (75th) celebration. Abott Kinney Blvd., near Los Angeles, California (December 2017) It has been an exciting two years of marriage for Sheila and I. I’m sure there were some… Read More

June 4, 2017 was the date of our first wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that it’s been a year. It feels like just yesterday we were arriving in Abuja settling into our new life as husband and wife. But 365 days later and ten countries visited during our first year of marriage, we are moving into year two of #Shentell. We wanted to share our wedding video to celebrate our… Read More