I am loving my established morning routine here. Doing the same thing twice makes it an established routine right? I turn on the small propane tank and light the gas burner to boil water in our kettle so we can make coffee. Using a French press isn’t too hard but does take a little more time than our keurig back at home. Then TJ and I have some quiet time with the Lord. He seems so present in this foreign place. By 6:45, we hear a loud clanging that is the wake up call at the orphanage. Then the sound of African children singing fills the air and I am reminded of how big and multicultural our God is. Our kids wake up around 7:30 (even Caleb! Thank you jetlag!!) and we either go to the Pyatt (gathering house on the compound) for breakfast or TJ brings some back to our little guest house. Rounding at the hospital doesn’t start until 9am so the rest of the morning is just family time and lovely! It is cool outside so we open the windows and can see the busy road from the kitchen sink. Motorcycles, women walking with huge bundles or buckets on their heads, and bikes carrying several people all pass by. Today I heard giggling while I was washing dishes and looked up to see five kids standing on the other side of the fence watching me. I love mornings the most.
The day gets hotter quickly. It’s dry season so everything is covered in red dust. Aubrey and Caleb still enjoy playing outside (two bucket baths a day here people! The kids are filthy within seconds of walking out the door!) and are fascinated with the busy orphanage across the way from our house, the piles of dried teak leaves everywhere and the little wood plank bridges over trenches that turn to rivers during the wet season. There is a long term missionary family here that has a little girl Aubrey’s age, so yesterday we walked over and played at her house. Lunch (and supper actually) is usually rice and beans every day with a few different side dishes. Food hasn’t been easy but could be worse. Aubrey survived on left over travel snacks the first two days. The kids really miss milk, yogurt and cheese! But our good friend Elizabeth Perry has found a way to make yogurt from the powdered milk here and Caleb thought it was amazing!!! They served oatmeal the last two days for breakfast, and Aubrey has decided she might be able to live here for a month after all.
The hot afternoon isn’t too bad because the kids nap and I just rest and read inside. We have a fan in each bedroom and I am so thankful for it!!! Because they provide the food cafeteria style at the pyatt, and a laundry service, there isn’t much house work. It’s weird to have nothing to do and the slow pace is great with little ones! I haven’t had to tell the kids to hurry once since getting here! Puzzles and bubbles and chalk art on the front porch has entertained us the last two days until supper.
The evenings fly by because we get to see Daddy at supper and so far have spent every evening with the Perry family. Elizabeth is amazing. I am soaking up all her parenting wisdom (her eight children are incredible) and the kids (having been fed pop corn, homemade bread and chocolate banana smoothies) have decided her house is the best place in Africa. The youngest Perry girls are 6, 7, and 8 and have given Aubrey special love and attention: sharing all their toys and watching out for her (and Caleb whenever he ventures away from me) at their house. What a blessing to see Aubrey run off to play in this new environment! All the kids have loved on us and it has been a crazy time playing Dutch blitz and big booty with TJ at the lead!
Bed time has been later than I’m used to but working! The compound has a solar generator and there is hot water (what a luxury!) in the evenings! Both kids bathe in a large bucket/tub and the water is brown by the end! Then they both go to sleep in their little room. I was worried the mosquito nets would bother them more, but both have adjusted very well! Once they fall asleep, TJ and I sit and process the day: his long day of work at an African hospital and my simple but very involved day mothering in a new country. I am so thankful. We are both praying through this tugging on our hearts to follow Christ into the unfamiliar as long term missionaries. What does He have for us? We have fallen to sleep each night listening to new sounds (crickets? frogs? other squeaky noises?) and looking forward to another day.