Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Day in our Life in G.B.

Here is a look into our days here in G.B. from the eyes of Karen. 
We wake up about 6:30 every morning and get out of our rooms by 7.
Adrienne is usually in the kitchen by 6:40 or 7 making coffee so our
kids venture out of their rooms by then as well.  The house is small
with the girls door way to their room in the kitchen and a small hall
way to the right of the kitchen that has our bedroom and the boys
bedroom.  We get up and I start breakfast right away and Michael goes to get drinking water on the bike and then
he goes to the store for bread.  We buy bread every day but Sunday, sometimes Saturday we don't buy if they don't have any. One of the girls goes
and draws cooking water for me while I am cooking.  Our options for
breakfast is oatmeal, eggs (which are very very
expensive…we pay $6 for 30 eggs or 2 1/2 dozen), potatoes (which again
are very expensive and we run out of them quickly) or bread.  Today
the kids had toasted bread, we toasted it on the stove with peanut
butter.  After breakfast, the kids clean up the table and brush their
teeth.  Then we start on dishes and sweeping.  We sweep out the entire
house, then the breezeway, then the veranda, then the yard. 
By the time we get done with sweeping, if it's a mopping day, we mop,
if not then we relax a bit.  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday,
Mai comes to wash our laundry.  Monday, Thursday is clothes, Wednesday
is towels, and Saturday is sheets.  She likes Wednesday's because it
is an easy day. We recently discovered that Jada is allergic to
the laundry detergent, so now her laundry is being done separately as
well.  Laundry takes several hours, which is why we pay someone to do
it.  I think I could keep up with it right now, but once we start
school, there would be no way I could keep up.  It takes Mai about 4
hours to wash our clothes on Mondays and Thursdays, about 2 hours for
towels and 3 hours for sheets.  We eat lunch around 1 every day 
so I start cooking that around noon.  In
the afternoon, I try to work on language a bit or rest and then Monday
through Friday we have language lessons at 3 for an hour and a half.
After language lessons, recently Gibby has been having Michael and I
and whatever kids follow go to his compound to jumbai (hangout).  I
usually work with the ladies while Michael sits around with the guys
talking.  One time when we went over the ladies were pounding
rice.  It was the rice from the field that I helped weed, so that was
neat.  Gibby came back and video
taped us doing it, then he came back
saying he didn't save it so we did it again. I cook
Sunday nights, Monday nights because it's our family night, all the
other missionaries go to Dave and Delores's house to eat and Tuesday
night I cook for all of us at the house.  This past Monday, I made
pancakes.  It was delicious and easy.  Usually we have rice or
noodles.  Every meal actually includes rice, noodles or bread. 

I hope this helps give you a glimpse of life here each day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ants In My Pants!

There are so many new things we are having to get used to.  Some more common things are drawing water for drinking, washing, cooking, pretty much anything you would need water, having not a lot of electricity, being dirty and hot all the time.  What I didn't think about having to deal with is ants in our pants.  I grew up with that saying meaning you couldn't sit still.  Here, it literally means ants are in your pants and biting you! Several of us have encountered this, and there is definitely some dancing around that goes on.  Isaiah got ants in his pants and he starts dancing around and screaming and of course all the children that had been playing in our yard with the kids come running.  I realize that he has ants in his pants and the local children start motioning for us to take his clothes off with his clothes.  Somebody then throws water on him and all the ants are gone.  Isaiah is then left with about 20 bits all over his bottom and waste.  Thinking back to it now, I am laughing with how hilarious it was, but in the moment I was not seeing the humor in the situation.  We have named the ants, killer ants.

Something else that I never thought I would see is my husband walking hand in hand with another man.  We were walking to someone's compound (house) for lunch when I looked back and there was Michael walking with his friend, hand in hand, fingers interlocked.  In this culture, that is how you walk with your friend, it's a show of friendship.

Since it is the rainy season right now, there are bugs everywhere.  We like to get everyone showered before it gets dark because once its dark, the bugs come out in massive numbers.  I was showering, which involves pouring water on your head from a bucket, when all of a sudden there was something munching on my back.  I started yelping and of course that is heard throughout the 'neighborhood'.  Our kids started yelling, mommy mommy are you okay?! Michael comes to the door and I'm begging him to get it off of me.  Michael laughs hysterically and tells me there is nothing on my back.  I, however, was convinced it was still having supper on my back.  It left me with just a tiny little red spot.

There are so many different experiences we are having, some good and some not so good, but we are so thankful that we get to have this experience.  I will leave you with what blessed us yesterday.

We were coming to Ziguinchor, Senegal and needed to pick up transport in a little city named Sao Domingos.  What we didn't think about is that it was market day, which means transports are constantly going and they get filled quite quickly.  We wanted a specific transport that is called a sept plas, it is a car that holds seven people plus the driver.  We had to wait quite a long time and the kids were getting so hungry.  It was after 11, we left our house at 9, and we, being the wonderful parents we are (sarcasm), forgot to bring food.  Isaiah was asking for food and then all the kids started asking.  There was a lady sitting behind Micah eating a sandwich and the kids noticed this yummy looking sandwich and were asking us in English if we had any food.  She must've understood and broke off half of her sandwich and gave it to Isaiah to eat.  He naturally shared with all of his siblings and they hungrily devoured it.  She got so much joy out of watching them eat it.  Micah just kept smiling at her and the lady ripped off a little piece and gave it to her.  Isaiah walked over and asked Micah for a bite and the lady laughing, waved her finger and said no no no.  Then, when she had just a little bit left she ripped off a tiny piece and gave it to Isaiah.  The kids were all so thankful for her.  We called her our angel sent from God.  She allowed our wait to be more bearable.  I also believe that she found joy out of our kids.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A week in review

We arrived at our house on Wednesday and we’ve already made friends and are having
a lot of fun. We sleep under mosquito nets and have to spray them with bug spray
every once in a while to keep bugs away. I think Africa can be hot or cold. In the rainy
season somedays it’s cold and somedays it’s hot. In the dry season it is very very hot
and it’s very dry. Africa has two seasons the dry season and the rainy season. You have
to sweep your house every day or else it will get very very dirty which isn’t that good.
When we wash our clothes we have to hand wash them by hand and we have to draw
our water to wash our clothes. Once we have washed our clothes we have to hang it on
the clothesline to let it dry. There is no electricity unless you have a solar panel that
gives you electricity. I like Africa so far. To go to the bathroom you go into an outhouse
and check for snakes, especially at night, shut the door and you have to take a concrete
block off of the squatty potty and you have to squat down and go. Every day we take a
quiet time to stay in our rooms and do something quietly by ourselves. Learning kirol
isn’t as hard as you think, it is pretty easy. I am glad we are here. Es sta bon. (It is
good). Bon tardi! (Good afternoon) ~Lydia

My mommy is making food. I had a great day. Jada is helping make dinner too. My
brothers are playing soccer with their friends. My daddy took a nap today. I helped my
mom make lunch today and I took quiet time. Yesterday, I played with my friends. My
daddy is silly. My brothers and sisters are silly. Andrew and Jada are making rice. It’s
almost time to eat. I played today. I played with my doll in the water. ~Micah