Thursday, September 9, 2010


as of saturday, we will have been in tanzania for four weeks, and to some extent, we have reached a routine. of course, as i write this, typical will change, african culture will inevitably seep in, and typical will refer to the ebb and flow that is the one constant here. i have been reading a book about the story we write of our lives, and how to make those stories exciting, worth living and not just humdrum. that has given me LOADS of perspective when my western, routine and schedule craving self starts to take over. i am on an adventure with my family and each situation and circumstance is potential for a great story. and, if we go at it right, potential for a great story with great impact on us and on others.

but, all that to say, here is a window into what typical "generally" looks like.
- the day starts with casey leaving for devotions at the church office at 8. we have had our breakfast (or, casey and asher and leisha and leah...i lag a little) of toast with peanut butter, a bowl of oatmeal (something our little family has added for the little man's sake), and tea. casey attends devotions for an hour and then begins his work day at the church office.
- lucy lays down for a nap between 8:30 and 9 while asher and i tromp around in the sand outside the house. sometimes he digs with his cars, reads stories, or helps me fill water buckets for the day.
- asher, lucy and i begin our five minute walk to the church after lucy wakes up. this is between 10:30-11:30.
- we hang out and i email while casey corrals the kids. we generally have more tea, eat mandazi (african donuts) and asher gets a sucker :)
- we make our way back home for lunch, which is usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some cucumbers and bananas or oranges.
- and, nap time for asher usually starts shortly after, between 1-2. he will rest and perhaps lucy will rest, or, she will just spend her time scooting around on the couch, coming dangerously close to the edge. her nap is still all over the place, but, she will nap at some point.
- casey makes his way home around 5 and spends the next hour burning through some of asher's energy in the front of our compound. they play tag, or deliver "eggs", or take naps on the front steps. i generally sit with lucy in the shade, thankful asher's energy is diverted towards someone else and LOVING watching them play.
- we start bedtime routine around 6, with the kids taking their bucket shower in a bright green tub we bought at the market. it is perfect for lucy, nice and deep and spacious. it is a little small for asher, but he can still sit and have a few guys to command and swim through the water. casey and i try to grab our bucket showers at the same time. it becomes a big hour, but one of my favorites. we are all in the bedroom at the same time, smelling fresh and SOMETIMES calmed from the warm water and quiet space. we have taken up to playing with a beach ball in the room during this time, hitting it wildly around, hoping it lands either on top of the mosquito net stretched across the top of our bed or loudly smacking someone in the face. it is a good way for us all to play together and be rough but not have anybody get hurt.
- lucy is generally in bed by 7.
- we retire to the living room where asher will eat his dinner of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cucumbers and maybe a tomato (are you seeing any themes here?!) we have made hamburgers a couple times or pasta and those nights asher is thankful for a change.
- we will eat dinner, generally a big o' plate of rice beans, with leisha and leah between 7:30 and 8:30. asher will head to bed after he has greeted and delivered dinner to our night watchman. this is one of asher's favorite things. he loves to say "karibu chakula" (which means welcome to your food literally, but is more like your invited to eat) and "usiku mwema" (which means good night) and maduka, the watchman, sweetly corrects asher's pronunciation and they go back and forth for a few minutes. it usually ends with asher doing a little jig, us all laughing and then shuffling asher off to bed.
- our evenings have been soooo relaxed and i am thankful for that. we will either all sit around and talk about deep or completely superficial things or we will split off and watch a video. casey and i have been sooo exhausted with lack of sleep and sick kids that decompressing with a movie is about all i can handle. and, although sometimes i question whether we should be watching videos at all, today, i am thankful for it. it gives me a little mental break.

throw in some walks to the market for various items, swahili lessons for an hour twice a week, walks to al and tiffanee's house (an american family staying here that work with mennonite central committee), church meetings here or there, and a day for sabbath, and that is typical.


LaLa said...

Sounds like you're reading Donald Miller! Good. I'm glad. I think we all need books like that to help us reach the place we want to be at. I reread Take this Bread and Traveling Mercies on the way up to seattle and the first week here - they made me feel centered in all that chaos.

We've now been here almost 4 weeks so it's fun to hear how your and our setting into a schedule is mimicking each other. We are also slipping down the edge of Honeymoon-End and pray for you as you navigate that as well.


The Mains said...

Been praying much for you all...and your sick on-and-off kiddos. God have mercy! So proud of you and thankful to be part of your praying team. Thank you for letting us look through the window of your lives and learn from glimpses of your journey. Press on!