Life has changed for me in the past few weeks since the kids started school. Rob moved his office out of our house into a central location with all RMI staff. Both these changes have made my day a lot more routine and we are benefiting from it as a family. After six months of no routine at all, I was ready for one, even if that means I am now back to waking up around 6:15 am to the alarm clock (as opposed to whenever the kids woke up.)
I’ve realized how I really am a person of routine. I do so much better with one. I’m more disciplined during my day. It’s also been good for Drew and Tessa, especially Drew who is very much a child of routine. I think he was getting bored hanging around here day after day.
I am still working on finding my place here. In some ways I am very much like a stay-at-home Mom in my day-to-day. I treat the mornings as my “work” time since we have someone to help with the kids (now mostly Braden.) I still have Creole lessons every day from 9 am to 10 am when Rob is not out with a team and try to spend at least an hour of my morning studying. I have more routine than before, but remember, this is Haiti, and days and weeks vary tremendously! Once language lessons are officially finished (they won’t be for a while yet) I hope to find my niche in ministry with RMI here.
That being said, I wanted to give you a little idea of one of my days. In some ways it’s typical to Mom’s everywhere, but done in a way that’s not typical to the US!
Drew and Tessa have school every day from 8 am to noon. So the mornings are spent getting the kids fed and ready to go. When Rob is here, he tries to be out of the house and to the office by 7 am, so he helps me before 7. He had to carve out time for language study, and it worked well for him to do that from 7-8 am every day. He has staff devotions at 8 am and then is often back here by 9 am for our language session with the tutor.
The nice part is school is pretty close, so we can leave 5 to 10 minutes before 8 and get there on time. Getting the kids all dressed and ready in their uniforms on time can be a struggle, but we manage! Merihta comes around 7:30 am and my goal is to be off by 7:45. Our mode of transportation to school is my four-wheeler!
I’m usually back by 8:15 and take some time to hang with Braden or check email or get in a little Creole studying. From 9-10 am Rob and I have our language session. Most days I try to study for another hour at least, afterwards.
Last week I had some errands to run. We were out of flour, sugar and rice so I went to Madame Utiel’s, one of the local “shops” as opposed to going into town since I didn’t have a truck. I say “shop” because it’s pretty much the “garage” of her home converted into a shop that sells many basic necessities. That day, I stopped on my way home from dropping the kids off at school, but they didn’t have any sacks of flour or sugar, so I was told to come back in an hour and they’d have some for me. So after my Creole lesson back I went. I determined I couldn’t carry all 3 sacks on my 4 –wheeler at once, so I first drove home the sugar and flour. Here’s Braden posing on my moto for a pic with these items once I got home. The rice is in my front basket and sugar on the back.
Then I went back again for the flour
I leave about 10 minutes to noon to pick up Drew and Tessa. Often I take Braden with me. He’s always super-excited when I do! I think he misses the older two—he always gives them a hug and kiss on his own when he sees them.
My afternoons are spent with the kids. We play and do preschool and Kindergarten workbooks.
Later that week, we ran out of laundry detergent and I was back at Madame Utiel’s for a 5-gallon bucket of detergent.
Each day here is constantly different, but I am enjoying the routine that having the kids in school brings. I’m also encouraged as I venture out on my own more and can run “basic” errands without help! It’s exciting to realize I know a decent amount of Creole and can communicate on basic level. It’s also a reminder of how much I have yet to learn and gives me a chance to really practice what I am learning in the real world.
Later this week, I’ll paint a picture of what my shopping days (Friday usually) look like.