Monday, June 25, 2018

|| top 10 reasons I love living here ||

Sometimes, I get so stuck into life here [it's easy to get dragged down into the negatives] that I lose sight of how much I love living in Zambia. So here it goes!

1. It's warm (85% of the year). I love the heat!! I hate the cold, and winter is chilly here, too. But thankfully, it's quite short-lived.

2. Our lifestyle is fairly healthy. Because we make most of our food instead of eating out or buying processed food, my kids eat far less sugar than I did growing up. Oh sure, they eat their share of candy and cookies, but slow cooked oats with honey is the standard breakfast rather than sugary cereal. No Kool-aid here [remember the big jugs we used to make as kids?]. I try not to bat an eye at the junk they eat on holiday because I know it's a temporary attraction. 

3. People are friendly and hospitable. This is something that I've had to really work on! It is a huge part of our culture here. If someone shows up on your doorstep unannounced, it's our obligation to invite them in for tea and a place to sleep if they need one. Coming from "up North" in the States, this has been a learning curve.

4. My kids are getting an old-fashioned childhood! This is one of my most favorite aspects. :) They play with dirt and bugs, have to find their own entertainment, and skinned up knees and elbows are a part of their skincare line. Other than growing up way out in the country in the States, I think I'd have a hard time replicating the old-fashioned childhood my kids are getting now if I lived in the States. 

 5. The culture here is favorable to Christianity. There's PLENTY that is not Christian, but I can sit down with someone in their house and have a conversation about the Bible. It's so delightful to go out on Saturdays and speak to people in their houses and they have a general knowledge base about the Scriptures. Now, are they all born again?  No. But, there's that basis whereas in first-world countries today, many people are not interested in Christianity.

6. I have learned so much about being a homemaker. Now don't get all bristly before you hear me out!! I'm not saying women in the States aren't Proverbs 31 women. But my goodness, these farmers' wives are simply amazing. They're tough as nails, super hard workers, hospitable, and excellent homemakers. I've had to up my game!! Once, a friend casually dropped that she had made sage and pumpkin stuffed ravioli and I was like "whaaaaaat?!!" Talk about amazing! I love the challenge of creating a hospitable, healthy home. 

7. I love the mix of cultures here. It's interesting to sit down for a conversation with someone and learn something new. The American way isn't the only way! Now, red, white, and blue runs through my veins, but it's fun to learn that there's a different way to think or view an idea. I've learned a lot from people I've met here.

8. I've learned to appreciate small things. Fast internet is an absolute luxury and my goodness, do I look forward to that on holiday! Sometimes, the simplest tasks in town can become a nightmare and when I do have a good day and tasks get ticked off easily, I really appreciate that!

9. Life is slow here. We rarely go out at night. Sometimes, we'll go out to friends' or to one of the two decent restaurants in town. But, most nights are spent at home, eating a quiet dinner and chilling. I do miss date nights but have come to appreciate our simple life.

10. Life is very family oriented. I love living on a farm and the opportunity that gives Leon to be around a lot. The kids can spend the morning with him in his office. As they get older, he takes them to town with him on errands. Our kids are so blessed to be able to spend so much time with their dad!

Here's my top 10 reasons I love living in Z! Come and visit! I promise that you'll love it, too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

|| old fashioned dirt ||

Liesl just ran in with her first mudpie. It made me laugh because I'm pretty sure I never had an interest in playing with mud. At summer camp when I was a kid, we were REQUIRED to go on a mud hike and I'm pretty sure 80% of the girls hated every second of that afternoon. The part I hated the most was the smell, and now, I wonder where in the world was this mud hike? 

One thing I'm thankful for as a parent is for the old-fashioned, outdoor childhood that my kids are getting. We don't have a ton of toys on purpose. Mostly because the kids are outside so much, they really don't play with toys. 

A Scottish friend and I were talking about how in Scotland, kids are sent to sensory playgroups. Here, they play outside in the dirt. I have to say, initially as a new mom, I was quite squeamish with the idea of Liesl getting purposefully dirty. But today, [progress], I stood and let a calf suck her fingers over and over and over again. [Yuck!] Jules begrudgingly touched the calf's ear -- mirror of my own opinion! haha!

Although, Jules has eaten a fair share of play sand and beach sand. Job well done, son! Way to strengthen that immune system!

The concept of germs isn't entirely new to me. I read an article way before marriage was on the scene about cutting out antibacterial soap. Our bodies need good germs. Living here, our kids need to be exposed to lots of home or farm germs to strengthen their immune systems. Although, Jules could have skipped drinking out of the [dirty] mop water bucket and the toilet, too [I caught him in the act - blech!]

NOW, we are careful when we go out and about. There are obvious sicknesses [meningitis and other scary sicknesses] that they very well could contract. But washing hands with good 'ole soap and water rather than hand sanitizer has carried Leon through a lifetime of living here, and we try to do the same. 

So I'm wondering how you moms in first world countries feel about your kids getting dirty?

Monday, October 2, 2017

|| typing ||

(completely unrelated picture to the post)

For a while, I've been praying and looking around for an online job that I could do from here that pays in dollars.  For whatever reason, I never really found any solid leads.  Then, while on holiday, thought I'd do another google search.  I came upon a company that does transcription.  Now, this particular company is entry level.  I'm definitely not going to make millions.  In fact, I joke that each week, I make enough to buy a cup of coffee on holiday - haha!!

BUT.  It is a start into a field of work.  My long term goal is to take an online transcription course that I have found and then branch out into marketing my skills independently rather than working for a company.

Since, I spend a lot of my "work time"waiting for files to come through, I did another google search the other day and found yet another transcription company.  Now this company's entry test was considerably more difficult than the first company I applied for.  So, I'm hoping (and praying) that I get this second transcription job with (hopefully) better files.  This second company has a stricter quality code for its typists and also offers support on the files you type.  This first company I'm currently with, basically sends me files with no feedback on how I perform.  

I like the transcription, though.  It's not easy.  Lots of files are distorted, plenty of background noise,  etc..But, in my advantage, I feel like I have a wide knowledge base of accents.  :)  So, that helps.  And because I'm a nerd, it's strangely addicting.

As a work at home mommy, I've figured out time slots for myself to work.  After Jules naps in the morning, the kids go outside to play for an hour.  Then, one to two hours (if I'm lucky - like today!)  in the afternoon; then an hour after I put the kids to bed.  So really, I'm not doing tons and tons of work but every little bit is a super help.  Since there's not a continual stream of files coming through for me to type, I typically have my farm bookkeeping or Sunday school things to keep myself busy while I wait.  

If you're interested in something like this, here's my typist referral link.  :)