Wednesday, January 4, 2017

|| where I'm at right now ||

This thing called being a parent is the most exhilarating thing I've ever done in my life.  It is also the hardest.  I love being a stay at home mom.  But, wow, it takes a lot of energy.  

For perspective on what it's like to be a mom over here, I thought I'd share the hardest thing for me right now in this stage.

THERE'S NOTHING TO DO HERE!  Life is boring! There's not many places to go!  Only two places in our town for take out in a pinch! Just as the scale tips towards "life is difficult here", it also balances out because this is a wonderful place to raise a family!  I'm so glad my kids get to grow up on a farm.  But I do miss the public library, the zoo, the park, museums, and the drive thru.  

I had to get serious about a schedule for Liesl and I.  I've been holding my breath until January because I'd assumed that I would resume homeschooling my two nieces.  Apparently, I don't have to pick that task up again for the forseeable future.  (I was sort of wondering how I was going to juggle that along with my two kids in my tiny house. So, it is a welcome relief.)  Now, the year stretches before me and I know I need to have a schedule to make our days productive and to keep us both sane!

I'm going to loosely try a bit of pre-schooling just to keep her active.  Just today, she said her memory verse for the first time by herself.  That's a great step for a two year old!  

We do go to the capitol city once a month which is fun.  And, we sometimes have play dates with other little friends.  My friend from Germany with her two kids (almost the exact age as mine) is back in town.  There's a new farmer's wife with a little baby in town.  And I'm giving some thought into starting a bimonthly (or monthly) 2's and 3's play group for learning.  There's so many littles in our town because there's such a large ngo and missionary community here.  So!  Lots to look forward to and work toward.  It just takes planning and thought.  Any advice or ideas are so welcomed!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

|| meet an employee ||

I have to write some of these things down as they're just too funny for me to forget.  Maybe you'd enjoy sharing in the laughs, too.  :)

Meet Mutale who is one of our three gardeners.  From a clinical perspective, I'm not sure what birth defect he was born with but his left arm and leg don't work super well.  But that's the extent of his limitations.  He's funny.  He loves football (soccer).  He's in tune with the happenings of the farm, the surrounding neighborhood, and politics.  He's faithful and reliable to work and works as hard, and even harder, than his limitations allow him.  He loves animals which is unusual for the average person here.  So he cares for our....6 dogs, one rogue cat, several guinea pigs, and countless rabbits.  And, he's funny.

So the other day, as I was walking past the garden, I saw three white eggs sitting by the tree nestled in the grass.  I thought to myself, "What are these eggs?"  They look like eggs from a chicken but they look hard-boiled.  Why would hard-boiled eggs be sitting here in the grass?"

Just then, Leon came walking down the pathway.   So I asked him what these rogue eggs were doing in this unusual spot.  He called Mutale for an explanation.  "Bwana, they are who eggs," and he carried on talking and explaining.  I immediately switch off.  I actually missed the initial explanation, the "who eggs" part.  I really thought they were hard boiled eggs.  To find out they weren't, my mind and ears turned to "off".  

In the midst of the veeeerrrrrry long explanation, Leon looks at me with a smidge of a smirk.  "Do you know what he called them?"  

Me:  "No." 

Leon:  "Who eggs."  

Me: "Who eggs?"

So does anyone want to guess what "who eggs" are?

Second Mutale story.

Last winter, he asked me to restock my shop with lotion (or as they say here "rotion").  The reason?  "Madam, our skin is becoming lik-E tortoise."  😂😂😂 🐢🐢🐢  An American accent would say "tor-tis".  Here, tortoise sounded like "tor-TOISE".  Needless to say, he had to repeat it a few times for me to get what he was saying. hahahaha!

Oh man.  He makes us laugh.  

Answer to the question above?

A "who egg" is in fact an owl egg.  Who? Who? Who? Lol!

So glad for little laughs sprinkled throughout life.  Keeps us sane!  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

|| morning drive ||

While my parents were here, we went to a lodge in one of the national parks.  It is a newly opened lodge.  We'd heard great things about it from friends but still weren't quite sure if it was going to be as good as we'd heard.  Well, it completely exceeded our expectations.  Wow.  What a treat.  

Of course, the main highlight and activity at a lodge is a game drive.  Reading the brochure, I found out there was the option for a 3+ hour game drive or a quick hour or so game drive.  I said to the guide - there's no way my kids will last 3 or more hours on a game drive.  So we will just go on a one hour game drive.  

Unknowingly (and luckily), that little bit of information was swept to the wind.  We assembled at the early hour of 5:30 and off we went!  

Here we are crossing the river to get to the lodge's vehicles on the other side.  At this point, I definitely did not think we would be driving around for more than three hours with (turns out) very calm children.

Within two minutes of our start, we saw our first game.  Hard to spot leopard.

The drive was perfect for Liesl.  It hit all of her high points: being outside, riding around with family, and looking for animals.  Those three plus hours absolutely flew by.  

Liesl sat in the front with Omie and Opa in her car seat.  And 12 week old Jules sat in the back with us in his car seat.  The biggest challenge for me were the biting flies.  But we just covered Jules up good with chitenge and he slept through most of it.  Somehow, the front seat passengers escaped the flies.  :)

The last afternoon drive, we finally saw lions.  That was surreal.  It was a little stressful for me because I was so concerned with keeping Jules absolutely quiet.  But, we did it! We were as close to 10 feet or less from the lions.  Unreal.  

As we drove through the bush on that first morning, watching the day break, I couldn't help but feel so lucky to raise my kids here.  It is definitely a challenge in some areas.  Life is not a cake walk (but is it anywhere, really).  But a peace and happiness washed over me.  My kids are so so so lucky to grow up here.  Experiencing the bush.  Getting to go on game drives at two years old and three months old!!!  The enjoyment of outdoor living and freedom!  Wow.  I know many more opportunities like this await us as a family and I want to seal these precious memories in their mind forever.