Thursday, June 30, 2016

|| stretch ||

For the past six weeks or so, there have been two girls from my home church here on a missions trip.  Prior to that, there was a young man, also from my home church, who was here for a little over a year and a half on an internship.  Let me tell you, my 21 year old self really envies them.  I am so glad that more kids from "back home" are getting on a plane and flying to new places.  

I'm not going to go back and over analyze my time between high school graduation and marriage.  I travelled with my family plenty.  Also, the youth group through my church travelled aplenty in my teen years.  But I didn't take many/any (I went to visit a friend in Mexico once) missions trip in my 20's.  It's not something I necessarily regret because I don't really remember turning down opportunities. 

But if I could encourage any young readers to my blog, it would be to say this:  travel, experience another culture, stretch yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually (even at home), make yourself uncomfortable.  

Obviously, every one's path is different.  But my goodness, my adjustment to new life over here would have been easier if I would have just pushed myself out of my comfort zone a little bit.  I had no idea that I would live on the other side of the world.  Most certainly, God's hand was evident in my life preparing me for life in another country.  But, I would have really done myself a favour if I'd been a little more flexible in those in-between-years.

So, you 20 year olds!!  Don't be scared!  Come visit!  Take a missions trip somewhere "scary".  :)  Learn a new hobby.  Learn about another culture.  Fill up those "empty years" with lots of experiences. I know those years aren't "empty"'s tough paying a cell phone bill.  haha!  But really, you will never, ever regret money and time invested in travel, learning, and growing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

|| my shop ||

Before Leon and I were married, he insisted that I prepare myself for life here by developing a few skills or hobbies designed to keep me busy and make a little spare pocket change.  Within just a few weeks of arriving here as a newlywed, we realized that "hobby" was homeschooling his two nieces.  But still, Leon knew it was important for me to have another way to make a little extra cash.

Hence, I opened a shop.  I'm sure it looks VERY (very, very) basic to you all, my first world readers and, it is!  But this little shop has really been a delight to run.  In this picture, it is half empty and even as I type this, it is even emptier.  My stock is waiting on transport that will arrive tomorrow.

Twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, I open up for our workers.  They can buy things they need here on credit.  The total is then deducted from their wages at the end of each month.  

The people here live quite simply and are exceptionally frugal so a little goes quite a way.  For instance, they will buy a bottle of lotion with a small bottle of liquid glycerin.  The glycerin helps stretch the life of the lotion (don't ask me how it works, I just do what I'm told! ha!).  Rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil, canned fish, and sometimes mealie meal is for sale.  Candles and matches, washing powder and washing bars, batteries, bathing soap, lotion, vaseline, toothbrushes, and toothpaste are all part of my regular stock.  

Having a little extra source of income is great as a farmer's wife.  Also, this fulfils the "nerdy number" side of me that I find a weird sort of pleasure in.  I love keeping stock, figuring out totals and profits, etc...  Yes! I am nerdy number person.  :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

|| week day walks ||

Another peek into my daily life...different than the norm in the States...but here it goes.  :)

Liesl decided to ditch her morning nap sometime in late February.  I was really nursing that morning nap because I needed her to have some down time so I could be free to concentrate on homeschooling.  I was a littttttlllllle devastated when I realized the morning nap was finished.

Then, we went through an adjustment time of what to do with a very active (and sometime loud) toddler while the girls were doing school.  I really wanted to pull my hair out for a few weeks.  

Then Leon suggested using my maid to help me watch Liesl.  Most moms here use a maid in some capacity for baby sitting their kids.  After Liesl was born, it took me a long time to get it into my brain that I had an extra set of hands.  But also, we are absolutely resistant to having a maid exclusively for our child.  

I love (big, puffy, red heart) my maid, Zondi.  Her husband works for Leon.  Her little girl is six months older than Liesl.  She is quiet and super helpful.

Monday to Friday after breakfast, she takes Liesl in the pram for a walk.  She stays on our farm road between the dairy and main house so I can sort of spot them from my house. Liesl loooooooves her morning walk.  Sometimes, she even says, "Bye, Mama!" and climbs into her pram.  

It has worked out gloriously.  Now I have a bit of uninterrupted time to devote to the homeschool.  I can get a shower quickly.  It is really a mom's dream to have 45 minutes to an hour each day of "free time" to devote to another activity.

I can see this post will lead to other posts about having a maid to help and also challenges and benefits of raising kids here.  Stay tuned!!