Thursday, September 29, 2016

|| flying solo ||

Well, this post was supposed to be up last week.   :)

We decided at the very last minute to let Liesl go with her cousins and aunties and grandma on a little trip.  At first, we were not thrilled with the idea but after mulling it over decided to give it a go.

It was actually perfect timing.  There was a massive pool at the hotel where they stayed and all Liesl has been talking about is "swemming".  I must get her a kiddie pool soon for the farm!!

I had a to-do list a mile long to accomplish without a two year old undoing all the work that has been done in the day.  I realized by Thursday that there was hardly any work for my maid to do!! Ha!  Apparently 75% of her work is cleaning up after Liesl.  I didn't get everything done (still have to paint our bedroom and do office work).  But there was a great deal accomplished and it felt so good.  

Tuesday, we drove through to my sister-in-law's house to pick Liesl up and bring her home on Wednesday.  We just couldn't wait to get her!!

I'm sure this is the start of many more outings with family.  In the future, maybe she'll even fly with her brother to the States to see her grandparents there.   

Thursday, September 15, 2016

|| struggle ||

These women here are some of the strongest women I know.  Last week, I was struggling to lift a 50 liter container of hot water into the machine for the laundry.  (We have to haul hot water for our laundry because I insist that we wash certain loads in hot, hot water.  Anyways, I digress.)  I can lift the container if it is filled with about 42 liters but definitely not to the top.  And most certainly, I struggle to carry it from the hot water tap to the machine.  As I was pouring the water into the machine, I looked at our laundry girl and said, "I want to be strong like you women."  She smiled and said, "Muh-dam, suf-fah-RING brings pow-wah."  Suffering brings power.  

These are some of the happiest people on earth.  Ask any foreigner that lives here and they can attest to this fact.  Yet, their suffering is immense to those accustomed to life in a developed country.

The women that we employ as maids are incredible in their work ethic.  A few ride their bikes over 30 minutes to get here.  No biggie.  Except, they've probably gotten out of bed at 5:00 to bathe their kids before school and send them on their way.  Then cycled here, bathed in the laundry, and started their work at 7 am.  During planting season, you will most likely find them in their field at 4 am to hoe and plant before getting their kids ready for school, then cycle to work, then work for us all day long, and proceed to cycle home.  Then, there's a good chance there's some house work to be done.  Although, families all live together and pitch in with the daily tasks (sweeping, washing clothes by hand, and making the porridge and relish), there's still tasks to be finished.

But, please don't feel badly for them.  They are strong, strong people with an incredible sense of humour.  Because, suffering brings power.

If there's one thing I want to remember with my two kids is that struggle brings strength.  It is only natural to want to provide the best and easiest for our children.  And in some areas, I'd say it is required of us parents (health, education, spiritual development).  Yet, in physical things, struggling through with a task only allows for personal growth.  The kid in my class who had to work at 16 in the famiy business and buy his own clothes and pay his way through the youth group was the one with the straight A's.  

I think this is a battle that all parents have to battle within themselves through their children's years.  I know for me that I will have to be ever conscious of it.  Struggling produces power.  And I want my kids to be strong and useful!