Monday, July 16, 2012

A Day

What have our days been made up of? 
Coming up on Wednesday, I will have been here with the boys almost 4 weeks.
That's 1/2 of the way through. WOW.
If you want a little video update, you can go to the ministry website,
Anyway, you may be wondering,like me,
where has all this time gone?

So I thought I'd enlighten you on what most days look like for us.

I had hoped to be more disciplined and get up with the sun, while here.
This is a discipline I had been working hard to cultivate while back home. It's one that takes a LOT of effort on my part and can never be done on auto-pilot.
I have yet to kick it into gear.
Instead, I am up around 7am every morning, along with just about everybody else in our close quarters.
Our niece,Kassie, joined us about 10 days ago. She will be here for a month.
It's been really sweet getting the kind of time together that only happens organically.
You know late night talks and stuff. 
It's all that relationship building that just happens naturally when sharing so much life together.
I try to share with her my tips for "how to keep the boys from wanting to date you while single."
-They involve pointers like...unless you think you could marry him, be border-line mean.
-Do your best to be wholly unattractive (this is hard for her because she's quite beautiful)
-Appear to have no personality and save all your good conversations for the lady friends in your life.
I don't think she's yet convinced, so,
we even showed her a youtube clip of "Dumb and Dumber" to illustrate the mentality that most boys and men for that matter share.
You know the one?

Just doing my part in the discipleship process.
once were all up and fed and cleaned up from breakfast and all that glamorous stuff that makes up my life not matter what body of land I live on...
We split our days into 2 parts.
Generally there is 1-work and 2-play.
The "work" element consists partly of working on language.
Noah takes a bus into Congrejo, where he sits with the pastors and friends he has made there and simply brings his dictionary and talks with them. He's found this to be the best way to stuff his brain with as much creole as possible.
I must say,it's working beautifully.
Here Noah is with pastor Clabert...and a pineapple...given to him by pastor Clabert. How did that pineapple end up looking so important?
While he works on language this way, Kassie and the boys and I work on our spanish in less social ways. Kassie works on lessons with the boys, and plays games like spanish bingo with them, while I go through some ipod language apps I have.
I am also trying to do phonics and math with the boys this summer to catch them up on other school stuff.
While not doing school with the boys or cleaning the ENDLESS supply of flesh devouring ants that want to eat our toes off while we sleep, I work on other things that fall into my realm of responsibility.
Like blogging or studying or writing a curriculum for a "Communications" class I am teaching to about 15 kids, ages 5-8, this Fall.
Me and some other moms in the area back home are going to be doing an academic coop one day a week that mimics a full school day as much as possible. I will be teaching a "communications" class and need to write the curriculum and get things organized while here, seeing as school starts 2 weeks after we get home. 
The boys generally rest for 2 hours mid day. Most times, they all still nap. Some times I still nap.
Some times I read or work on the above mentioned projects.
All this time,Noah is still working.
The other half of the day-wether it be morning or afternoon depends on surrounding circumstances- about 4 days a week, we try to get to the beach.
This has less to do with my tan and more to do with my sanity.
Because we don't have a car, and the beach is within walking distance, it is literally the only option for "getting out of the house" or for getting the "energy out of the boys."
Both of which are crucial for the mood of all involved.
This is the boys waiting,with us, for a gua-gua to head home from church. Getting anywhere is pretty high maintenance, so besides church on Sunday and the occasionally outing (maybe once a week), I am either at home or the beach.
The boys can run and play for a few hours and I can sit in the sand like a beached whale.
It's perfect.

Funny thing.
This boy in the picture is Patrick.

He's Haitian and is a beach vendor. He carries candy or fruit on his head up and down the beach selling it all day. We have yet to get out of him where his parents are or how he gets to the beach each day.
I think I mentioned before how he likes to  join us to play.
The boys love him.
He loves the boys.
And it has now become a tradition.
If he sees us, and he always does, only one thing will happen...
The clothes...gone.
the fruit or the sand. the water for the remainder of our time at the beach.
It's really quite sweet.
And apparently whoever he sales food for doesn't mind too much if he comes home empty handed.

Fun is had by all.
At this point even the other kids who sale food on the beach have begun joining us.

This is Andy.

Together they will frolic and play and bury the weakest link in the sand up to his neck.
And then it will quickly get inappropriate when Andy and Patrick start adding otherwise private body parts out of sand on the buried person.
This is where I break up the cackling group of boys and use body language that makes it very clear,regardless of a language barrier...
For the love of...

Aside from the bad influence of the locals,
my boys are sure to care for each other and play gently.

Especially with our youngest boy,who only got his trach out 3 months ago.
Very fragile.

You can see why it's crucial we get out of the hut we spend most of our time in.
This game isn't as fun on gravel in the driveway.
Shep wanted a break from the sun.
Clever, isn't he?
At this point, our day draws to a close as we head home,get dinner ready,then medicines and jammies and bedtime.

On that note, food has definitely been getting better.
I found a dominican cooking blog,

 This has helped immensely because it provides me with tasty Dominican recipes that use dominican ingredients which are secondly ,
generally affordable.
This is a Dominican dish I love. It's called Mangu and is generally eaten for breakfast. It's basically mashed plantains and onions in vinegar and oil.

This breakfast is made up of Mangu,fresh tomatoes, pineapple and fried eggs.

I loved this dinner. It was off the same site and had chorizo,rice and a bunch of veggies layered into a dish and baked.

Things are going well. And we're so grateful for your keeping up with our family. Please keep the second half of our time here in your prayers, that God would continue to bless relationships and give us clarity.

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