Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Day in the Life

Note: Every day is different and unique, but after posting many team journals I thought it would be fun to share what a day in my life looks like. The day I chose to journal was Tuesday, September 16. 

1:34 a.m. 
I stumble out of bed at the sound of Alexander’s cries. Pushing open the glass patio door, I step into his little bedroom adjacent to ours. My little boy is hungry. Lifting up the mosquito net I reach down into his crib and gently take him out. Getting comfortable in an arm chair I nurse him to the sounds of rain drops falling from waving palm branches, roosters crowing, dogs barking and the spicy scent of a wet tropical tree wafting through the screened in window openings. The thermometer in his room reads 23 degrees Celsius. The moisture in the air makes it feel cooler. I shiver. When I lay him down again I give him an extra blanket. 

3:24 a.m. 
“Waa. Waa.” My boy is hungry again. I feed him while cuddling him close and then crawl into bed once again. 

6:00 a.m. 
Ring, ring. The sound of Jason’s cellphone wakes us both up. A friend is wondering if he is awake yet as they have plans for today. As Jason gets up, I savor the few moments of quiet before being bombarded with 3 little boys who are hungry, thirsty and need help getting changed, using the bathroom, etc. 

6:20 a.m. 
I walk into the kitchen to find our houseguest already eating a quick breakfast of cereal. Jason Abrams has been staying with us for the last two weeks to see what life is like as an MAF pilot/family. His flight leaves later this morning so my Jason will be taking him down to the airport.

6:45 a.m. 
The boys say goodbye to their daddy and with a quick kiss for me he’s out the door. Since he’s worked Saturday, today is technically his day off, but with a friend visiting from Florida, he plans to fly up north for some fishing. 

7:00 a.m. 
Jayden eats his favourite breakfast of egg on toast while Justin munches on some cereal. When Jayden is finished he helps his brother, something Justin enjoys immensely! He insists on wearing his hoody as he says he feels cold.

7:00-7:30 a.m 
Jayden gets ready for school and then we spend time together as I am helping him learn to read the Bible.

After prayer time, we hear the honk of the Toyota Patrol that will take him to school.

After a quick hug goodbye I watch as the vehicle disappears down the street.

7:35 a.m. 
Anoud and Denise’s three oldest children are dressed for school. They need to be leaving soon as their school gate closes exactly at 7:45. To combat the cultural problem of people not paying attention to time and arriving whenever, their school has made a rule that if you are not inside the gate by 7:45 you will have to return home. 

7:40 a.m. 
I spend time in prayer. Not beginning the day with my heavenly Father, is setting myself up for failure. I praise Him, confess my sins, thank Him for his blessings, give my worries and concerns over to Him and pray for others. 

8:00 a.m. 
Alexander is awake again and needing some attention.

I get to work feeding him, changing him and then make him comfortable on the playroom floor. Grandma’s handmade blanket comes in handy for this!

Justin, who loves his baby brother, brings him cars and toys. When tummy time is over Alexander spends some time in his exersaucer.

At 3 months he is a little young for it, but being so sturdy and strong I feel he’s ready. An hour later he starts to get sleepy so I lay him back in his crib for a nap. 

9:00 a.m. 
Now that it’s just Justin and I, it’s time to bake some cookies. Jason and Jayden need snacks for school and work, there’s a Bible study at our house Thursday mornings, and Anoud and Denise’s kids love cookies in their lunches too.

9:30 a.m. 
Outside the air is filled with the humming of a generator, banging hammers, and the sounds of workers, sometimes singing, sometimes shouting instructions trying to be heard over the noise. New neighbours are building a home on the lot next door where the previous house had collapsed after the earthquake.

10:00 a.m. 
The cookies are finished, and at the sounds of a marching band outside, I lift Justin into my arms and head out onto the rocky street. Sure enough trumpets sound, drums beat and people chant. From the way they are dressed it seems like some kind of Catholic celebration.

10:03 a.m. 
There’s a knock at the gate. The plumber is here with his apprentice. Yesterday our pump had stopped working due to issues with our empty water reservoir. The landlady had called the plumber, but Jason had in the meantime been able to fix the problem on his own. I call the landlady and explain the situation before sending the plumber and his apprentice back home. I feel bad that there is no work for them as the plumber looks thin and in need of a haircut. The landlady promises to pay him for coming out and is thankful the pump does not require any costly repairs. 

10:07 a.m.
Using my kitchen timer as a guide I do my 6 minute exercise routine. Even though I’m a busy mom, I have learned to incorporate this routine into my day to stay healthy and strong. 

10:15 a.m. 
Denise is back from the market with our weekly supply of fruits and vegetables.

I put Justin down for his nap and then work together with her to cut, scrub and soak them in purified water and a drop of bleach. I juice some of the fruit and vegetables to incorporate a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals into our daily diet.  

10:45 a.m. 
Sweat drips down my back as I tighten the screws that keep our screens against our windows. It’s very important that we can limit the amount of mosquitoes that come inside, especially because of the tropical diseases they carry. 

11:00 a.m. 
Time for cooking class. I am teaching Denise North American style dishes as I recently helped her find an afternoon job cooking for a guesthouse. Today on the menu is lasagna. We make it together and then I write down simple directions. Although she is basically illiterate she is able to sound out the simple Creole words so she knows the sequence of steps she must follow. We practice English together as we work, since the lady managing the guesthouse does not speak Creole.

I feel prompted to look up the verse “Children are a heritage of the Lord.” I find it in Psalm 127: Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Throughout the rest of the day I ponder the various concepts found in those verses and how they apply to my life. 

12:00 p.m. 
The lasagna is finished. I plastic wrap the baking dish before putting it in the fridge. With Jason not being back till tomorrow, I decide to make something simple for the kids and I tonight and save the lasagna for tomorrow. 

12:15 p.m. 
Justin is awake. After a simple lunch of Haitian spaghetti, I flip several switches in the kitchen so the water pump will run on the inverter.

City power is rarely on during the day, but if I wait till noon when the sun is the brightest I can run the pump off of the solar panels via the inverter.

In the laundry room, which is attached to Anoud and Denise’s house Justin helps me load the machine.

12:25 p.m. 
I put away the freshly washed fruits and veggies and then together with Justin wash the lunch dishes.

12:30 p.m. 
I hear the honk of the water truck.

I head outside, greet the driver and then ask to check if the truck is full.

I climb up the ladder and sure enough find it full to the brim. Several long fire hoses are rolled out, which then snake around the house to the back where our underground water reservoir is located. A second helper holds the hose down as the trucks's pump gets turned on and water sprays into our reservoir.

I run inside for my bottle of bleach which I then add to the water to kill any bad bacteria. I then pay the driver $2250 Gourdes ($50 USD) for 3000 gallons of water. Depending on how many visitors we have this can last us anywhere between two weeks and one month. 

1:00 p.m. 
Alexander is awake again and I spend time feeding him, playing with him and Justin, and folding laundry.

3:30 p.m. 
Jayden is home from school and excited to tell me all about his day. He then plays a little while on the ipad before transitioning to legos and pirate play-acting with his little brother.

5:30 p.m. 
The sun begins to set as I make a simple supper of Kraft dinner and salad.

The boys love it and Jayden once again helps the slower Justin finish off.

6:00-6:30 p.m. 
One by one the boys all take their bath. I use only a small layer of water, which they all share.

6:30 p.m. 
It’s bedtime for Alexander and Justin.

Once they are settled, I spend the next half an hour doing homework with Jayden.

7:30 p.m. 
It’s Jayden’s bedtime too. After putting him to bed, I decide to splurge by filling the bath with some warm water and washing my hair. 

8:45 p.m. 
Since Jason won’t be back till tomorrow sometime, I decide to go to bed early. I check on the boys. Everyone is fast asleep.

After ending the day talking to my heavenly Father, I fall asleep to the sound of dancing rain on the tin roof and a cool Caribbean breeze blowing in through the screens. Frogs and crickets chirp enjoying the damp coolness of the night.

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