Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Day in the Life . . .

At 7:45 this morning I decided to finally get out of bed. It’s Saturday after a long, busy week and I decided that a little extra sleep and laziness was in order.

As I was exiting my nice warm bed, Geoff informed me we had no regular coffee, but only decaf—ouch. We have no power this a.m. and all of our regular coffee was not yet ground. At first I thought that would not be a big deal, but about 20 min after being out of bed and not having yet had a chance to even make decaf due to people at the door, I decided that it would be necessary to call upon our dear friends the Browns and request that their son bring over on his bicycle “the real stuff”. Before I could even make the coffee I had another interruption and had to tell that person to please wait because what I was doing was a necessity. Whether or not you agree, the truth is COFFEE IS A NECESSITY!!!!!!

After coffee, and handling the request at the door, the next order of business for the morning was to get the girls from David Family started baking. We have had some complaints that our bread is too crumbly so I baked 8 different loaves of bread yesterday trying to come up with a new recipe. Together we tasted and decided on what recipe we wanted and then went to get the supplies we needed, but the canteen was closed. So, as I raided my cupboards for the supplies I also dealt out rakes for the boys in the family who had yard work to do. On the way to get the girls set up in their kitchen my neighbor asked me how to make jello. After instructing her we set off again to the kitchen, but were met by another one of the girls who informed us they were out of propane gas. So, we all turned around to help carry a gas can, but found it empty. At that point the decision was made to move all our operations to my house for baking. As we were arranging things, the manager of our guest house came over as I had invited her to taste test the new recipes. We enjoyed about 20-30 minutes of visiting over different breads while the girls patiently waited to begin fulfilling their orders for today.

While we were doing this, Geoff was moving 3 very heavy solar batteries with the help of some of the David Family boys, over to the new house--time to connect the system all together.

As I was helping the girls learn the new recipe and making them a treat of milk tea, a former student of Geoff’s showed up. Turns out he wasn’t a former student that had graduated, but one who dropped out at the beginning of this term because he thought “hands on” learning was useless. He now wanted to join the term and just take final exams. Geoff embarked on a 30 minute counseling session during which I got two boys from David Family started on the work of washing our van. As the van was being washed and Geoff was counseling the young student and I was helping the girls with the bread, Acacia arrived with her friend Anya who is staying with us for the day. Moments later and before Geoff and the young man were finished talking, someone else arrived. The young student decided to leave without finishing his milk tea. This next visitor is a young man who grew up in David Family, was trained in loom weaving and is now the instructor for hand loom weaving at the vocational school. However, today he was not here to discuss that work, but to do one of the other things he does so well---kill bats. We’ve had a small bat problem in this house which has been growing into a huge bat problem and Geoff decided to bring in the expert bat killer to get the house ready for the missionaries who will be moving in after us. As we said goodbye to the student, hello to the teacher and bat killer, the electrician wiring our solar system arrived to discuss today’s work with Geoff. Once he got the electrician organized for his day’s work and the bat killing commenced, Geoff gave two of our David Family boys money to buy meat for a special party we are having tomorrow to welcome Hasan to our family. Hasan is the boy we blogged about earlier this year who has CP and is almost about 8 years old. He now has his own house in David family with a fulltime caregiver!!!!
Geoff shortly thereafter left for Kiwoko to meet with one of his employees who had called this morning requesting to meet with him regarding something “personal”. Not too long after he left one of the young boys whom we have in an internship at the enterprise farm showed up looking for Geoff as the farm manager was looking for Geoff. I called Geoff who at this point was looking in on the maize mill operations. He said he had tried to call the farm manager, but his phone wasn’t picking up—he would leave the maize mill and find the boys and the manager at the farm. Meanwhile, there are 10 children playing in our yard and one of them is coming to me every 10 minutes about how everyone else is misbehaving and causing problems. I took time to explain “the box.” I said to, we’ll call him E, “this is a box with all of your thoughts and ideas and ways of doing things” “Here is another box of someone elses’s thoughts, ideas, and ways of doing things. Sometimes you have to realize that you are allowed to think ‘outside the box’ and that other peoples’ ideas are fine, too.” That seemed to satisfy until about 30 minutes later and 3 more interruptions from said child, I finally said, “I think you need to work harder to find a way to get along with everyone else here or just go home.” Children can be so easy to deal with SOMETIMES I thought as he said, “OK!” and trotted off smiling, problem solved.

Is this blog getting too long???? Well, I haven’t even gotten to noon yet!!!!! Acacia and Anya, in the midst of all of this, decide to paint, so I get them set up with all they need. Then we have to find a birthday present for a little girl whose birthday party they are going to at 1 p.m. The first batch of bread is now ready to shape into rolls and then I have to work with the girls on the new recipe for the wheat batch.

The bat killing is now done and the payment needs to be made, a child gets hurt playing, another gets bit by a biting ant and I think I’m getting into the low blood sugar range----but someone needs Tylenol, a drink of water and some advice on something they are cooking . . . and suddenly I realize it is 1 p.m. and the girls are late to the birthday party!!!! We jump into the car and off we go to the secondary site where the party is being held.

Now, before you think that EVERY Saturday is like this, let me say that last Saturday was unusually quiet. I had less than 5 interruptions all day last Saturday. This Saturday just happens to be unusually busy. We have to laugh though because New Hope just had an expert in time and corporate management visiting this past month. He sat down with Geoff in regards to the Maize Mill, Enterprise Farm, Church and the various committees Geoff serves on in addition to his counseling and mentoring of some of the children here. His suggestion for Geoff’s personal schedule was that he be more purposeful and diligent to minimize interruptions—“schedule” or rather be open for interruptions to happen at certain times of the day, but maintain an order the rest of the time by putting people off until later. We joked that maybe we should have set up a video camera of today’s events and send it to the expert to see how he would’ve handled, an ant bite, an empty gas can, a lost student who decides to be found, an electrician who is helping to move us into our house sooner, a bat killer who performs a necessary service, girls who need to bake, vans that need to be washed, etc, etc, etc. Maybe we don’t do a good job of juggling, but when 3 people are waiting to talk to you or need something, trying to come up with another time of handling their need just seems like more work than just getting it done. Maybe I should’ve named this blog, “Git ‘er done, ya’ll!”

Geoff just arrived back to say that there is an error light on one of the pieces of equipment, but the instructions are all in German!!!! He now needs the computer to look on the internet for more help :)
Well, until next time, blessings to you and smiles throughout your day whether it’s a quiet one or full of activity!!!!!


Janice Speaks said...

I'm tired just reading the blog. You didn't say what time you awoke. Was it 3am????

Beto and Laura Perez said...

you guys need one of those machines that spit out little pieces of paper with numbers on it and tell people to take one and wait in line.