One month. Can you believe we’ve been here a whole month? Time has been flying by! I am hopeful that once everything we do stops being new, time will slow down a bit (a girl can dream, can’t she??). We have really taken a role of students and observers since we’ve been here which I have been loving. That being said, that has resulted in us not taking tons of photos so far. I keep having to remind myself that we are here for almost eight months, and that there will be time to do all the things. Every time I think “we haven’t done this yet!” or “we aren’t taking enough pictures!” I remember, we have 6 and a half more months here to take lots of pictures and to try all sorts of new foods and adventures. That being said, we already love chapattis and rolex, and the street popcorn is next on my list to try!
We are having a great time now, but when we first got here we definitely were not. Our first week was really tough. We both cried a lot, both wondered what in the world we are doing here, and both really wanted to go home. Amazingly, in our respective moments of weakness and tears, the other person felt fine and was able to encourage and comfort. We really felt God using us to help each other through an incredibly scary time. It was especially hard for me as I found myself thinking about whether I actually wanted to do this at all, or if I even enjoyed any of this. It was scary to find myself doubting my degree and everything I’ve planned to do with my life. It’s funny what a jet lagged, scared brain does to itself. I am so thankful that as we get more settled, none of those thoughts have returned.
Speaking of settling, we were given an amazing place to live in while we are here (unfortunately it is at the top of the hill while the baby’s home is near the bottom – we have had some very hot walks home at the end of the day). We have been getting to know the other international volunteers we are working with, and really getting to know the routine of the baby’s home. We do a lot of dishes, change a lot of sheets, and wash a lot of windows, but we also make the nannies’ jobs so much easier. When you talk to them about their work, they know they are doing God’s work and that their jobs are so important, so it is our joy to be able to support them in such practical ways. However, we also get lots of time to just play with the kids and show them love. We switch rooms every two weeks, we had a few days in big toddlers, then two weeks in small toddlers and now we are in Tigers – who are between 9 and 18 months (ish). Each time we’ve switched I’ve thought “I’ll never be able to remember all these names” and then a few days later I already know most of them. I feel so fortunate to be able to call them by name when I enter the room and have them come hug my legs before going back to what they were doing. If you would like more explanation on how the baby’s home works, and what a day in our jobs really looks like, we would love to tell you that. Just let us know, and we can write up a post specifically about that.
And now, some lists.
Some of my favourite things so far have been:
- Karl being called “mummy” by the kids (he’s working on “uncle”)
- Being known and recognized when you walk in the door
- Watching Karl’s childcare skills grow and seeing him act out the love he has for these kids
Some surprising things have been:
- How incredibly tropical it is here! Our yard is littered with palms, aloe, and snake plants and on our walk home through the village we see avocado, banana, and jackfruit trees everywhere
- Being able to wear leggings almost every day without dying of heat
- How quickly we are feeling at home here – if we talked to you before we left, you probably heard us say we expected to have a really bad first month. In the end it was really only a bad first week – we are so thankful for that
Some of the harder things have been:
- Trying to find groceries to make anything other than pasta
- Finding those things and then having to pay a ridiculous amount for them
- Getting sick (which has happened a few times in the month we’ve been here)
- Power outages every day – sometimes for upwards of 10 hours at a time
And, finally, some prayer requests:
- Physically, for our immune systems to be able to recognize and fight all the new germs and bugs we’re encountering so we get sick less often
- For energy to be able to serve these kids to our best abilities
- For motivation for me to do my homework (this one might take a lot of prayer)
- And for all the babies and nannies here, too! Lots of the kids are sick, and the nannies work so hard, pray for their health and perseverance
Thank you again for your support, prayers, thoughts, and everything else that you’re doing for us from home. We would love to hear from you, whether through a Facebook message, the contact us form, or a comment – just because we’re doing something crazy on the other side of the planet doesn’t mean we don’t want to (or can’t) talk to you!