A day in the life (at home)

While every day is not the same, there are definitely some rhythms we have settled into. Please join me as I describe a typical day at home.

6:00 – (try to) get out of bed! Start the coffee maker. We decided to bring our coffee maker and grinder with us from France in our checked luggage. That’s how much we love coffee. Also, the grinder was a gift from one of our donors, so it’s special!

The coffee comes from BujaCafé, a company started and run by Burundians. The coffee is great! In the background you’ll see Ethopian coffee brought back to us from our neighbors who are from Ethiopia!

6:00-7:00 Various things before children get up – Read Bible, pray, do my physical therapy (yes, I still do it every day), some days I have to rinse and soak beans so that they are ready to be cooked by our householder (Acheri).

Beans after they have been rinsed. I usually do a “quick soak” which includes adding 1 kg of beans, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 4 L of boiling water. They are ready for Acheri to cook in 1-2 hours. This is what they look like 5-10 mins after pouring boiling water on them.

7:00-9:00 – Breakfast (which includes smoothies on the days I’m home), kids play, and I get things ready for the day. This includes writing a list for Acheri, starting laundry, filling pitchers with filtered water, and filtering water.

Thankful that we brought our blender (via shipping container). We use it 5-6 days out of the week! Behind you will see containers of peanuts and granola. These are a few staples we usually have on the counter. Acheri sorts and roasts peanuts each week and he also makes granola almost every week.
How we filter our water every day.
Eating smoothies on the back porch has become a tradition.
Acheri speaks Kirundi, some French, and wants to learn English. So I’ve been communicating with him in English so hopefully he can improve slowly.
There’s always a load of dishes to do! Anitha, our nanny, helps out with this part sometimes as well.

9:00 – Acheri and Anitha show up for work.

Anitha and Mark at our old house

9:20 – Girls head to pre-school. We love our pre-school teacher! She will be Amelia’s Kindergarten teacher next year.

KHA – Kibuye Hope Academy. Missionary kid school for grades K-8. After middle school, they go to Rift Valley Academy.

After school, the girls go out and play with Anitha until lunch at 12:00.

Acheri (on the left) is working on a chicken pot pie. Sylvestre is our gardener and also delivers milk to all the houses in the morning. Acheri boils the milk then filters it and puts it into jars for us to use.

9:20-11:45 I usually spend this time doing a little housework, teaching Acheri a new recipe, but mostly I use this time for admin work for the hospital. I just looked, and I’ve created 47 new powerpoint presentations from scratch in the past 20 months. I don’t say that to brag (in fact I think it makes me sound like a glutton for punishment) BUT instead I say it to show how much I love job here, especially the teaching part!

Lunch usually consists of either pb and j, rice and beans, veggie burgers, or leftovers.

1:00-3:00: we hang out at home with usually 1/3 (but sometimes 3/3!!!) children taking naps.

3:00-5:00 – Anitha comes back to watch the children. We have been blessed to have Silas here as an intern and he plays outside with the kids in the afternoon.

5:00 – Kids come home and it’s basically a blur until 7:00 when Mark goes to bed and the girls start getting ready for bed.

Some evenings we have guests over for dinner. Every week we have two of the college guys over (one of them is Silas – the intern) and once every three months we have medical interns (doctors who are part of the “Stage Professionnel” program at Kibuye Hope Hospital”) who have just finished their 3 month peds rotation over for dinner. We also have team members over for dinner from time to time.

After dinner, Michael and I tag-team with either playing with children, getting them ready for bed, prepping stuff for the next day (making sure things are thawed that need to be used the next day in the kitchen for example.), clean up dinner/kitchen, and finally we get the kids to bed.

The evenings consist of various things – either team events on Wednesdays (prayer groups, team meetings, etc) or Zoom meetings, or working on things, or relaxing. The sun sets between 6ish and 6:30 year-round. We go to bed super early! Well, I do anyway (Jenn)!

Thanks for hanging out with us for the day!

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