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Saturday Adventures

April 20, 2008

I came into this weekend trying desperately to think of something that I could write a blog update about that people would find interesting….I didn’t really think of much. There have been a few random activities that have occupied my day that might be fun to read about for some people, so here goes…

The car won’t start…

Today started around 5:40, about an hour later than most days. I got up, walked the perimeter with Heather and the dogs, did my devotions, and prepared to go in to town to run errands and go to the ladies breakfast at church. I of course was running a bit late in leaving for town and when I finally made it outside, I found out….the car wouldn’t start again. I had phoned my friend the salesman on Friday asking to bring the car in to be looked at because it did not start on Thursday. He informed me that they would not be able to provide me with a loaner car until Monday or Tuesday so I should wait until then to bring the car in. Needless to say, I didn’t make to town for errands today nor did I make it to the ladies’ breakfast. I’ll be phoning my friend the salesman on Monday to find out what he can help me with. Still praying for a solution to this ongoing saga.

A cat in the toilet…

This morning Dipuo came down for her traditional Saturday visit. Whilst we were sitting on the sofa singing and dancing along to my newest cd, some of the children came to the door and asked me to come and do some investigating. Evidently the children had heard a noise of some kind coming from the school bathrooms, they thought it might be a cat. I grabbed my school keys and walked to the school to get the keys to the bathrooms to investigate the situation. Knowing that there was distinct possibility of said cat being in pretty desperate straits, I grabbed a cloth from our school basket to protect myself from the scratching and clawing of said cat and to help if said cat was injured. Armed with my cloth and bathroom keys, I attacked the bathrooms full force…making sure to tell the large group of children that had gathered around to stay away from bathrooms while I went in….I wasn’t convinced that there might not be something besides a cat in the bathrooms given the sighting of a snake the day before in one of the homes. I went in to the bathrooms, checked EVERYTHING out and found….Nothing….no cat…I don’t know what the kiddos heard that they were so concerned about, but there were no living creatures visible in either the boys or girls school bathrooms.

The funky smell….

Today has been my cleaning day. Lerry poked his head in this morning and asked if I was doing “spring cleaning” since it’s spring in America. I told him yes and asked if he wanted to help…he bolted. I ended up spending most of the day tearing apart my flat in search of a very foul smell that was coming from somewhere in my living/dining area. I have managed to narrow down the fact that the smell, as unpleasant as it is, is coming from my wonderfully comfy sofa. I took all the cushions off the sofa, washed the sheets that I use to cover the sofa, and then waited on the baby that slept half the day in my flat to wake up so I could run the vacuum to try and remove any invisible objects that may be hiding within the crevices of the base. After running the vacuum in the sofa crevices, I thought maybe I had sucked out whatever was causing the smell to go away because things were starting to smell better. Later on I found out that the only reason it smelled better was that I had started mopping the floor so the whole flat smelled like cleaner. I’m going to try to get my hands on some Febreeze tomorrow to see if maybe I can get some of the smell out. The worst part is, my incredibly comfy sofa has a history with these sort of smells. Once upon a time, when this sofa was in a different flat…a dead bird was found deep in the cushions of this thing. I am hoping this problem is something Febreeze will help and not something that requires gloves and a mask to clean up. Hopefully I will be able to identify this unpleasant aroma and put my house back together some time this weekend.


A snake encounter…

Along with cleaning my flat, laundry has also been on the list for today. During one of my many trips to Heather’s flat (she has the washing machine), one of the children came running around the corner of the houses to notify one of the housemothers that there was a snake in our midst. I went along to scope out the situation and found out that there really was a snake on the brick patio type area on the other side of our houses. The snake was small, but where we are…small doesn’t really matter because eventually they get big and when they get big…they make more. I watched the snake try to crawl up the walls and windows of the house for bit and then decided enough was enough. By this time the kids and some of the house moms were all gathered around and in a complete panic about the snake trying to get in to their houses. While one of the children went to get a hammer for me to deal with the snake with, I ended up grabbing a toy that was on ground close to where I was standing and dealt with the snake before anyone got too worked up. Yes…sorry to those of you who are sensitive to the serpent kind, but I did kill the snake.


Baking with Bongani…

During my nearly 6 months over here, our boys have grown very fond of the idea of learning to bake and/or cook. I have had many adventures with the kids in this area. Today was Bongani’s turn to try baking. I had gotten the idea earlier in the week that I might like to go through the efforts of making some cut-out sugar cookies since I had received some fun food coloring from the states to add to my icing. Bongani had asked Heather earlier in the week if he could bake with her, but at that point, she had already made plans to bake with two of the other children that day (it has become pretty apparent that when baking with someone under the age of 13, it’s best to limit your “helpers” to one or two.) I asked Bongani if he would like to help me with the cookies and he was ecstatic. He helped mix the dough and then took a break to play whilst the dough chilled in the frig. You would swear that his math teacher never taught him to tell time because I told him to come back in an hour and the kid came back every 10 minutes to see if it was maybe, possibly, almost time to cut the cookies out. When the hour had finally passed, Bongani was able to cut out and bake his flower, sun, and butterfly sugar cookies. He finally got everything baked and was in the middle of cleaning up his mess when it was time to go home for supper. I give the kid tons of credit though, as soon as he was finished with supper, he was back at my house finishing his dishes and icing his cookies. He was very cute when he walked into his house carrying a tray of finely decorated sugar cookies for his entire family. You would have thought the kid had just won the biggest award of his life from the smile that he had when he showed his cookies to his mom and dad.


Remember Saturday and Sunday afternoon naps…

Do you remember when you had time to take Saturday and Sunday afternoon naps? Maybe not….because when we were young, our parents made us take them and we hated them because we wanted to do so many other things. Then we grew up and longed for the Saturday or Sunday when we MIGHT not be quite so busy and maybe, just maybe, we could nape for a half a hour or so, but that only really happened maybe once every couple of months. Well…I got to witness one of the best naps ever today. Dipuo napped at my house, again. This girl takes some GREAT naps. It cracks me up, you lay the girl down because she’s rubbing her eyes and can’t sit up because she is so tired. Once you lay her down she rubs her eyes and screams for about 2 minutes and is then out for between 3 and 4 hours. The girl can sleep through my nebulizer treatments, she slept through my creeky, adam’s family style door opening and closing in the wind, the mixer turning on and off, cookie baking, and children running and playing outside the open windows. I guess you really adapt to sleeping with noise when you live in a house with 5 brothers under the age of 5.


Family photos with pre-schoolers…

Alyssa (one of our interns) made a great point tonight…we might really show you all what our kids are like if we took a video of Heather and I trying to take family photos for the website, and put it on the website. With one of our team members returning to the states last year, the role of Bethesda photographers fell into Heather and I’s list of things to do from time to time. This is an assignment that I REALLY enjoy, but man-alive, can it be challenging. Moms of pre-schoolers, picture yourself with your children and husband at the photographer trying to get a nice family photo taken…now imagine taking said picture outside….now imagine taking the number of children you have and doubling it or tripling it or quadrupling it (depending on how many children you have)….now picture all of those children being under the age of nine….oh yea…did I mention it’s starting to get dark and there are other children playing all around where the photo is being taken…sound like fun? It actually is quite the entertaining process to watch. All I know is I am very thankful for digital cameras because I can just point and shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot some more and just pray that one of the 75 photos I took might turn out to have everyone looking at the camera and maybe half of the kids will be smiling and if the other half of the children don’t have their hands on their face or on their siblings or pointing at you, then you have a winner.


How was that for a Saturday in the life of a Bethesda Missionary? It’s now 10:20. My day started approximately 17 hours ago and I still need to remake my bed from laundry today, finish up some of the icing dishes that Bongani missed out on because of bed time, and put my house back together from my cleaning escapade. I think I’ll make the bed first and then save some of the fun for tomorrow. I wouldn’t want all the excitement to come in one day.


Happy Weekend!

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