Monday, January 27, 2014

A "Normal" Day in Uganda (Africa Part #5)

An excerpt from Update Email #6:

Some of you have asked about daily life here at the guest house when we are not out and about. Well, the day begins with some small noises from Middle Boy as the sun is rising. We usually sit by him encouraging him to lay quietly until everyone else begins to stir at around 6:30. Then it's up and at 'em for the day. We get dressed, purify water and make Tang for breakfast. Mr. Fred makes breakfast-- boiled eggs and bread, bananas and bread, scrambled eggs or some combination of the above. We eat our breakfast in a common room with the other families who are here-- a total of 17 other kids and adults. 
After that I usually allow the kids to play for a bit and then we head down to our room for schooling. Here is where things get a bit nuts. All kids go to their beds in our guest room and I dole out books. I help the Youngest Girl with her work while the Oldest and Oldest Boy do something independently. Middle Boy usually looks at books or plays the kindle. The Youngest bounces from one person to another getting love and sharing laughs. After Youngest Girl is set with some phonics work she can do on her own, I do a math lesson with the big kids. While they are doing their math work, I go back to helping and reading with Youngest Girl. 
That might sound confusing and maybe even a bit impressive, but it's really only happened four of the days we've been here and not without a fair share of fit-throwing! We've fit in some history, grammar, science and art here and there throughout the days as well. After schooling, we leave daddy in the room to work a while in peace and head upstairs until lunch, also made by Fred. Lunches and dinners here consist of noodles, potatoes, rice, various meat in a beef sauce and/or some kind of fried meat. Occasionally we might have peas or beans (in that same beef sauce). 
Right after lunch the Youngest is usually fading and ready for a nap. I sing for a bit then put him down on his bed, read to the other kiddos and then rest a bit myself. Middle Boy is pretty good at entertaining himself again on his bed during that time. Sometimes I lay with him and read through some of the word books we have. He loves to copy us in speaking English. For the Youngest, English kind of just slips out, but we can really see Middle Boy working hard on his language acquisition.
After rest time it's play time for all the kids. They run around the house playing a made up version of hide and seek called "take him to jail" or play on the patio chasing each other and watching all the animals. We have cows, chickens, dogs, a cat, a pig, various birds and the occasional monkey that come around. The Oldest Boy sometimes practices his soccer footwork against the side of the building or passes the ball with some of the younger ones. Lately the plastic chairs in the common room have been a big play item, they get stacked for thrones, used for cars or just dragged around the tile floor to make an extremely loud sound! 

Once in the evening we took a walk down the rough dirt road that the guest house is on. It seems rough to us, but one of our drivers said that it was much worse before the orphanage director had it smoothed--paying for it himself. The views all around are gorgeous and we can't wait to take a walk the other way--we've heard the views of Lake Victoria are even more stunning than what we can see from the common room.
After dinner we head downstairs for the bedtime routine: washing up, singing songs, praying and turning lights out. We use my phone to play "ocean sounds" to help lull the masses to sleep. The Hubby and I turn in soon after so we'll be ready to wake up with Middle Boy as the sun rises on a new day.
It may not seem as glamorous as Africa should be, but it is nice to have a routine for the days we are not out sight seeing or doing adoption related chores.

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