No Such Thing as Typical
It’s Tuesday. If this were a normal day, I wouldn’t know how to describe it, because here there is no such thing as a typical day. But I wanted to give you a glance into what a single day of life might look like. So here’s a peak into a not so typical Tuesday.
I briefly woke up when my roommate, Titi, left for work, but I must’ve been sleeping like a rock because I didn’t hear my phone alarm go off. Instead, I dreamt on; I dreamt that “Benny,” my little 17 month old was a young boy and had long curly locks of midnight brown hair, and everyone stopped and stared at how charmingly handsome this boy was. But then he all of a sudden started crying and as he cried, he shrunk back in years to being a baby again. He kept crying and crying and wouldn’t stop, so when I opened my eyes, it took me a solid minute to realize he was crying in real life. So I hopped off my top bunk and wandered out to the living room to console my little one.
After my quiet time reading and praying, I made some eggs and onions for breakfast and browned some bread in the pan for peanut butter toast (Jiff peanut butter from my dear friend Kelly). Benny was hanging on my leg nearly the whole time and when he saw me finally eating, he’d point to his chest and say, “Me?” because he wanted me to share. I taught him “please,” and he adorably pronounces it, “Peas.” This boy is going to grow up being an excellent English speaker! Especially since Lucia likes to speak to him in English as well!
I gathered some puzzles and sat down with the two crazies, teaching Lucia some counting and some colors. Luckily, Benny was able to entertain himself quite thoroughly with the puzzle pieces, though, I had to reprimand him a few times for throwing the pieces at Lucia.
Sibussa and Melissa both stayed home from school, since they weren’t learning today (because their school is terrible and the teachers don’t show up). So, I taught them how to type on the computer keyboard and showed them what a word document was and how to use some features. It was so difficult trying to teach keyboarding because I never had to teach it, I only know how to use it! But they really loved learning and want to keep practicing. Ayanda returned before noon from school because she had finished her exam for the day. So, we took Lucia and Benny to town with us to spend the rest of the day with their mama, which Lucia had been asking about for a couple days. During those free hours, I stole some internet time and paid a quick visit to Mangwaneni where I was eagerly rushed by twenty little ones, who brightened my entire week. How often do you get that many hugs and once? It reminded me how much I loved that place and it made me sad that I don’t make enough time to go there anymore. So, I decided I need to make a weekly visit to love on those little ones I’ve neglected for too long!
After returning to the girls home, Rachel and Kiley were already here, which was fabulous because that gave me an extra hour or so in town. They tutored some of the girls one on one, and I studied with Shashie. Ayanda joined us in the room later, and the study session turned into a giggle fest after Shashie “poofed” (their word for fart)quite loudly and looked up at me with big scared eyes, hoping I didn’t notice. When we caught eyes, I lost it and we both couldn’t stop laughing. Ayanda asked why we “poofed” in public in America or talked so freely about it, because “here, I can’t do that,” she claimed. That just brought more questions and more laughter.
Then it was time to talk to the police who showed up at our house (a longer story for another day, and no that’s definitely not typical). We had gone to the police the previous night to report one of our girls who had gone missing, and along with her went a lot of missing money, too. Just tonight we learned her whereabouts and she is safe, which is what matters most. But she certainly has caused a lot of stress the past few days and has gotten herself into a web of lies and messes that will take a very long time to get cleared up.
Johannes paid us a surprise visit over dinner, which Sibussa had cooked a nice flavored rice meal. Around 8 I dropped Kiley and Rachel off in town and drove back to the girls home to find most of the girls already in bed. I made my rounds to the different rooms and hug and kiss the girls goodnight and then stayed up later with Ayanda, Shashie, and Sibussa, as they gave me some SiSwati lessons. The language lessons turned into laughter because I misprounced some words, which apparently ended up being quite inappropriate. But it was a lesson well-learned because now I know when the girls are using naughty words. I ended the night by journaling in the living room for a few minutes and then headed to my already dark bedroom where Titi was fast asleep.
I would tell you that I went to sleep and woke up to repeat the previous days activities, but no other day has been exactly like this Tuesday. Wednesday was quite different, and it just reminded me that in my new life here, there is no such thing as typical.