Our Typical Day In Malawi.
A lot of people have been asking for details about what our daily life is like here in Malawi, so I’m going to give the curious minds a run down of a typical day for us. Keep in mind that this will continue evolving drastically as we move out of our tiny guest house and into our home. It will also change significantly once we are settled enough to begin going to Malawi Children’s Mission regularly. Many things will change, but some will not so I figured I’d go ahead and inform those who are curious. Here is our typical day!
Josh and I wake up, spend individual time with the Lord, and get ready for the day. (Editor’s Note: I am hoping to get up between 5 AM and 5:30 AM going forward. Still working on it!)
Auntie Memory arrives and the girls wake up! I have not written about Auntie Memory yet, but she is a blessing to our family. First, we call her Auntie because that’s a cultural thing here. Instead of saying Mr. and Mrs., adults are referred to as Auntie and Uncle. Auntie Memory is our house helper. When you look at it from an American mind having a house helper is still a hard concept for me to deal with. Having someone else around to help with the chores I’ve always done is a weird feeling, but she is a blessing. Everything here takes longer. The girls clothes have to be washed by hand because the washer is not powerful enough, due to low water pressure, to remove toddler dirt and food stains. We don’t have a dryer, so clothes hang on the line. We don’t have a dishwasher, so everything is hand washed. We don’t have a vacuum, so rugs have to be beaten out. Dirt and dust builds up quickly so mopping has to happen every day and dusting every couple of days. Bedding has to be washed and ironed weekly and curtains almost monthly. When you have two little girls and a baby boy on the way, keeping up a home is a huge undertaking. Memory is here to help with that and she is doing a wonderful job. She catches on very quickly and has a sweet spirit. She loves playing with our girls and the girls love her, which is comforting since she will also be our babysitter on evenings when Josh and I have plans. We’re so thankful to have Memory as a part of our family. (Editor’s Note: Please add Memory to your prayer list with our family!)
We eat breakfast and read a bible story. Ella Jane pretty much only wants yogurt for breakfast these days so she has yogurt and half a piece of toast. Clara has a bottle and the other half of the toast. Some days we cook eggs and the girls enjoy those. If the power is out bread can’t be toasted and eggs have to be cooked on the propane stove. As far as bible story time goes, we love the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. We read that and then pray with Auntie Memory asking the Lord to bless our day and the people we come in contact with.
Josh usually leaves around this time to go and take care of whatever details he is trying to conquer. Today (Wednesday) it’s the DMV…again. Hopefully that doesn’t take 6-7 hours like it typically does, because he also needs to go to immigration to renew our visas. Even though Ken Mpemba has been working on getting our work permits since early May, the permit is not quite completed yet. The result is that until we have our work permit we have to continue renewing our visas every thirty days. Please pray that immigration continues going smoothly so we can have that squared away.
8:00 AM-11:30 AM
This is playtime for the girls and I. It usually involves running around in the back yard, digging in dirt, playing with leaves and sticks, reading books, doing puzzles and having tea parties. Even before we moved this has always been my favorite time of day. The girls’ sweet spirits bring me joy and laughter and I love being with them. Right now we don’t have much room to spread out and play so we are looking forward to our new home. We will have a small simple swing set outside once we move, so that will be fun.
Lunch time! Lunch is typically leftovers from last night’s supper or sandwiches. If the power is out it’s usually a sandwich day since the leftovers would have to be heated on the propane stove.
12:30 PM-3:30 PM
Afternoon brings nap time for my girls. They have always been wonderful nappers, and that continues here. We have definitely had some ups and downs as the girls have to share a room that is partially open to the rest of the house. They aren’t getting as much rest as their little bodies need, but as we get more freedom and continue adjusting they are beginning to return to their normal nap length. Ella Jane has been struggling with not being able to get out of the house a lot, and isn’t napping as well due to that. However, she is learning to do a much better job of reading to herself quietly and not waking Clara up, if she wakes up. Auntie Memory goes home when the girls lay down. When we move into our larger home and she has more she can help with she will work full days, rather than half days. I use nap time to get my work done. Things like blogging, meal planning, bible study and more are done during this time.
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Snack time and more playtime for the girls and I. Josh usually returns home during this time, as well.
I begin fixing supper. This can be quite an undertaking depending on if the power is on or not. I’ve been doing one-pot recipes on nights when the power is out, since I only have one propane burner. Planning meals has been a big adjustment for me. I’ve always done weekly meal plans and thought that out in advance, but I’m having to find all new recipes based on what’s available here. Some cuts of meat are harder to find. All the veggies are organic and fresh, which is wonderful! There are few processed items like broths, cream of soups, or seasoning packets. Cooking can be a time consuming endeavor, but the results are usually far healthier! We eat a lot of meals over rice or potatoes. Last night we had beef tips with carrots, onions and potatoes in gravy. We’ve done fajita meat and veggies over rice as well as a stir-fry over rice.
Supper is usually done by now and we eat as a family. We enjoy our family time and treasure every memory made around our table.
It’s bath time for the girls. If the power is out we don’t have hot water, which they hate, but it’s a part of life. After bath, they get in their jammies and clean their room while I begin the rather lengthy process of cleaning the kitchen.
The girls’ precious Daddy crawls into bed with them and reads them their nightly devotion and bible story. We’re currently using Sheila Walsh’s God’s Little Princess Bedtime Devotional and we enjoy it. After prayers and a lots of kisses the girls are in bed.
The girls are asleep and Josh and I usually get some work done. He typically works on video updates, newsletters, bills etc., while I read, scroll through Facebook or finish whatever didn’t get done during nap time. If the power is on we flip the hot water switch and wait about thirty minutes so that we can take hot showers before crawling in bed for the night.
10:00 PM-11:00 PM
We call it a night!