I've had bits and pieces of blog posts in my head for so long, so this might be a compilation of everything...
Life here just never seems to stop going. There is always something to keep me busy. Most days I consider myself to have a head start on the day if I get my bed made before 5 pm. (This probably says more about my bedtime/rising habits than anything else, but still.) Work this shift, go shopping, take this person there, go to that person's goodbye dinner, bake muffins for something else, etc, etc, make more baby food because we're running out, type up development charts, record things, try to set up a budget (eish! the amount of money I've spent on food this month when I haven't been keeping track! I can only hope that those funds have gone into stocking my pantry and I can eat for a while off of that...)
A little about my life here...I live upstairs in a room off of the baby home, and I live with all Africans. Joy is my roommate, and then Sbu and Sihle are the married houseparents who live in front apartment of the home. In the main part of the home, there are a steady stream of caregivers, interns, and visitors. I share a kitchen and a bathroom in the main part. Between 6:30 am until the babies go to sleep at night, this home is rarely quiet. My room is in the corner of the baby home and the front apartment, so I hear EVERYTHING. If the babies aren't crying, someone is playing music or talking on the phone or having visitors over (that last one is usually at a normal hour) or having a party or something. (Africans get up early and go to bed early. I haven't acclimated.) I am up by then 4-5 days a week for a shift. On the days I'm not, I roll over and put in my very effective earplugs. I bought a whole box. They save my sanity and probably my relationships too. =)
I am enjoying living with all Africans. Mostly everyone here is from a different culture than each other, so I'm not completely different. Sihle and Sbu speak a South African language (she's probably going to smack me for not remembering which one) and a lot of caregivers speak Shona, so there is a lot of English spoken. I still want to learn Shona so I can understand the 1/3 or so of conversations in this house that I don't currently understand...
It is different than sharing a kitchen/living space with Americans. Africa is very go-with-the-flow. (Except when it comes to dulling your housemate's kitchen knives.) (We got a knife sharpener.) I'm not very go-with-the-flow. At all. I'm learning. It is nice to be on the receiving end of go-with-the-flow. Whenever I drive Americans, they're all like "BE ON TIME! WHY AREN'T YOU ON TIME?!" Africans are just like "Eh." Except Sihle, who likes to proclaim, "YOU ARE LATE, BEAUTIFUL ONE!" and further scold me as I am rushing out the door for church after a crazy morning on shift. Most of us also tend to speak our minds more blatantly than most Americans. This is rather startling at first but becomes, if not always less startling, often amusing. Hey. It's life. =) I'm sure I speak my mind about things that are strange to everyone else living with me. We do laugh a lot, so I guess it's not all bad. =)
I have had quite a bit of car trouble lately. =/ I had to have my clutch repaired (thankfully not replaced like I initially thought), something fixed with my suspension, and now my battery needs to be replaced. Life is surprisingly expensive. I'm also surprisingly dependent on my wheels...one would think I would be fine for a week or so without a car, after last year (10 months without one). But a day or two and I'm all AAAAAHHHH! I NEED TO GO PLACES AND DO THINGS!
I have gotten to do quite a few rides for people on property/nearby. It's fun (although inevitably someone needs to go somewhere right when I'm heading to go somewhere else). Sometimes it involves squishing a crazy amount of people into my car. Sometimes it involves picking people up so they don't get taken to prison for not having the right papers after a long day at Home Affairs trying to GET the right papers...otherwise they are trying to make it across the street to catch a taxi, but the police wait right outside for them and if they don't have the right papers, you could get fined or worse. Sometimes it involves trips to thrift stores. =) Sometimes it involves large tubs of fish and wrong turns down dark streets in the dark when your car won't go into reverse. Sometimes it involves waiting awkwardly and yellowly in taxi stands....but all in all, it's been a big help for me to have a car here!! Now if I can just get it up and running again...
*break to feed Grace (twin #1)*
Morning snuggles from last Monday's night shift - aka Auntie Abbie doesn't want to get out of bed yet.
Oh, speaking of twins, I now have proper nicknames for them. They were Grace and Peace, nicknames I gave them before I met them for blog purposes, but now that I know them well, I can give them nicknames based more upon their personalities.
The ditzy looking one staring at her hand... ;) (she does that all day long, with a sort of awestruck wonder: "A HAND. I HAVE A HAND. OH GLORIOUS HAND, HOW I LOVE TO STARE AT THEE.")...anyway, the one staring at her hand - Peace - now has the nickname of Chipmunk (because of her chubby fat cheeks. I also call her Fat-face or Chubbycheeks. Don't worry, being fat is a good thing here... =D)
The other one, Grace, is the more vocal of the two. She's also the more motivated twin when it comes to tummy time, etc. My nickname for her is Chickadee.
It's late. My loving roommate walked by half an hour ago and scolded me for not being in bed. No, she's not bossy (mostly) and she typically is smarter about these things than I am...but I stayed up to finish my blog post!
Sorry for the short posts lately. I promise to attempt a deep and insightful post...soon! =) If I can dig something up...