I've had a few people ask what our weeks really look like here, so I thought I'd give you a rundown. It might be kind of boring, but will likely give you a feeling of what 'normal' life is here!
Marc's weeks are a bit more regular than mine are at this point. He is teaching Bible to grades 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12, plus spending his free time with students around campus building relationships. This is why we came and our biggest ministry avenue right now.
My biggest " job" right now, besides the girls, is learning language and culture. I spend about 9-10 hours a week in actual 'lessons' and then time outside of that watching recordings to refresh my memory. My hope is that putting in all this time now will open up doors for ministry in the future. It's a bit hard to tell people about Jesus when you don't speak the language!
So, into our week...Drop off Marc and Isaac at school around 7/7:15am. I head to Swahili lessons with the girls from 7:30am - 11:00am.
Leave the girls with a friend & go to HOPAC to teach Grade 8 Bible at 11:20am
Go pick up the girls & hang out a bit with my friend before heading back to school.
After school (2:15pm), Marc coaches basketball and I coach swimming, so another wonderful staff member watches our kids. We head home just after 4pm and have the neighborhood kids over from about 4:45pm - 5:45pm.
Dinner, baths, reading, prayer and Bible time, bed. Most adults here go to bed between 9 & 9:30pm. I'm still working on being in bed by 11pm, but see the value in an earlier bedtime...this heat really is extra draining!
Marc has a mens prayer meeting at 5:30am with other guys from our church. He comes home around 7 and we load up to head to school.
Head to Swahili lessons.. Tuesdays lessons are a bit further drive, so we usually don't get done until noon. Then we sometimes stop by the mall if there is anything we need from one of the bigger grocery stores rather than the road side 'dukas' that don't carry everything.Pick up Marc and Isaac around 2:15pm and head home. Tuesdays are the only day of the week we do not have after school activities. That being said, I have bible study at 4pm and get home around 6:30pm.
Dinner, baths, reading, prayer and Bible time, bed.
Wednesdays are my day at home. I let Marc take the car in the morning and we have Swahili lessons at my house, so I don't have to pack up the girls and go anywhere, which is nice. We alternate homes the 3 days a week we do Swahili between the 3 of us that have kids at home yet.
We usually wrap up around 11:30am on Wednesdays and I'm home the rest of the day. I typically get worship music together and send out the email for our worship team on Wednesdays. I try to get some guitar practice in as well - I need as much practice as I can get!! Marc has a staff meeting after school and then has bball practice after that, so he doesn't get home until almost 6pm. We quick eat dinner and he's out the door again to a leadership team meeting for church (kind of like elders) until 9:30 or 10pm.
Thursday:Drop off Marc and Isaac then head home for the morning., I teach Grade 8 Bible again at 12:00pm, so have to do any last minute prep for that. On Thursdays I've been leaving the girls home with our 'dada'. Dada means sister, and it's what we call our houseworker, Elnert.
I come home after teaching and depending on the girls naps, either go pick up Marc and Isaac or have them take a bjaji home after Marc coaches bball.
Thursday nights I have worship rehearsal. I usually leave around 6:30pm and get home around 9:30pm. Marc handles dinner clean up, baths, bedtime by himself.
Drop off Marc & Isaac then either run home for about an hour, play on the school playground for an hour or find an errand to do. Our church has a women's prayer group at 9am on Friday, and we always meet close to school. We catch up for a bit, spend a lot of time in prayer and worship and have a few snacks together. From there, I've typically been running some errands - going to the grocery store or whatnot. After school I have swim practice again. After swim practice, the school pool is open for swimming, so we periodically bring all the kids stuff and the whole family swims for about an hour. We usually have the pool to ourselves or maybe one other family. It's great!
Friday nights vary. Some nights we just come home and lay low. Some nights we meet have friends over for games or movies. Every once in a while we might go out to a 'restaurant' called Vernas. She and her husband are from South Africa, but make mexican food & serve it out of their home. :)
Saturdays are different each week. Some weeks we visit the orphanage that our church is partnering with. Some weeks we have leadership training through our church. Some weeks we have nothing and stay at home. Some weeks we head to the ocean and pay $6 for our family to sit poolside at the local resort. Some weeks we invite other people from our church over for a meal to get to know them. As we get to know more people and as Marc gets more involved with the leadership of the church, Saturday afternoons or evenings might become a prime time for discipleship groups to happen. We'll see!
We get to church by 8:30am. I am currently the worship leader, so we get there early to practice for the morning. Marc heads up the greeting team, so he hangs out by the entrance to welcome people as they get there. We are so grateful that a few other families are there early & their kids usually keep an eye on our kids. During church, I am obviously up leading worship and Marc has the responsibility of passing out welcome cards to the visitors, and we both take up the offering. After church we typically head home, though sometimes we visit the local 'fast food' which is anything but fast, but it's good and cheap food when we don't have the energy to spend an hour cooking when we get home. Sunday afternoons we all rest and usually most of us actually sleep for a bit. It's amazing how much we really need the rest. The added stress and heat of living in Dar certainly takes it's toll on us and we're all exhausted by the time Friday rolls around. Having not many plans on the weekends is such a blessing! Marc did just start meeting up with some others on Sunday nights for Ultimate Frisbee as well, which is a fun physical and social outlet. I stay home with the girls and Isaac usually goes along and plays with friends.
So there you have it, if you've stuck with me for the whole thing! :)
Life is similar in so many ways to what it was before and completely different at the same time. Feel free to ask questions about anything we're involved in right now! We'd love to answer questions!