And the holidays are upon us, I guess

I spent last Friday night at an out-door Carol-Sing picnic in the heat of the African evening. It was wonderful to sing Christmas carols in the moonlight while cooling down after a hot day…everyone should get to experience a steamy holiday season!! And with no TV commercials, no radio jingles, and no malls, I’m feeling quite unstressed about the upcoming season. Of course, it didn’t even occur to me to start the advent calendar until the kids pointed out that we’re already 7 days late. We’ll get Christmas stuff out this weekend—what’s a few more days when it seems so out of place!?!

Chad finished his term last Friday, not a day too soon. It was an exhausting term with teaching 4 classes. We tried to celebrate with friends at a new hamburger joint, but it didn’t go so well. Isaac was crawling over the booth walls to interfere with other people’s fancy dates, they gave the kids balloons and within minutes I was getting pummeled by all 4 of them while trying to carry on a conversation with the other adults, then Isaac decided to run away towards the road, and then Anya suddenly and without warning got sick to her stomach and vomited. I ended up taking Anya and Omara home before the food arrived, while Chad stayed and tried to keep the boys in their seats long enough to enjoy the American-style burgers. Next time I think we’ll celebrate WITHOUT the kids!!!

The kids get out on the 16th, which feels late. Anya has been echoing my feelings exactly, saying frequently, “Mom, I’m just worn out and I need a break!” I don’t have the heart to tell her it only gets worse. Ethan continues to have great days at school and then some that are not so great. I think he’ll do well with a break as well. The new kid in his class I had such high hopes for friend-potential has been having a rough time adjusting to Africa. I think we underestimate how hard it is on these kids when we uproot them from everything normal and plop them down in a place like Malawi where everything is different and they have to start over with no friends and no extended family. Anyway, this boy isn’t in a place where he wants new friends, so that’s not working out very well. Isaac is also hit-or-miss with his advances. Some days he’ll go 24-hrs without an accident, and then the next day he’ll fill his underwear 3 times before lunch. And that’s gross! I’m trying to stay calm and non-aggressive with it all, and I think it’ll pay off in the long run. I PROBABLY won’t have to send him to KG in diapers! Omara is walking everywhere, and has taken after her brother already in her love of the outdoors and of mud/dirt. She cries whenever she has to come inside. These African-born kids of mine won’t know what to do with a cold winter when we’re home on furlough!

Other things in life are starting to ease a little. Beef is back, and that's good because you can only eat so much chicken! And wonder-of-wonders, I saw Sprite and Coke at the store yesterday. It's been over 4 months since those were easily available. The black-market on Coke was getting quite impressive, I heard! Of course, the short relief from gas shortages seems to be up--lines are forming again, and public transportation is starting to shut down again. I guess you can't win it all!!

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