Recently I have been asked several times what exactly I do out here in Tanzania. We're with MAF. Mark fixes the planes. So how do I spend my time?
I have been asked via email by people we don't know but who follow our news. I have been asked by friends that I used to hang out with while we lived in the States. I was even asked by new friends out here who don't live on our side of town.
I think the assumption is that I don't do very much ... maybe just shop for food, cook it and look after the kids. I don't even have to clean as we have a Mama who comes in to do that. One lady here in Dodoma asked me if I was bored or lonely living on a compound with only one other family. Yeah right!!
I used to think much the same when I lived here before, that the MAF wives were 'busy doing nothing'! Just this last week I've had several different people asking me to do things for them and while I always try to help out, I've had to say no ... I just don't have the time at the moment!
I've shared before what I get up to out here for MAF and within the family in general terms. But I thought it would be interesting just to list what I have been doing, both for myself and for those of you who were wondering, what exactly it is that I do do out here! None of it is mind-blowing, none of it is particularly difficult, none of it is that different to what any other mum out here (or back home for that matter!) would do in a normal week ... it is just the nitty gritty of my life!
So here goes, just some of the things I have got up to over the last 8 days ...
- Shopping trip to the market
- Written a couple of cards to friends
- Played jigsaws and board games with the kids
- Watched a couple of movies and a few episodes of different TV series on DVD
- Went to church
- Did hospitality 4 times, twice because we had to for MAF and twice because we chose to
- Went swimming twice (once on my own, once with the family)
- Spent a couple of hours at the school taking photos and started editing them
- Shopping to some of the duka's
- Compiling the MAF Tz programme weekly news bulletin
- Kept up to date with emails (ish!)
- Had a Skype call/meeting with the current MMS Apprentice Wives group
- Did four lots of exercise
- Taught Naomi to play snap
- 5 loads of washing
- Fell asleep reading my book every night!!
- Wrote the agenda for a meeting, took notes in the meeting (which took place in the compound of a local mosque), wrote up the minutes
- Went out for lunch once
- Did the school run on the MAF bus three times
- Tried a couple of new recipes
- Listened to Abigail doing her daily reading for school
- Updated 2 different Facebook pages
- Arranged and supervised a couple of playdates
- Baked for and co-hosted a staff prayer meeting at our house
- Caught up with some friends
- Updated three pages on the school website
- Went to a Bible Study
- Had one afternoon siesta
- Learnt some new Swahili words
- Arranged a couple of meetings for over the next few weeks
- Started our online Christmas shopping
You might be under the impression that life is very different out here as a missionary but so much of it is just 'normal' everyday, mum stuff (just in a different setting, climate and sometimes a different language!) ... sorry if I have shattered any illusions you might have but this is a snapshot of the reality!!