I’ve been asked many times over the past months what my daily life here looks like. Wish that I had a really good answer to that question, but honestly no day here looks like the other. I can’t tell you how many nights Ashley and I have looked at each other and said “I don’t know what we actually did today, but I sure am tired!” Although I don’t really have a “schedule” per se and each day determines its own activities, there are some things that tend to happen on a regular basis. My weekly activities usually revolve around some form of language learning, doing work with the orphan project, and working with the goat project.
I typically go to language for two hours two afternoons a week and am supposed to be studying language for a couple of hours each day as well. As you can imagine, I don’t always get as much language studying done as I am supposed to 🙂 One morning a week, I try to spend an hour or so with another individual learning new stories from the Book so that some day soon I will be able to share hope and truth with people that I interact with daily.
For those that aren’t familiar, the orphan project (which honestly sounds like a really awful name) is something that our team is doing where we provide school supplies, uniforms, blankets, and free medical care to 30 (recently increased to 55) orphans. These orphans have guardians, but have lost either a mother or father (many to HIV/AIDS) and many live with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or older brothers and sisters, although some still live with one of their parents. One morning a week is usually spent visiting with 3 or 4 of the orphans and their guardians. My personal goal is to meet with each of the 30 children and get to know them personally during this school semester.
As for the goat project, this is where we provide two female goats to rural ladies in groups of 12, so that they can establish a herd and use these goats for milk or meat, or sell them for extra income – hopefully to invest in something such as a milk cow, land, or improvements to their home. At least one day a week we drive out to the goat site, where we have a herd of about 60 mama goats and an ever increasing number of baby goats and check on the goats, give vaccinations, or simply haul supplies out to the workers.We are currently building a new buck station for our goat beneficiaries to bring their goats to be bred by an American buck – this will hopefully provide increased milk production for their offspring. I also am trying to visit with each of our remaining 24 goat beneficiaries during this semester, so that sometimes takes up a morning.
The other remaining mornings and afternoons are spent visiting friends that we have made in town, buying supplies, studying language and any other random job that needs to be done. Things don’t move so fast here in Africa, so even things that shouldn’t take so long, usually do!
Now, that I’ve written a book, bet you wished you hadn’t asked what I do each day. Bet you don’t really understand any better now than when I started either, huh?