Q. How do you manage the children everyday? Where do they go off to while you work? How often do you have visitors to your neck of the woods? Do you get mail from the US?
It depends what you mean by "manage". Some days really well, and other days are an embarrassment. I used to feel like a really capable and even above average mom. But that was like three kids ago. Somewhere around Noah or Phoebe it all fell apart.
Three of the kids get up at 6am and are out the door at 7am for school. They don't get back home until 4:30. Lydie and Phoebe wake up next at about 6:15 and Noah and Annie usually sleep till about 7am. Once Noah is up, all moments of quiet are gone for good. He enjoys the sound of his own voice. A lot.
Jeronne is responsible for Annie, and does a beautiful job with her. I am actually home with my kids 80% of the time. I only regularly leave to go for a run or to go to Women's Program on Tues and Thur. afternoons. They stay home with Jeronne while I do those things.
A part of me wants to be out and doing more - and wishing I was easily able to - but more than anything I want to be around right now when Lydie and Phoebe and Noah are so little and high-need (and all three of them are) and I know that in a couple years it will be easier to get out and doing more mission/ministry stuff. For now, Troy does the majority of that.
How often do we have visitors?
We used to host large teams in our home, but since we moved in August, we have just had a few friends and relatives stay with us. It seems like we have someone here at least once a month. We bought a futon and the family room is our guest room, it works out great. We've found it much easier to host two or three people -- ten and twenty was too much for us with our large family. It was causing stress between us and we needed to protect our family and our marriage. It is nothing personal against teams, it was just very tough to pull off that much company for multiple days while trying to love on and meet the needs of a lot of little kids.
There is not regular mail service in Haiti, no one here gets mail delivered to their door. We use a Missionary mail service called Agape. The address is in Florida. They fly the mail down to missionaries in the DR and Haiti twice a week. We don't really get much mail because we pay bills on line and most people write us via email -- but we do have a way to get mail - it takes a bit longer to get it, but is reliable.
This morning I went for a run. It was a weird experience because without warning I had some sort of emotional snafu - and I was bawling while running. I have to wait to explain the scene until I am in a writing mood ... or I won't do it justice. In the afternoon Brenda joined us at Women's program. It went well... we found out Dicleat is only having one baby. She is very relieved, but she is also insanely anemic and admitted that she does not take her iron pills because they make her sick. There was also a new three pound baby. The young mom of the baby (Monique) is not doing well with keeping him hydrated so Beth spent a lot of time with her trying to get the message across. Poor little guy was not looking very good. :( We also heard that Christianne had her baby and that they are both okay, we hope to see her on Thursday and confirm that.
Tomorrow I actually get to leave Port au Prince to head south with Troy, Nate and Brenda. Every time I have been in a position to go see another part of the island something has come up that kept me home. I am willling the children to stay healthy so that I can go on an adventure to check out some property and do fact finding in Petit Goave.
I'm not ignoring the other questions, thanks and I will get to them later this week. :)