What’s a normal day look like?
It’s a common question and so I hope to shed a little light on “my current view”!
Somewhere between 6:30-7:30am, I begin to try ignoring the noises coming from my two children! Sometimes, either I am successful or they are actually playing quietly, so I roll out of bed between 8-9am. If it is a Monday or Thursday, it’s definitely up by 8, so at least 1 cup of coffee has been downed before my AMAZING house helper, Ms. Irene, arrives.
Coffee, really!? In the land of Chai? Well, yes…I am thankful not ALL the coffee grown here is exported! So, once the electric kettle (easily the most worked appliance currently!) boils the water, the coffee starts brewing (via my beloved french press).
After serving a quick bowl of cereal to my kiddos, my cup o joe & I take a seat at our dining room table (occasionally there is another option for breakfast BUT that has to wait until momma has had a cup of coffee…a truth that Aubrey loves to share with anyone talking about coffee!).
A new morning also brings the need for a new days plan. Like I mentioned earlier, on Mon & Thurs our helper, Irene, arrives around 9am. She has been helping us for about 2 weeks now. She is a huge help to me as she tackles laundry, cleaning floors, the bathroom, and any other daily house cleaning jobs or possibly a trip to the grocery store. Having Irene helping me allows me to focus on school with the kids on those mornings.
In the midst of school time, I am also figuring out the plan for dinner. I have found myself saying multiple times…”it’s a good thing I enjoyed cooking/baking in the US, because if you don’t really enjoy it there you would hate it here!” What does that mean? Well, dinner (and sometimes other meals) is normally a project! First, I have to be certain I have everything I need…so the grocery list begins. (I am trying now to plan for at least 2 days, so we aren’t having to go to the store every single day!) Then it’s a family trip to the store. Occasionally, I will walk to the store myself, but there are many factors that play into that decision. The biggest being how many groceries are needed? You see…the walk down to the store is nice, but the walk back up the hill with the groceries then our 4 flights of stairs, yeah not so fun when completely loaded down.
So, usually after lunch there are a pile of dishes to be done which is also a project. Remember that electric kettle?! We use it and/or a pot of boiling water-multiple times during the washing & rinsing task.
Ok…it’s likely 2 or 3pm by this time. So, depending on what is on the dinner menu, it’s now time to be sure all the prep work is starting! This may mean mixing & kneading bread for biscuits or tortillas, peeling & chopping potatoes &/or vegetables, boiling, peeling, & chopping tomatoes for sauce. There is little in the way of conveniences…no bags of shredded carrots or cheese (when cheese is even available!), no frozen vegetables and very few canned veggie options, no pop open crescent rolls or Bisquick mix…it’s pretty much all from scratch!
I am thankful that I enjoyed cooking & baking in the US and I can honestly say I enjoy it here as well. I am enjoying trying to make our favorites from home…some of them have worked and some were a good try! (Don’t be fooled- there are evenings when I am SUPER thankful for those crushed but not broken boxes of mac ‘n cheese we brought from home!! And yes, I am so thankful my mother in law searched & found us the yellow cheese powder in bulk! You see we can get the noodles & in November we’ll have the ease of the cheese!)
As I have been learning the grocery stores here in Embu & Nairobi the past 2 months, I have identified some items that are either not available or quite costly. So, I have done some updating to our wish list. There you will find a list of some items that would truly be a blessing to us. Check it out and see what might help to make the next dinner project a little easier & yummier or life more enjoyable!
Love you all!!