A New Normal

It’s been a few weeks since we arrived back at our home in Macha. The boys have been happily riding their bikes, playing outside and are back at school. There have been a few hesitations but it’s great to have them back in a routine… at least Mommy thinks so!

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Sleeping soundly on his first plane ride

Joel is back to work, focusing on strategic planning for the school and I’ve been home with Nathaniel. I am taking the rest of the term (which ends late November) to focus on my little guy who likes to eat and sleep often in the heat. The hope is that when the new school year starts in January he’ll be on some kind of a nap schedule and I’ll be able to work in some capacity with students again. The beauty of living at the school is that I can even have students come to my veranda and work from home. We will figure it out as we go but for now I’m thankful to simply be a mom in these early months. It’s hard to believe that Nathaniel is already 10 weeks old and as we are reminded often by our Zambian friends, he is a big boy!

Adjusting back to life here has, and will continue to inevitably have it’s ups and downs. It’s strange living at a primary school and not working with the kids. It can be a challenge being at home when there’s so much going on around us. But we enjoy daily walks to visit Daddy and Arja in the office and say hi to whoever is around. A few days ago we listened as the grade one class loudly sang in the activity room and stopped by when they whole school was learning about animals. We go to chapel when our day allows and attend our weekly team meetings. These little ventures out are good for me and I know we’ll get more involved as Nathaniel grows. I remember the struggle of having two babies at home in North America, often not seeing anyone else for a whole day. The isolation was the hardest part of motherhood for me and I know our new situation has its advantages. I can watch (or spy on!) Caleb and Micah play with their friends at break time from my house. I recognize how unique that opportunity is.

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Soccer after dinner in our very parched backyard

It’s been very dry, windy and hot. We often have to shield ourselves from clouds of dirt when we’re walking and it doesn’t take long for a layer of dust to settle in our homes, even with windows and doors closed. Weather-wise this is the most challenging time for me to be here. We are also experiencing daily rotating eight-hour power outages. A few gas burners, some solar lights and powered electronics definitely help us manage.  Rumour is that the situation will only get worse so we are anticipating what’s next. The value of the Zambian Kwacha has dropped significantly since we arrived in January. Although we are far from the hyperinflation we experienced in Zimbabwe, the economy isn’t in great shape. We are praying for things to stabilize and for good rains in the upcoming rainy season which will hopefully begin in the next month or so.

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Laundry dries quickly in the heat

While we were home, many of you commented to us about how much you enjoy reading the blog and getting updates. As we continue sharing our life here, if there are specific things you’d like to read about, please leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to write about them. We want to know what YOU are interested in. Thanks for continuing to follow along!

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3 thoughts on “A New Normal

  1. Love reading about your life there.Adjusting to a new baby is always a challenge and in your situation perhaps even more.So glad you can be part of such a vibrant community.Keep telling us about the surprises of everyday life and how you are feeling about them.Love the pictures too.I can visualize what the dryness is.I know the rains bring other challenges .

  2. Julianne…Thanks for the update. Yes I do enjoy reading your blogs….learning about the life of your family. It truly must be cultural upheaval from life here in Oakville. I am not sure that I could cope as well as you are. I will pray for rain…for stability of the economy..and peace & joy for your family. God Bless you all….Keeping you in my prayers…..hugs..pat

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