Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rats don't flush well

Well, we found the rat in the toilet. I don't know exactly what Joel did with him, but it might have had something to do with killing it and then flushing it. A few days later we noticed a really bad smell from the bathroom (that is the bathroom that I don't use anyways for other reasons; but now that there has been a rat in the toilet I really wouldn't use it) and I am thinking that the rat didn't flush well. Joel said he would take care of the problem and I haven't noticed the smell today. I am not going to ask him what he did to solve the problem. Maybe it went away because I ignored it long enough?

They tell us that there are more rats and I am kidding myself to think that this is the one and only rat in this house. So, we need to get some stuff to kill them. And we need to get a cat. I am thinking we need 3 or 4 cats or whatever it takes to KNOW that there aren't any rats in the house but Joel thinks that one is enough. We'll see.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting easier!

I realized that I should say something now that things are getting easier for us here in Kabwe. It is easy to notice when things are going bad; and also easy to ignore it when things are going better.

So, first of all, let me say that my washing machine is hooked up to water! Yay! I am so happy to be able to wash clothes without having to get the boys to haul water for me. I am just about completely caught up with laundry; but I do have a pile of mosquito nets (I hope I can wash them in the machine!) that need washing.

The electricity has also been so much more predictable for the last month. We usually have no electricity for 3 hours on Tuesday evenings and maybe Friday or Saturday evenings too. And then once or twice a week the lights might be out in the mornings as well for 2 or 3 hours. It has been wonderful! We still don't have water when we don't have electricity; but that isn't as hard now since we usually do have electricity and if we don't, we are almost certain that it will be back on in a few hours. We were already used to having no lights for a few nights a week; so this isn't hard for us at all.

We hired a guy to work in the yard 3 times a week. He has come twice so far and he is doing a great job. He just rakes up leaves mostly; there are lots of trees and lots and lots of leaves and I was worried about snakes or spiders. There is no grass to cut or flowers to tend to; but at this point I am just happy to have somebody to clean up the leaves for me!

We also hired a lady to help me in the house 3 times a week. She has been here once and it was soooo hard to have somebody else here (makes me almost sick to my stomach to think of her coming again tomorrow) but boy, we sure did enjoy having the kitchen clean and the floors mopped at the end of the day and I was able to spend the day doing school instead of the cleaning!

Everybody has been healthy except Jasper (hopefully he is better now) who left me a mess on the floor this morning from a really upset tummy.

Right now there are lots of flies which are driving me crazy. Yesterday we saw a rat in the house (yuck) which makes me want to get a cat. I guess it is pretty common here for people to have rats in their houses; but this is the first we have seen in our house. I have a hard enough time to deal with the pet hamsters that the girls are babysitting; let alone a real, live rat.

Oh, and other good news! Our good friends from Lilongwe, James and Lee-Anne with their 3 kids will be in Lusaka on Saturday so we are going there to see them for the day!

So, life is getting easier. While we are in Lusaka we will price a new fridge, freezer (when we get these I can start once a month cooking again) and some bookshelves and dressers/wardrobes. All of these things will help us finish settling in and help keep the house neater and more organized (which I need if I am able to get everything done that I need to each day!). I especially would like to have fewer places for rats to hide!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life in Kabwe

It is hard to believe that we have been in Kabwe for almost a month! Time sure is flying by!
We are "enjoying" the summer heat, full force. I think that last year during the hotest part of the year we were at the lake. It was extremely hot but we had the benifit of being able to visit the beach each day if we wanted to. This year we have the extreme heat, but no lake so it might just seem hotter than last year.
Kaleb played the guitar in church this morning! He had fun and the piano player noticed that he has his own way of doing one of the songs, Shout to the Lord. I knew that this was Kaleb's Brazilian roots coming out...that is where we learned that song and I have never heard it played better than it was played in Brazil!
The household chores are taking their toll; we just can't get them all done. This house is much smaller than our other house, but is just harder to keep clean. You can sit in the livingroom and do nothing (we were sick for a few weeks so I know this for sure) and still be covered in dirt by the afternoon (it is so dirty; we have no grass in the yard so the dirt just finds its way into the house; it seems like it could bring a cool breeze with it). After the boys haul 8 big buckets of water from a bathroom (well, it is kind of a bathroom; there is running water; no toilet or shower...) to the outside room where the washing machine is to do just one medium sized load of washing, they don't have a lot of energy to do other chores. We also can easily do 2 loads of laundry a day after we finally catch up with our laundry (after not having a washing machine for 3 weeks I still have piles of towels, sheets, quilts and clothes that need to be washed) which is just a lot of work until we get the water hooked up in there.
We have been sick but now are all better! A few coughs and sniffles are still hanging on, but we are all well enough to go to church and do school.
Jasper is one of the most scary dogs in the neighborhood! He has a big bark and looks pretty fierce so we don't really worry about security here. Some teen boys were seemingly getting ready to use a slingshot on him one day but Joel saw them and chased them away. The problem here is that when people are really scared of your dog they might just throw some poisened meat into the yard to kill him. Sadly, our missionary friends' dog (Jasper's brother) was killed just that way a few months ago. Because of that we actually have Jasper sleep inside since we got here.
I started attending a Tuesday morning ladies bible study again. It is a small group and that is nice. It is also just a short walk from my house so I am away from home less than I was for our bible study in Lilongwe.
Joel has been doing a lot of traveling and he will leave again soon for another trip. I thought it would be harder having him gone but having my two almost grown sons around really helps. They made sure that the doors were locked up at night and that we always had drinking water (they would haul it from Babu and Bibi's)...two very important things! We don't have a car when Joel is gone, but we are close to friends and I know that if I need anything from the store I can get a ride from somebody.
I would put some pictures of our new house but I don't have any. It is probably just as well. ;-) When we were wanting to go to SeaWorld way back when Anna was 2 (almost 9 years ago!) we went to a timeshare thing to get cheaper tickets (not worth it) and one thing I remember the guy saying is how important location is. Well, this house might have its problems, but the location is great, so that makes up for a lot, I guess. When Joel is away I know that Lyle and Jetta are right across the street (in the Roth house until they return from their furlough; Lyle and Jetta are moving into their new house right next to us in a few weeks). Then just a few doors down are Babu and Bibi and just next to them was Dan and Tina (who left just the other day for 3 months in the US). It is nice having so many good friends so close. When I was sick Bibi and Tina sent food. When Jon fell down and scraped his knee he got a lesson on how to care for it and a bandage from Bibi. Joel loves to sit down and talk politics with Babu and until the Moyer kids left my children were in heaven being close enough to play together every day. Seth and Joshua were great frog catchers (they cought bucket loads and would take them to Bibi's to eat the bugs in her yard), Jon, Seth and Josh like to clean all the tadpoles out of her fishpond as well. Kaleb, Andrew, Alissa, Anna and Nadine love to play capture the flag. Nadine and Anna have become great friends and love to do lots of things that I don't even understand (probably the same types of things I did with my sister and cousin when I was 10!). Alissa, Andrew, Kaleb and Natalie like to play card games and board games and running games. They are all lonely already even though their friends left only 3 days ago.
Wow, for a blog post this has gotten long. I don't get a chance to post much anymore so hopefully this will catch you up on what has been going on here in Kabwe!