This is a part of a series on daily life for us in South Sudan. Read more here…
My friend Sara (she is amazing) inspired me to participate in a 10 on the 10th challenge. Where you take 10 photos on the 10th day of the month. This was a pretty “typical” day for us so it was a fun day to capture 10 photos. I should clarify that it seemed to be a typical day for us. Our 11th photo shares the highlight of our time here in Melut. The 10th was a pretty amazing day for our family all because of what happened in the 11th hour.
The morning began for me (Abukk) as it normally does on Wed. I went outside with my tea and water to study bible and Arabic. In this picture you can see my view (the lovely Nile), my study materials and what the kids did while I was working (skyped Grandma). J– cooks breakfast and then I take over parenting while he studies. At this time in the morning we also experience the rise of temperatures to above body temp…which as the wave of heat hits always leaves me thinking…I am not ready for this again! (heat is exhausting!) The beauty of this moment is that it almost always occurs right after I have spent time in the word of God feeling refreshed and abiding in grace, which is what I need when that heat hits me full force!
I then try and do some laundry. Today it is diaper washing day and the girls are reading to me while I wash. (We fit school work around life here). It is fun to sit in the morning shade and be read to and I am close enough I can help them problem solve words as they read. The boys during this time try and scatter wet diapers all around the sand so it is a bit of a keep away game that sometimes ends in frustration but not today!
I love my diapers “view” as they dry. That is the Nile, and my neighbor Julia’s house. She has four girls (banats) and her youngest is just a few months old. NganNgat fell asleep in my arms the other day it was heaven.
Another big part of our morning is our restroom use. I decided to take a picture of it today because today marked day four that W-man (my three year old) put poop in the pit latrine instead of his underwear (yea!). Using this has been a learning curve for all our kids but I am hoping that we are finally getting to the point where I am washing less poopy underwear from my littlest man.
Not pictured is our language lesson which happens from 10-11 with Atong. She is wonderful and we always have such fun (and leave with lots to study). After that I prep lunch. Today I made bread for sandwiches and we had homemade yogurt. It tasted good in the heat. Poor D-man fell on the cement and is sporting a big goose egg as he eats. It is cooler outside then in our home so we often choose to eat outside in any shade we can find.
D-man did not wake up well from his nap. The heat woke him up (poor dear) after only one hour of tossing and turning and after a big gulp of water he plopped on his bed where he panted for awhile before deciding he was ok to play.
PJ and D-man played together for about a half hour while the other kids sleep and I start making dinner and preparing for coffee. She and D-man move to under some big trees where I bring out coffee, sugar, cups, tea and powdered milk, to make coffee for my Sudanese friends.
Coffee is a big deal here and I love making it for folks. Mary lent me her “stove” and “pot” and “grinder” but the ladies let me make and serve it today and I was surprised how much simpler the process is becoming with practice. They all sit around chatting in Arabic and I jump in whenever I can. Today the discussion was that the city water had been off for three days and so we were all using Jerry cans to pull from the river. I was encouraging them to place their Jerry cans out in the sun for a few hours before drinking to help kill bacteria or treat with chlorine and they were explaining to me that the taste of river water is better then treated so they would rather get sick then drink chlorinated water. I realized I need a better Arabic vocabulary (or rather longed for one).
J– returns from visiting the city water and helping fix the problem. (Someone ran over the electrical box). Water returns and all the women start filling their jerry cans. They find out J– fixed it and congratulations are issued for his amazing handiwork. We discover the water here is not treated at all from the city “pipes” other then to allow sediment from the Nile to settle (after J–‘s tour/ fixing mission). Water is a big deal here. A large portion of my day is spent filling buckets for washing clothes, cleaning, or filtering for drinking. We have two 150L skyplast jugs on our back porch we keep filled and then draw our buckets from them.
I clean up tea and put dinner in the oven, invite our teammate over and take the kids swimming in the river to cool off. Bath time follows (fun!) and then we have Claire over for dinner as the sun sets.
That is our 10 on 10 here in Melut, South Sudan. But then we had the highlight of our day happen so we have an 11th picture to share.
I was reading the kids from a book on missionary stories (from Sonlight) and we were reading about Jim Elliot and the Auca Indians. The story ended and we were just answering questions and chatting about God, life, saving grace and Flower-girl (my five year old) declares that she wants to know God and have him be the king in her heart. J– and I asked her several questions and then she prayed (on her own) asking God to be a part of her life. We are thrilled Flower-girl has recognized her need for a savior, acknowledged that God is God and asked Him to be a part of her life. What a great end to the 10th of April!
We seek to empower our children, our teammates and our Sudanese friends to love and know more of who God is through acts of loving service and biblical teaching.