Life here in South Africa is vastly different than the life we had in Hudsonville. A big difference is that Darin is not working. It has been great having him around. Tyson and Jori love having their daddy around to play with them, take them on walks looking for animals, read them stories and a lot of other fun daddy stuff. I love having Darin around too, but like most men, he is easily bored when he does not have anything to do. He is out at a meeting today in Soweto, which I believe is by Johannesburg, but I do not really know. He and Jason went to the block yard yesterday to meet with Khensi, a young South African who was hired by Innotec here in SA.
Back to our day. This morning, the kids were up a little after 6. Yesterday it was a little later, but the sun is already coming up a little after 5 (which I know from the mouse incident) so it is very bright in their rooms even with the curtains drawn. We tried to send them upstairs to play today, but that didn't last long. Darin took them out around 7 and gave them breakfast. I actually got up shortly after they did and got ready. Then I headed outside to eat my cereal. It is beautiful here in the morning. I couldn't tell you what the temperature is, but it is very comfortable to be outside. It smells great from the flowers. After Liz got up, she made coffee (I haven't learned how to use the French Press yet, so I cannot make my own coffee) and I took a cup of that outside. By now it was around nine, and Jori went back down for a nap. Darin and I sat outside while Tyson followed his new past friend, Amos, around. Amos is the gardener. He has such patience with Tyson's many questions. I decided to head over to Tshepo Ya Bana, the children's home, to check if Mark had heard anymore about his daughter bringing a washing machine over. It may come this weekend, but until then, we will do our laundry across the road at the children's home. I was going to go on line for a bit, but someone else was using the computer. So I came home to get the laundry together, and then we made some lunch. We are still eating on American time around 11:30. Most people don't eat until 1 or after, and then have dinner around 7. Darin left around 12 :30 and we were going to head back across the street to do laundry, but the kids started having meltdowns so I put them down for naps instead. Jori didn't fall asleep again, but did play quietly so I could rest. Tyson is still sleeping. I will have to wake him soon or he will not want to sleep tonight. The past two nights our kids have been exhausted by 7 and have gone right to sleep.
I have no idea when Darin will be home and do not have a way to contact him unless I go across the street. Across the street is about a ¼ mile away and it is not so much a street, but a dirt road. Each time I walk outside our fence I say my leopard prayer, which is basically “Dear Jesus, protect me from the leopards and please don't let me see them coming if I am going to be attacked.” There really is no threat, although there are leopards in the area, but they are always on my mind. I have had a leopard dream every night since we arrived and in a twist of irony, there is a huge picture of a leopard in the room where we sleep. Nice.
Anyways, tonight we are going to Braai, which is grilling out. (Edit 9/11: We never did cook out because we have yet to find a butcher with the kabobs we are set on eating and most days we have tried getting to the butcher, they have already been closed.) By the time we eat, it will have started cooling off. It gets dark here by 6:30 for sure and once the sun is gone there is a chill in the air (for me, not Darin). The last two days it has been HOT, somewhere in the 90's, and the sun is just blistering hot. We kept the kids inside during the later afternoon hours when the sun is at its hottest. We have really been blessed, because the house we are staying in is exceptionally cool during the day. I guess it the construction of the house and the tile floors, but when we just get up and at night I have my slippers and sweatshirt on.
That's pretty much a typical day. We usually get up, sit out for a while, head across the road, come back home, eat here or go out, put the kids down, play cards or read, and then go to bed. It has been great having Jason and Elizabeth here. The kids really like them. I mean REALLY like them. Tyson always wants to go tell them things and show them things and he really responds well to any correction they give (better than he responds to us for sure). Amos is here from 6 in the morning til 4:30, so Tyson has plenty of time to follow after him. Jori has been dragging her “Baby DiAnns” (there are two) everywhere and showing them bugs and birds and lizards. Last night we went to Tamboti lodge next door for dinner and the kids went on a 4 wheeler ride with Derrick, the owner, and saw a Nyala. You'll have to look it up to see what it is. We have also seen a warthog and some kind of bok, which are like deer (Gemsbok, Bushbok, Springbok....) right around here. They are bringing animals in here to start a Big Five game reserve. It is called Dinokeng (you should be able to find it online). There are no dangerous animals here yet, except for the leopards that were already in the area. This weekend we are going to Pilanesburg game reserve, which we'll write about later.
Ok, this is just long and rambling. I just wanted to give you a picture of what we do and what it has been like being here.