The day starts for us at 6am. We eat breakfast and are ready to leave for the drive to the school/kindergarten at around 7.10am. It is much quicker to get up and out here in Kupang than it was in Stavanger. T-shirt and shorts are enough, as it is so warm. Gone are the days of stockings, thermal underwear, rainsuits, gloves, woolly hats, scarfs, long boots etc. The only challenge is remembering which uniform they have to wear each day 🙂
It is probably around 1.5km to the school, which is well within walking distance…however, to walk there would be putting one’s life at risk. There are no pavements between our house and the school, and very little in the whole of Kupang. It is one of the busiest roads here. So we drive. This also is a risk. There will always be someone who pulls out suddenly, or walks right out into the road, or the many motorbikes will buzz around you like a swarm of bees. Maybe we will be better drivers for all these challenges 🙂
Erik will be at the school from 7.30 to 12.30, whilst Joakim will finish at 11.30 and Daniel at 11. However, they all have extra curricular activities at the school during the week. Erik will play basketball and football, and go swimming at a swimming pool every other Saturday (at 8am!), his brothers will have art and craft one day, and drawing and colouring another day. So this means that we will be driving back and forth picking up the boys at different times. Now that Daniel has got his confidence at the kindergarten, we can come home for the morning. As said on previous occasions, all of the boys are doing very well in their classes, and that is a real blessing to us. They enjoy their time, and are starting to make friends with the other children.
Whilst the children are studying at school, we try to study the language at home. However, there are at times other things that need to be done: cleaning and washing is best to do when the boys are out, visits to the immigration office which is not too far from the school, fixing things with our house etc. After school, we will help Erik with his homework. Often this is a long story in Indonesian with questions that need to be answered. This is a big job for us, as we have to translate what his homework is first, and then help him answer the tasks. (We are very thankful for Google Translate 🙂 ) Erik is starting to be able to read and write, which is a big acheivement in itself, but then to do it in 2 new languages is very good!
Heat of the day
Making food here is a challenge with finding ingredients etc. We take turns with making meals here, and try to eat as healthy as we can. However, it is warm here in Timor, and our kitchen is even warmer. As I write this post it is 9am and the outside temperature is already 31.7C. At times it can feel like it is nearer 40C in the kitchen due to the plastic sheeting they have put up as a roof to stop rain coming in. In english we have a saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. We also have another saying, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. After we have eaten dinner, which is usually around 1.30pm (otherwise it’s too warm in the afternoon to be in the kitchen), we sometimes will go out for a walk, or have to shop, or do something else important. This will be the warmest part of the day. Most other people will be indoors, but we go out 🙂 Why? Well, many children here our boys age will not go to bed until quite late in the evening, say 9 or 10pm…but they will have a siesta for an hour or two. For those of you who know our boys, the thought of them having a siesta…no, it wont happen. 🙂 However, we are glad that our boys don’t sleep in the day, but sleep very well in the night. So this Englishman and his Norwegian family go out when it’s warmest.
This can be a challenge, as mentioned in previous posts, but I will focus on just one item. Milk! Lately this has become like gold dust to us. Some weeks ago we noticed that shops started getting low on the low-fat variety we use. So this past week or so we have had to go hunting for milk, visiting nearly all the shops, supermarkets and random places that we know of. The other day, I visited maybe 5 or 6 stores, and eventually found ONE carton at the butcher’s. What joy came upon us! Later that same day, we went out again and found a shop that had 6, yes six, cartons! We almost had to celebrate this find! Today, however, we are on our last carton…so we need to find some soon 🙂 At times, it will be like this with other items too, for example drinking water.
At some point in the day, the boys will watch a dvd. We don’t have a TV, so we have now bought some children’s dvds that can be watched in Indonesian. This is a good way to learn the language for all of us, and the children enjoy it. Around 4 or 5 in the afternoon the boys will go out and play with the other children who live here. By this time it will be cooler and more comfortable to be outside. When it gets dark at 6, they all go inside. Our boys for supper, reading time, and bed time; the other children for dinner, and staying up for a few more hours.
Of course there are many times when things will be different during a day, but this gives you an idea of what we do at the moment.