All Work & No Play
A lot of people ask what we are doing.
That's a fantastic question.
Currently, the answer is: nothing.
Just kidding, at least, I am kind of kidding.
Right now it often feels like we are doing nothing. We have a lot of time on our hands, which we can choose to fritter away (binge watching old episodes of The Office) or hard at work. If I am being honest, time is probably split between those two things. I just love me some Jim, Pam, & Dwight - okay?
We are in language school. We attend private lessons, do homework, go through flashcards, abuse the capabilities of DuoLingo, practice Spanish with our mentors and neighbors... it's honestly exhausting. It might sound like a waste of time or money, but the truth is that you cannot be effective somewhere you cannot communicate. That's just the truth. You can offer assistance and provide it with the aid of a translator - but you will never be as effective as when you can genuinely dialogue with people.
We are also doing a lot of emailing supporters, continuing to pursue new support, blogging, photo editing, video editing, website editing, researching, and working on becoming "long term" - which is kind of a whole other animal of work.
Then there is trying to develop a way to do the things we are passionate about: sustainability, urban gardening, agroforestry, aquaponics, etc. While we are completely able to begin projects on our own, what we really desire is to see a heart for sustainability rise up within Oaxacans. There is already a pretty fierce movement towards organic and solar energy is somewhat popular (why it hasn't caught on like wild fire in the 90 degree Summer heat is beyond me). So we have a lot of hope that we will find a way to work with in the ministries already in place as well as with the things we are passionate about.
We are also relationship building - which sounds a bit made up. Like, "Oh, you went to another country on someone elses dime to make friends?" Err... kind of? But here's the truth: in the same way that language learning is essential before diving in? So is building relationships.
How would you feel if someone from another country came up to you and was all, "Hi, I'm Tonganikawoka and I'm smarter than you so here are all these great ideas I have." You would sock that Tonganikawoka right in the nose. As rightly you should. But even if Tonganikawoka had said, "I would really like to participate in what you're doing there." You would probably still raise your eyebrows at him. We trust people we know, people we live life with, people whose stories we've heard, people we have stories with. Relationship building is an important step in order to do anything with anyone.
And, of course, we are parenting tinies. Which is a whole other job in itself. Rory is getting to that tricky Preschool age. We talked a lot about enrolling him in a school near our house - which would do unparalleled wonders for his Spanish abilities (see: he would kick our butts), but because we don't yet know exactly what ministry will look like, we are probably going to wait on that front. But that means starting some of those Preschool activities at home - numbers, letters, colors, shapes, fine motor skills, etc. Rory is also the most active 3 year old known to mankind and needs regular rigorous exercise. He and I will have to start going on long distance runs soon - if you think I am joking, I am not. We have discussed purchasing him runners. Jinora, even though she believes she is 16 wearing high heels to the prom, is at that really crucial (and obnoxious) stage where she is learning to stand and take steps. She is delving into the world of solid foods (with some assistance from her sneaky brother), she is finding her loud loud voice (seriously, she is so loud), and she is discovering her very fiery personality.
Naptime with Daddy | Playtime with Mama | Learning to pee on the side of the road
So what are we doing? All of the above and more.
What will we be doing? We honestly don't know. It will become more and more fleshed out as we begin diving into ministry here in Oaxaca. Today Mark went and helped a local pastor assemble some cabinets and shelving, we are currently prepping for a group that will be here next week, Malia will be starting a Forgiveness teaching with the women's group next week, and we are only just beginning to dip our toes in.
But it's not really all work and no play - it just often seems like it. Being stay-at-home parents while having full-time jobs is a tricky task. And we don't always do it well. In fact, sometimes we do it very poorly. All of it. But we are learning. And we will probably be continuing to learn as our lives continue to change.