Monday, May 16, 2011

What do I say again?

A question the girls ask a lot is, "What do I say again?" They are getting used to greetings here which are very important. They are still a bit shy to use what they know, but are doing well. Rob and I are learning more and more everyday. A man stopped me in the grocery store the other day after he greeted me and I responded to his greeting in Swahili. We had a brief conversation in Swahili and then he switched to English to complement me on how well I was speaking and how good it was that I am learning the language. It was encouraging.

Things I am not used to...
Being an Employer: We have a "house helper". She is a 24 year old girl who comes to our house 6 days a week for 8 hours and spends the day cleaning (which I am surprised at how dirty they house gets all because we have the windows open), helping me cook African food, and teaching us Swahili. The part that is hard for me to get used to is that she clears the table and washes the dishes after we eat. I have tried to help her a few times, and she tells me in Swahili "Acha!" which means "Stop!" We both laugh. It is just hard for me to get used to having someone in my house most of the time cleaning up after my family. We are giving her a good job and she is helping us more than she knows with language and culture. We also have 3 "watchmen". They are our guards who work a shift each day. The biggest need for guards is to prevent theft which happens mostly at night. While they are working they let people into the gate and sign people into our register, take care of the trash, do minimal yardwork/sweeping. It has just been interesting figuring out how to interact with them having them around us so much of the time.
Power Outages: The power will go out randomly for hours at a time when there is a problem. It happens frequently, although today was a whole day with power thankfully. Starting this week, Thursday, the whole country will be experiencing 15hour/day power outages for 6 days. The power will go off at 8am and return at 11pm. It is crazy! We feel as prepared as we can for this, but how can you really prepare for it. Thankfully our gas stove was repaired just last week, so we will be able to cook and eat. I am just concerned as to what this means for businesses who don't have a back-up power system. I will let you know how it goes.
Mosquito Bites: That itch like crazy! We have had plenty of bites, but lately the bites we get have been really itchy. We are taking preventative medicine for malaria so we are not concerned there. We just need to make sure the kids don't scratch till the itch goes away! We all sleep under nets which helps.

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