A couple weeks ago, we decided to record what had happened in one day of our lives here in Malawi. Before you read this, you should know that none of these things are uncommon, but they don’t always happen all on one day. This day started a couple weeks that all blurred together in a happy, busy chaos, but now, 2 weeks later, we finally have a break (and electricity, and internet) to get this posted. =) Welcome to our lives…
Thursday March 4th – A Day in the Life of Matt and Rachel
2am – Rachel wakes up – pregnancy insomnia. She drinks chocolate milk, checks her email and writes back to her Mom and sister.
3:15 – Rachel back to bed, asleep by 3:45am.
7am – Rise and shine! Feels like it’s going to be a busy day, so deserves a little something extra – breakfast: eggs, toast, and OJ.
8:30 – Showered, laundry started, both ready to go to the church office for the morning
9am – Been to the office, back home to pick up the things we forgot – Rachel’s computer and counseling forms
9:20 – Matt drops Rachel off at the office, again, and heads to the bank to make a deposit, which almost doesn’t happen because the teller doesn’t understand the word deposit. Deposit made, Matt back to the office by 10am.
10:35 – Rachel spends an hour counseling a girl from our church; Matt works on his sermon for this coming Sunday
11:35 – Counseling forms for Rachel, while Matt tries to get in touch with our mechanic to see if they’ve finished working on our car, which they’ve had since January 21st. Mechanic says the car is finally fixed, and he’ll call right back to let us know what it costs and when we can pick it up
11:45 – Rachel gets a call saying that the bed we had loaned out to a family is on its way back to our house now. The workers have it loaded in a truck and will wait for us at the main gate to African Bible College.
11:55 – Waiting at the main gate, no truck… Matt goes off to find a Malawian friend and check our mail.
12:00 – Truck shows up, Matt stays at ABC to talk with the friend, and Rachel leads the way to the house.
12:01 – Truck runs out of gas less than 1/4 a kilometer from ABC.
12:03 – Rachel takes one of the workers to the house so that once they get gas he can come back and find the house. But our house is hard for even Rachel to find, as in the last 3 hours road construction crews have bulldozed our front yard and dumped dozens of loads of dirt on the (tarred) road as part of “improving the road.”
12:30 – Rachel has gone back to pick up Matt who lets her know that he volunteered for us to go to the Malawian friend’s house this afternoon, as he and his wife are in urgent need of marriage counseling. Pending items for the afternoon: 1) car to be picked up from the mechanic, time unknown – mechanic will call; 2) bed delivery, time unknown – they’ll just show up at our gate; 3) marriage counseling in a nearby village, time unknown – friend will call.
12:45 – Lunch: leftover chicken pot pie and salad from the night before.
1:15 – Prepping for afternoon marriage counseling appointment, now scheduled for 4pm; Matt makes a call and sets up a time on Sunday with another couple to do PRE-marital counseling
2pm – Rachel calls the lady who was coordinating the bed delivery, pretty sure that the workers are getting paid by the hour, and probably taking a nap on our bed on the side of the road as they wait for gas to magically appear.
2:15 – Matt gets a call from another friend in a different village who has malaria and needs a ride to the clinic for medicine. Matt drives out to get him, passing the truck (with our bed in it) at the gas station.
2:45 – The bed arrives, but none of the workers want to get out of the truck because they’re scared of our 4 month old puppy who is already clearly a large dog. Brave souls bring the bed inside, and said puppy ran away with only one of their shoes. Simba graciously gave back the shoe, like it was his high and royal duty to guard it for the man.
3pm – Matt returns from taking our friend with malaria to the clinic, we change our clothes and get ready to leave for the other village and marriage counseling.
3:15 – Mechanic calls. We should pick our car up in half an hour, once they’ve had time to wash it. No thanks, we’ll be by first thing in the morning.
3:30 – Off to the village
4pm – Arrive at our friends’ home in the village, knowing they are in need of urgent marriage counseling. The house is surrounded by women, children, and cooking pots and utensils. Are the women here to take the wife’s side? What have we gotten into?!?
4:15 – Finally understand that the women are all from the couple’s church and are cooking for an upcoming conference. We begin one of the more difficult counseling situations either of us have ever been in. The issues themselves are not difficult – the language is. The husband speaks very good English, but the wife does not. The wife doesn’t want another person involved in the situation, so is satisfied with having her husband translate for her.
4:30 – Counseling continues; the women outside start to sing, right by the window.
5pm – Counseling continues; it starts to rain. Conversation is drowned out as the rain quickly turns to a downpour and hammers on the single sheet of tin that is the roof and ceiling of their home. We struggle to shout through the ruckus. The women outside crowd on the porch, and send all the kids inside to be out of the rain. We now have an audience of 8-10 small children sitting in the hallway watching with wide eyes the two white people who have come to this home.
6pm – The rain has let up a bit, and we have finished our time with this couple. God’s grace is a marvel to us, as we have seen issues resolved and plans made to continue to walk together in love and grace. We pray with them and for them as we leave.
6:10 – Got a message from our night guard that his mom took the umbrella and he’s reluctant to walk 45 minutes in the rain to our house. We wouldn’t want to do that either, so, since we’re still out, and our guard’s village is on the way home, we swing by the pick him up. That would be village #3 for the day.
6:30 – Home, but the electricity’s out, so we start up the generator and get dinner in the microwave.
6:45 – Dinner: leftover chicken pot pie and salad, again. Yes, the same thing we had for lunch, but we’re tired and this is easy, even if this is the 3rd time in 24 hours that we’ve eaten exactly the same meal.
7:20 – Power is back on, so the generator is off. Matt decides to teach the guard how to turn on the generator so that he can do it next time, and the starter pull cord breaks off in Matt’s hand. Glad that didn’t happen at 6:30!
7:40 – Matt starts a big theological discussion with Rachel about how to describe the trinity to someone who is not a believer. Rachel tries to listen, but can only think about the hours she was awake in the middle of the night, and being exhausted at 16 weeks pregnant. The trinity is too much for her right now.
8:30 – Go to bed before anything else happens. It can all happen tomorrow…