For February 17

I decided that I would try and take pictures today every hour to document a “normal” day in the Choate household.

5:00 a.m. - Our alarm goes off, and a beautiful thumbnail moon shines in our bedroom window. No pictures, because we want to keep the house dark and quiet for the kids to sleep while we drink our coffee and read our Bibles.

6:00 a.m. - Aaron and the kids go running around the soccer field while I stay home with sleeping Katherine. She woke up just in time for us to go take pictures before the bell for morning prayer rang. 

The moon is still beautiful shining directly above us as we all walk back to the house in shoes drenched by the early morning rain. 

7:00 a.m. - We sit down to eat breakfast,

a new recipe from the cookbook my Kindergarten teacher gave me as a wedding present (Thanks, Mrs. Markham!)

8:00 a.m. - Morning chores are in full swing now.

We need lots of buckets of water, the solar shower bags have to be filled and propped on an old log on top of the rain tank. 

I love the little mushrooms that sprout each morning. By the end of the day they have shriveled up, and they are a good reminder to me to make my actions count for eternity.

9:00 a.m. - Everybody has started school, and the next few hours are all just variations on a theme.

  Sarah helps Katherine make a seed collection,

and Olivia paints some old toilet paper tubes to make a butterfly counting game for Katherine. 

While the kids and I do school, Aaron works at his desk.

11:00 a.m. - My favorite part of school – reading history out loud to the kids followed by our poetry book and our read-aloud.

1:00 p.m. - After lunch, we check in with SITAG on the radio. Since our e-mail modem isn't working, SITAG's amazing deputy reads our e-mails over the radio, trying to overcome the static. We frequently end up yelling through the mic and trying to spell words. It can be very frustrating!

Recently, we noticed that our roof has a pinprick hole in it that makes a silver-dollar sized hole on our hallway floor. The kids have started tracking the light and marking every five minutes. We've never been in Marulaon in February before, I guess that's why we've never noticed the light. We're all fascinated by how quickly the sun moves and by how much the path of the sun changes each day. 

2:00 p.m. - Aaron tackles fixing one of the Sabers. The belt connected to the hand crank had come off, so he unscrewed the lid of the Saber and fixed the problem. Now if we can just them all to charge! 

Olivia made banana cake to share with our neighbors. We've started the second round of taking banana cake to every house in the village, right on time since we're halfway through this village stay.

4:00 p.m. - When I came back up the hill from talking with Margaret, I found loads of kids. The neighbor kids love to come play underneath our house – especially when it's raining. We have full sunshine today, but we still have a crew of kids around.

5:00 p.m. - Afternoon chores are almost finished, and we usually eat supper about now so we can be ready for Evening Prayer. Chairman Hensi (along with his son, Jeffrey) stops by to visit with Aaron, so we slip them some banana cake that broken.

6:00 p.m. - Evening Prayer, but I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures in church. As soon as we get home, we sing hymns together while Aaron plays his guitar, then we read individually with the kids. Our lights go out early in Marulaon, especially tonight since Aaron will be leaving early in the morning to go to Mane Village.


Joanna, I'm amazed at how you have time to write so much down, to remember!

Maybe you can print it all out someday - have a book made, with picture :D

I love SEEING your daily life.

All the (local kids see to have very light hair. Is that diet related? You guys seem to have a healthy and varied diet - is that not the local norm?

When do you return to the states - is it next month?

Choate Family said…
I journaled throughout our stay in the village, but as we stayed longer and got more tired, I wrote less :-)

There are a few particular families in our village with lighter hair, so I think it's just genetics.

We work hard to eat well, especially in the village. Our neighbors eat lots of root crops and very few fruits and veggies. For example, the amount I would consider one serving of greens is about what a village family would us in the whole pot mixed in a soup.

We return to Orlando on May 2 for a re-entry seminar. Then we fly to Arkansas on May 15 to spend a few months in that area before we finally move to Dallas around August for Aaron to go to school.

Thanks for asking!

Ahhh :D Glad to hear it's probably genetics, as I've seen that (in pictures) associated with malnutrition. And I want your friends to be healthy :D

Are your families in Arkansas?

Will be praying for safe travels - you guys are pros at it! And the emotional adjustments, too.


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