Many people have asked me for over a year what my typical day is like.  I felt often times it has been very mundane, so I tried to avoid answering the question.  And often times our days as mothers are mundane, changing diapers, feeding, playing, changing diapers, feeding, playing, listening to a child who should be sleeping….feeding, playing and on and on.  But it is some of the mundane things that we love about our stay at home jobs.  The fact that the kids (and mom) can stay in pajamas until 10am, we can eat 2 breakfasts and a snack before lunch, we can let them play in a dirt pile because you see how happy they are doing it, we can sit on the floor reading book after book… to name a few.

Well, after almost 2 years here, I feel like I finally have a schedule or a “typical” day.  Although most days have many divine interruptions, I will at least define the proposed schedule:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday:

5:30 am – Paul wakes up

5:35 am – I roll over and steal his pillow

6:30 am – I wake up and jump in the shower

6:45 am – Sit next to Paul in the living room (who is reading the Bible and has finished his coffee) with my memory verse and cup of coffee, counting the seconds until one of the children wakes up.

7:00 am – The kids are up and in their chairs with dry cereal, Paul kisses us goodbye and heads to round on the patients in the hospital

7:15 am – The kids are in their chairs eating breakfast and usually watching a movie, I am downloading email and eating toast.

(Right now…I know how you feel, she has written this much and it is only 7:15 am???  I used to walk into a patient’s room in the hospital and ask them what their typical diet was like.  This little old lady would immediately start at 5am about the coffee and piece of toast she ate and I would think to myself, “this is going to take a while…”)

8:00 am – dress the kids and play in Nathan’s room

9:00 am – Brooke comes to make lunch for the crew.  I lay Lydia down for a nap and take Nathan outside and hang out in the garden helping Temesgen and collecting vegetables for the day’s meals.

Nathan "helping" the gardeners cut grass.

9:45 am – make tea for Temesgen, Brooke and Etagainu (the crew) and anyone else who may show up throughout the morning.

10:00 am – Etagainu arrives and she spends from 10 until 12 in the morning with the kids.  So I have begun setting this time aside to achieve tasks at the hospital, study Amharic, memorize scripture, run errands in town, meet with other staff here or other things that are difficult to do with 2 small children in the room.  It has been a great time for me and I have loved being able to have some set time to be involved more at the hospital.

12:00 pm – sit down and eat lunch with the family and crew (Paul usually comes home for lunch at least 2 days a week.)

12:30 pm – play with the kids in Nathan’s fun room

Nathan's fun room. This was a day when all of his friends were over to play. I love Lydie's face to the right.

1:00pm – put both kids down for  a nap and hope that Lydia doesn’t scream too much, because this does not go over well.  Today she cried for a little while and I could tell one of the workers was uncomfortable and I said, “She has to sleep, we know she is tired and if you don’t like it you can leave.”  Lydia was quiet about 3 minutes later, thank goodness.

During nap time is when I cook dinner, so now that lunch is over and the kitchen is clean, I come in and make another mess.  And with cooking everything from scratch and no dish washer I often feel that every utensil is dirty at least twice a day.  This will also be when I often run errands, go to the sewing place, to the local supermarket (the size of a walk-in-closet) or visit the hospital kitchen staff.

3:00 pm – the kids are up and I usually have to bribe Nathan with a yummy snack/ present / activity to get out of his post-nap funk.  Some afternoons Nathan’s friends will come over and play or we play outside  if it isn’t freezing or raining.

5:00 pm – usually around this time Paul will come home. And we have always eaten at the senior citizen hours…so we eat dinner.  On nights when we have guests for dinner (usually 2 times a week) we wait until we put the kids to bed and have a civilized meal later.

6:00 pm – Lydia gets her bath first.  (No we don’t bathe our children every day) Then, collect Nathan from the dirt pile outside and stick him in the bath tub.

6:30 pm – Jammie time!  Read the Bible, give Lydia a bottle, pray, pass around kisses and tuck Lydie in to her crib and Nathan into his tent.

Paul reading to Nathan from a sweet book that a friend from the states sent, "The World of Christopher Robin". The book was sent by Sam's family because they used to read it to Sam and his sister when they were little. So Nathan and Paul have been reading this book every night before the Bible.

7:00 pm – sit down and take a breath.  Paul and I catch up on conversations we haven’t been able to finish throughout the day.  Here we usually relax, catch up on email, skype with family, meet with others on the compound for games, meetings, prayer.

10:00 pm – in bed and fast asleep.

Now to Thursday:

5:30 am – Paul wakes up

Just kidding, I won’t do the whole thing again.  Thursday Etagainu doesn’t come because she has a Bible study in her town.  So I take the day off (which includes minimal cooking and cleaning) and spend the whole day with the kids.


We have Bible Study at 9 am.  There is a young girl who comes and watches the children, while I meet with the wives of residents and some other women and Paul meets with the residents and other docs.

Me with Addis and her new baby. Addis is the wife of our 3rd year surgical resident.


We take a Sabbath.  We don’t have church until 10am, so we enjoy the morning with the kids.  At church we usually meet at someone’s house and someone either plays guitar or piano for worship and then we listen to a sermon.  We are currently working through a Colossians series by Matt Chandler and are also half way through the Radical sermon series by David Platt (It is a book too).  We enjoy Sunday’s because it is the only day that Paul does not round, so we love having breakfast together and enjoying the quiet afternoon.  Now that isn’t to say that he won’t get called in for a surgery, but for the most part it is restful!

Well, that is a glimpse of my life here.  Paul has a whole different story of what goes on between 7am and 5pm, but at least you get a look into what me and the kids are up to!