The sun is shinning through the cream colored curtains, casting a yellow glow across the room. The mist outside is clouding the cold glass panes of the window, and I swear I can see my breath. Winter mornings in Swaziland are cold, but living in Mbabane, surrounded by mountains makes it colder. It feels like a michigan fall, and I half expect to wake up to a blanket of fresh snow on the ground these days. I linger in bed, trying to find the courage to remove my feet from my warm duvet, and step on the cold tiled floor long enough to put on my fo-fur boots; it always involves george and I counting in unison “1….2….2 ½…..3!” We both leap from the bed, grabbing every warm piece of clothing we can find, and throwing them on in no paticular order.
While George fights for the remaining warm water in the gyser, I make coffee for the house. I search the house for stray cups to wash, and line them up on the counter, georges’ “special cup”, my “venti” size cup, and a couple for matthew and mandla. Better find one more… Matthew’s mother will surely be over in a few minutes. The zombies slowly exit their rooms one by one and enter the kitchen to claim their mugs. We stand around , chatting and telling stories about the night before- someone always has one. A few minutes later the boys run out the door, late for work as usual. I linger in the lounge a little longer with Matthew and his Mother. We talk about the house, and remark on how much nicer it looks now. I spent my first week here redecorating; making slip covers for the sofa’s, croceting a HUGE rug for the floor in the lounge and my room, organizing the closets, and the endless misc. DVDs. It looks like a girl lives here now… thankfully. The boys are happy too, they say “it’s nice to come back to a home, and not just a house.” They are easy to please. Matthew’s mother has wasted no time helping me with the cause, giving me scrap fabric, matching curtains, hooks, and anything else I may need. She lives 3 houses down, and is always around if I need anything.
When i’ve finished my 3rd cup of joe, I head to my office. It’s the best office i’ve ever had; a corner suite with floor to ceiling windows on 2 walls. It gives me a perfect view of our big front yard, and our two dogs (trixie and carter) playing. I’ve hung up all my pictures and letters from people at home. They keep me company while I work. Today I am making a logo for a start up printing company. The logo is just the beginning, a catalog, business cards, pocket folder and a few other odds and ends are soon to follow. After tea time, i’ll start on the trade show banners for the Swazi Pension Fund. Lunch time will be devoted to the Annual Report cover, which will be my biggest job yet. I won’t have time to work on anything else, but the list continues. I’ve never had such an easy time finding freelance jobs, but i’m not complaining.
George comes home everyday at lunch time, and we chat like we haven’t seen eachother in weeks. He never leaves without giving me a kiss goodbye. The rest of the day I entertain random people that stop by the house. People looking for other people, or picking something up, dropping something off, or just saying “Hi”. Sometimes I give our maid special projects, like santizing door knobs or washing the outside windows, and i’ll stop work to show her how its done. At first I wasn’t sure why we needed a maid, and I felt uneasy being in the house on the days she was here. Now that I have moved in (with 3 boys) I understand how important she is to our house… and my sanity. Except on the days I try and sleep in, and I wake up to her picking up clothes off my bedroom floor. But thats another story…
By 3pm, I start making dinner. I’m not much of a cook, but these boys would think I was martha stewart. I use HUGE industrial size pots on a stove that requires me to turn on a gas cylinder first, and then light a match. Something about this kitchen, or maybe it’s just that I never really had the opportunity to cook for anyone else– but I love to cook. I amaze myself sometimes at the things I come up with- things i’ve never cooked before in my life. The boys arrive at 5 on the dot, and are excited to see dinner made and waiting for them. I love how easy they are to please, and it turns out I quite like my domestic lifestyle. We’ll spend the evening in the lounge watching movies, chatting about our respective days and enjoying the roaring heat from the fireplace. George is a “BEAST” at making fires. One by one we will all pass out half way through the movie. Tomorrow is a new day- time for bed.
It’s only been a couple weeks since i’ve been PC free, but I havent regretted my choice yet. I have been too busy to think about it. Everyday I wake up smiling, despite the cold outside, and everynight I go to bed happy for a productive day and good people to share it with. I know that this trend will only be the beginning of more great things 🙂