Almost 6 weeks in Bogotá, and we are slowly but surely getting into a bit of a routine. And even though it doesn’t seem like my days are quite as full as they used to be during the support-raising/moving-prep stage, we are much more exhausted than I ever expected! It’s a different kind of stress and intensity than before.
For some reason, learning a new language and living in a different culture absorbs every ounce of my energy and brain power. It is pretty rare that we meet anyone who knows English, so we operate in almost a 100% Spanish world except for communication within our family and our team. Even at school, the rule is “todo español,” which we try really hard to stick to. Sometimes we go days without hearing English from anyone except a teammate. It’s kind of weird. But it also really helps with language acquisition, so I’m not complaining (:
Since our number one priority right now is learning language, our days are primarily structured around school, studying, and practicing our Spanish however we can (with Deisy, the guards in our apartment complex, the owners of the little grocery/fruit shops we visit, neighbors, people at church, etc.).
In case you’re wondering what a typical weekday looks like for the Bonhams, here’s a little glimpse of what our routine is shaping up to be:
5:15am – alarm clock. COFFEE. quiet times. showers.
7am – boys get up (or, I should say, boys are allowed out of their beds….sometimes I can hear them chatting before then). finish getting ready (usually with two helpers sitting on my bathroom counter giving me makeup and hair tips). cook, eat, and clean up from breakfast.
8am – Deisy arrives! The boys jump up and down for joy, then beg her to take them outside to play.
8:10am – Nate and I leave for school.
Commute Details: We try to make it to the bus stop by 8:15am. We ride to the next stop, then transfer to the express bus, which we have to make by 8:30 bc that’s when the last express runs. We ride for about 20 mins on the express, then walk a couple blocks from the bus stop to our school. If we time it right, the entire commute from door-to-door is about 40 minutes, but it seems quicker. We don’t use small electronics (phones etc) on the bus bc of theft, but if I can get a seat I often read, write, or study while I ride.
8:55am – arrive at Nueva Lengua (escuela de español)
9–10:45am – “Clase de Gramática”
10:45–11am – Coffee/empanada break
11am–12pm – “Clase de Conversacíon”
12pm – commute home. If we have errands to run (groceries etc), this is when we do it, which means we would get home later. Deisy is available until 4pm, so we have several hours after school if we need it. Usually we head straight home and let her go early.
12:45pm – greet the boys, eat lunch, practice some Spanish with Deisy before she leaves, wrestle with the kids.
1:30pm – naptime for the boys, study/homework time for me and Nate. (Many days, homework and studying is interrupted by me falling asleep in the middle of it. I’m okay with that.)
4pm(ish) – boys wake up & play. pick up the house. sometimes Skype with a family member. dinner prep (Noah always helps!).
5:30pm(ish) – cook, eat, and clean up from supper. **this process takes MUCH longer here than it did back in the states! Many more ingredients have to be made from scratch, and everything is hand-washed afterwards. Usually it is a family affair.
7pm – Bible time with the boys, then bedtime.
Evenings — after the kids are in bed, Nate and I usually study some more, finish our homework, read, write, office/finance work (Nate’s MTW responsibilities), or sometimes take a night off and watch a movie together. Several nights a week, Nate has an evening meeting with Josh or for the apprenticeship program.
(In case you were wondering, the Kines have a couple more kids, a pregnancy, and homeschooling thrown into the mix, so their routine looks slightly different than ours. Theirs is a little more complicated!)
Saturdays change…sometimes we have a quiet day at home. Sometimes we have alot of errands. Sometimes we have playdates with other people on the team with young kids. Every other Saturday, Nate goes with another guy on the Bogotá team to a street kids’ drop-in-center in a really rough part of town. They get kids off the streets and play with them, feed them, and do a Bible study with them. He is loving it, and I hope to be able to go with him one day.
Sunday mornings are pretty relaxed. Our church doesn’t start until 11:15, so we have lots of time to eat a leisurely breakfast and spend time with the kids before we leave around 10:40. We get home around 1pm for naps, and try to do something relaxing and fun for the boys in the evenings (walks, trips to the park, etc).
When I write it out, it doesn’t seem like much. But when I’m living it, it wears me out!! Maybe it’s just the whole practicing-a-foreign-language-all-day thing, I don’t know. But hopefully we will adjust soon, gain a bit of energy, and start feeling things are a little less “new” and a little more “normal.”
But then again, we’re less than 6 weeks in….