It was a big week for us as a family. Ellie is used to being away from us for a couple hours at a time, usually for church or Bible study. These meetings were all day, all week long, with a few breaks throughout the day. It helped that she made very fast friends with several little girls, but even that didn't always appease the crying and sadness and desire to be near mommy and daddy. I can understand why when children start preschool the parents stay at first and slowly ease into leaving the kids for longer amounts of time.
|The kids and their crafts this week.|
The theme of our meetings was resilience. Michael and I are feeling a bit overwhelmed after this week. We heard repeatedly from other reps how much work this job is (which we knew before we got here), and how we will literally never be "caught up" on our work or ever get it all done. I haven't decided if that's discouraging or encouraging. A common thread of advice was to guard our time and to find balance. We need to create boundaries from the very beginning of our job. Boundaries to protect our family time such as sticking to work hours and learning to say no. There were a lot of helpful suggestions we will take from this week.
Last night we traveled back to the city and said goodbye to most of the reps. This meant that once again Ellie had to say goodbye to friends. (We will see most of these reps next March in Bolivia). Granted, they were new friendships formed over less than a week, but they were connections for her. After a month of travel and not a lot of social interaction with kids her own age, I was able to see this week how important it is for Ellie to have friends to play with. She had a solid group of friends in Fresno that she saw at least a couple times a week, and she talks about many of them all the time. Leaving those friends (and their families) was one of the hardest parts about leaving Fresno. We will have a lot of opportunities to learn resilience in the next few years as staff and friends and family come and go in our lives.
|These girls were buddies all week.|
|Hazel's current sleeping arrangement: a table on its side with blankets on the floor.|
Last night was rough for many reasons. We were tired and got to our room at 10PM. We had to shift our expectations. Today we've been given an unexpected day of rest and quiet. Though my first choice would be to move into our apartment today I'm trying to be ok, to be patient and flexible. I'm ready to give my girls a sense of security and to stop living out of a suitcase. I'm ready to get our new place set up and to feel at home. I'm ready for our new normal to begin. In the meantime, we are learning how to be resilient in this time of transition.
|Hazel is pulling herself up on everything these days!|