When anyone comes to Hogar de Vida for an extended period of time, they quickly realize that day to day usually looks pretty much the same. Everyone works hard, usually at the same task, and generally speaking, it's the same work all over the home that has to be done. Bellow is a detailed list, with approximate times, of my typical daily schedule during the week.
6:00 a.m. Get up and head over to the kids side to start work.
6:15 a.m. In the little kids room helping them all shower, lotion up, put clean clothes on, and get them out the door to breakfast before some of them have to leave for school at 7:30 a.m.
But usually I am...
In the kitchen washing a pile of dishes from the night before, washing the dishes that were in the kids rooms that the little ones collet and bring to me, setting up the breakfast table for the workers and making the coffee.
7:15 a.m. The bell rings for the kids to eat, and I serve them their morning cup of coffee. In between kids finishing their breakfast, I start washing dishes so the pile doesn't get too big.
7:35 a.m. I go and get the workers for breakfast and wipe down the table from any bugs that have decided to crawl up onto it since the last time it was wiped down.
7:45 a.m. The workers and I finally sit down, pray, and eat our typical meal of either black beans, eggs, tortillas, chilly salsa or refried beans, eggs, tortillas, chilly salsa. From here, we either talk and laugh at stuff the kids are running around doing or just sit and enjoy the rest for the moment.
8:20 (ish) a.m. The first person gets up from meal, thanks everyone for breakfast, and puts their dishes in the sink and places their chair on the stack of other chairs. Everyone follows suit and with in 5 minutes we all have gone to our own places and commence to clean up everything, put extra food away, wash dishes, wash the dirty rags, sweep, mop three times, and start to get things out for lunch preparation.
9:00 a.m. I go to my room and do my devotional and prayer time as the cleaning is just winding down in the kitchen on the other side.
9:20 a.m. Head to the other side and help the ladies get preparation stuff out still. We then begin to either cut and dice, peal, kneed, mix or kill what ever food needs to be prepared for the noon-hour meal. (Most days this takes about an hour, other days it takes longer.)
10:00 a.m. The fire on the open stone stove is started and set to warm up.
10:15 to 10:25 a.m. The tortilla dough is gotten out and we all begin the process of making a basket full of tortillas. This process is done solely by hand here and takes much skill to bring out a good sizes, round tortilla. I've still not completely mastered this task.
Also in this time, food that needs to be cooked is being put on the stove or other open fire and checked regularly to make sure everything is cooking to satisfaction.
11:35 to 11:45 a.m. The tortilla making is complete, and we have a basket of tortillas looking something like the picture bellow.
12:00 p.m. The fresca as it is called in Spanish, or cooled drink, is taken from the freezer and set on the counter, along with plates and cups and the food taken off the stoves and set up ready to serve.
12:15 p.m. The bell is rung and the kids come running over to be served their hot meal, always including vegetables, and then sit down to eat. I station myself at the drinks and help remind the kids, and students who have forgotten, to say please and thank you while serving them their cold refreshment.
12:30 p.m. The workers sit down and give thanks, then eat while some of the kids are finishing up and others are just getting home from school, ready to eat their already prepared plates of food.
12:50 p.m. We begin the long process of washing all of the dishes, putting away all food and leftovers, cleaning, sweeping, mopping three times, wiping down all of the tables and cleaning the dish towels that are dirty (which by this time is usually 7 to 8).
1:45 p.m. I head over to my room for my hour rest and rejuvenation time.
3:00 p.m. *On Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays* Head over and play with the kids. This either entails coloring, watching TV, if it is TV day for them, eating fruit, swinging, looking at pictures on my laptop, reading, playing games, playing doctor or school, listening to the little ones play their make shift instruments or playing on the playground.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach English to roughly 7 of the younger kids, and this goes from 3:30 p.m. to roughly 4:30 p.m. when they then help me clean up, put their materials away, and ask me to watch a movie on my iPod.
Wednesdays are my day off.
5:15 p.m. I head over to my side if not already here, make some dinner, and sit and relax.
On Tuesdays, I go with the other Americans here (Norman and Vickie) to a worship night at the home of another American family who has lived in Guatemala for 14 years. They live 30 minutes away, and we usually leave at 5:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. Head over to hang out with the kids. They all by now are in the pajamas and either running out their last bit of energy or washing clothes or in the kitchen fixing a snack. The little little ones have already been put into their rooms to sleep for the night.
7:00 p.m. Older kids devotional time, where we pray, sing as many songs as there are kids to pick songs, each say a verse, something we are thankful for, a prayer request, and pray again.
7:30 p.m. Wish the kids goodnight and head over to my side for the evening.
7:45 p.m. Start my journaling, read my bible, prayer time and quiet time.
8:45 (ish) p.m. Check online and listen to some music as I make a quick snack and get myself ready for bed.
8:50 to 9:15 p.m. I am in bed and ready to sleep and start my day all over again in a few hours.
On weekends, the morning does not start until 7:15 a.m. so I have time to sleep in.
While there are exceptions to all of this such as parades, taking the kids to the pool, extra long kitchen and cooking days and game day, it generally stays the same. To some, this schedule might seem busy, but in reality, it's just a person doing an honest days work. At the end of the day, you really feel like you have done something important, and that you have worked hard. Yes, sometimes I just feel too tired to do anything, but then I get up and take it one moment at a time.