Living in Panama has turned out to be more difficult than I expected... despite only having one kid and a very small house, the work never seems to end. Our water tank isn't large enough to allow me to do laundry during the day, so I still have to wait until who knows when at night to wash a load. Hanging every piece of clothing individually means that laundry takes a long time! I sweep the entire house at least 2-3 times each day (and I'm seriously not exaggerating) because the red clay dirt manages to get in and coat the floor no matter how careful we are! The bathroom needs to be cleaned now just about everyday to thwart the mildew that continues to surface because the room never truly dries out... as the rain and humidity outside keep the inside pretty moist- same goes for the kitchen. Anna is also in the "never leave me or I'll scream my head off" phase... which means that I only get time to do chores during her afternoon nap... I try to exercise everyday during her morning nap. I truly desire to spend a few hours each day studying the Word, studying spanish, working on the church newsletter and other projects, etc... but I just can't get it done!
After praying about possibly trying to find someone to come help me out, Pastor Bert met a woman named Luci, who lives in Los Mortales, who has been trying to find work as a nanny/housekeeper. We tried to hire a young girl a few weeks back, but she didn't show up, then came late the next day, etc. So I was soooooooo excited to hear that we had another option! We asked Luci to start on Monday (today) and I have been looking forward to it ever since!
Luci came this morning for the first time and took a walk around the house. We explained that we wouldn't need her to do any cooking or shopping, but simply to sweep, mop, tidy up and watch Anna while I get things done. Her price... Monday - Friday from 7am - 3:30pm???? $120 per month!!!! Pastor Bert is going to help out a little with the cost, and she will clean the church building one day per week! Eric and I are going to skim the money from our grocery budget and a little from our miscellaneous budget.
Already today she has swept and cleaned the outside of the house... including the washing machine and utility shelves. She swept and mopped the entire house (she even moved the couches!! Praise the Lord!!!!) She cleaned the bathroom, fed Anna lunch, cleaned up the dishes, played with Anna for a few hours while I studied, and now she is folding laundry. (And yes, she took a break, ate lunch, and rested- we're not Barbarians here!)
I also had Eric explain to her, that many times there may not be anything to do... but if she could just talk with me and give me an opportunity to practice spanish, and just be in the house if I need her... and she agreed. She told me an hour ago that she feels really glad to be here and is happy that we were able to give her a job. I am thrilled. She and her husband have three young sons to provide for, and I am glad that we are able to give her employment.
Right now Anna is sleeping, I'm posting to the blog, my house is clean, my dishes are put away, and I am a HAPPY HAPPY woman!