I can't thank you all enough for your support. I hope one day you'll know how much I appreciate it and how I actually could not have done this without your prayers nor could I probably continue to stick it out.
Life here is looking up in a lot of ways. Our kids are happy, healthy, and safe. They are growing both in wisdom, maturity, and size! They're doing really well in school and back in the routine and stability we all need here with our daily schedules. Some are getting grounded for being bratty and throwing fits. They're acting like normal pre-teens and teenagers. But they are happy, healthy, and safe! It brings us all so much more joy and peace.
Today I'd like to share some fun life lessons I've learned over the last 20 months:
1. Lice hate olive oil.
Add some of this goodness into your shampoo and conditioner (not too much! I speak from experience...) and the lice will stay away. Tea tree oil works as well, but when you almost live in the Mosquitia of Central America, your options are limited. Any type of oil works!
2. Mosquitoes hate garlic.
When I first got here, one of our little girls would walk around all day with a clove of garlic in her mouth. It was disgusting. She refused to brush her teeth and insisted on smelling overwhelmingly of garlic. Lucky for her, she wasn't just repelling her house-mates. It works as a natural mosquito repellant as you sweat and it's also known to be a natural antibiotic. You go girl! Don't worry, she now brushes her teeth...most of the time.
3. All medical people are doctors and dentists only take out teeth.
Back when I was a Kindergarten teacher, I made two bad mistakes. First came the dentist brigade. They were checking all of the school kids...and they were only pulling out teeth. That's all they really can do here. Well, I was still in my American mindset thinking they would just be cleaning and giving out prizes. I walked my line of little minions over to the clinic, bribed them with promises of prizes for the best behaved the next day, and left to teach my English classes. The overall message to calm them all down was, "NO, they are NOT going to take out your teeth. I promise! The dentists are nice people. They won't hurt you."
The next day, three kids showed up to class. They all got teeth pulled out. Profa Tiffany is a liar.
Don't worry...eventually he went and they did NOT take out his eye. They did give him an eye patch to wear. He didn't enjoy being called a pirate though so that didn't last long. Moral of the story: don't tell your kids the dentist won't sacar sus dientes.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar cures all.
Living in a tropical, rainforest environment, you tend to pick up random things. Last year I had a strange skin fungus (even grosser than it sounds) and nothing would kill it. Eventually after trying everything and even seeing a Dermatologist in the city, a friend recommended I try bathing in apple cider vinegar. Guess what, I now bath daily in apple cider vinegar. Adding that to the list of things I never thought I would be doing before.
5. Four wheel drive can get you out of almost any muddy mountain situation.
6. If a kindergartner says he's got to throw up or pee, make him run, not walk out that door!
And don't question slang.
8. Time is relative.
When someone tells you to meet at 3:00, they really mean 3:45. Unless it's a religious event. Then they mean 2:45.
9. Putting names on things make everything nicer.
It first started with the pesky rat in room 3 of our house. Once we named him Francisco, he didn't seem as threatening. Don't worry, we killed him will some rat poison called "The Last Supper."
Now it's amoebas mostly. Everyone gets them. But once they have a name, it's just like a friend you're mad at or an annoying sibling causing you intestinal issues.
10. A stamp makes anything official and legal.
Got a problem with residency? No worries. I'll put a stamp on it and fudge the date. A good stamp is the cure for all.