Monday, January 31, 2011

A typical day at Shiloh Children's Home

A typical day for us starts at about six. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt are usually up a little before that. About the time I finish dressing, Jo wakes up, and gets ready for the day. Then about ten minutes later, the boys get up, but we don't see them a whole lot at first because they're getting Jason out of bed, changed, and dressed. Jo or I will be working on Betty at this point, and whichever one isn't taking care of her will be getting the children's breakfasts ready. The mornings are pretty cool, and I've been drinking a cup of
tea (so have Mrs. Schmidt and JoHannah, and sometimes Jeremy too. They drink herbal or fruit tea though- Mrs. S. can't have caffeine.) The children get baby cereal with powdered milk, with some applesauce in it, or sometimes just yogurt instead of milk. After we feed the children, we have breakfast. This is sometimes eggs, sometimes cereal (corn flakes), occasionally oat-bake (one of my favorites,) and sometimes something else. 
     Usually after breakfast, we do devotions. If we don't do it after breakfast we do it in the evening. In the morning this is the Psalms of the day. In the evening we read the Proverb of the day. What we do is we read the Psalm for whatever day it is, then skip thirty chapters forward and read that one, then another thirty psalms, and so on. Everybody reads, and then Mr. Schmidt asks whoever read to choose a verse that particularly stood out to them, and then asks if anyone has anything else to say about it. He'll also usually talk about it a little bit too.
After devotions, the boys sweep and mop the floor, Jo clears the table and often washes the dishes, and I usually do the laundry. When the three J's are done with their jobs, they work on school. Mrs. Schmidt is on the computer, and Mr. Schmidt is doing odd jobs, except when he has to go somewhere, like today- he had to take a trip into a little town to see a Haitian pastor about getting some reliable help. The children are on a mat in the living room. It's one of those mats that's a bunch of detachable squares with numbers and letters in them. The children love it and it's really good for them because it gives them a chance to try to crawl, and interact together. While the laundry's washing, I'll work on the computer, or work with the children. When the wash and rinse are over, I hang it all out, except for the boy's clothes. It's usually done around 10:00. Soon afterwards, JoHannah makes lunch. I generally help her with it. We eat rice and beans about every other day. On the opposite days we have spaghetti (with sauce out of a can!) or if we have potatoes sometimes we'll have shepherd's pie. This is basically mashed potatoes on top of a gravy or sauce that has a lot of canned vegetables in it. It's really good though. I agree with Mrs. Schmidt- everything (almost) tastes good in Haiti. This is probably because I'm extra hungry though.
After lunch, Mr. Schmidt turns off the generator. We put the children down for their naps, and then is free time. 
Around 3:00 we take all the children outside in front of the little houses, and while Betty and Maurice play in the playpen, Jason sits in the stroller and tries to pick up and eat rocks, and Caleb sits in another stroller, or is held by Mr. Schmidt. Mrs. S. is still inside on the computer talking on Skype or emailing things to the home office, and the boys do karate either there in front or around back on top of the cistern. Jo either reads or does schoolwork, or sometimes writes, and I sit and take photos or video of the children, or crochete. We are using a program  where each of us four older ones has one of the little guys each day, and we rotate. Today I had Jason. Week before last, Mr. Schmidt set the boys to dig a six-foot hole in the ground (which is mostly rocks with sand in between them) and JoHannah, Mr. Schmidt and I watched and talked to them. The hole will be for drainage for the shower they're planning to build near the houses.  Jason was quite interested. He wanted some of those tasty looking rocks that were being thrown out of the hole-to-be by the shovelful. This though was after we had discovered that he had managed to get a handful of chalky dust and rocks, and put the rocks in his mouth, and the dust all over himself. Of course, Jo dug the pebbles out immediately when we discovered this, but he was a little bit of a mess. He just has to taste everything he sees and can get his hands on. We used to put him in the playpen, and Maurice in the stroller, but after he tumbled out on his head trying to get to the rocks on the ground, we decided it was high time to move him someplace else. After about 1-2 hours outside we bring the children in, clean them up, and feed them. At about 6:30 we put them to bed, and then have supper, which is basically a snack or leftovers, and then have evening devotions.  Mr. Schmidt likes to go to bed around 7:00, and the rest of us follow pretty soon afterwards.
     This is the basic outline of what a typical day looks like for us here.  Of course, every day is different.  I hope that you all find this interesting!  Thank you for reading and for all the encouraging comments you leave!


  1. Hello Alyana,
    Thank you for your post so that we could see what a typical day is like for you. We pray for you every night during our family worship time. Glad to hear that you are doing so well and such a big help. We love you.
    Mrs. Hope
    for The Hope Family

  2. Such graceful descriptive words
    giving picture to our imagination
    of a life in Haiti.
    I was reminded of Amy Carmichael
    as I read this post.
    She might be a good study for you
    in your free time.
    I know you would be encouraged.

    Also, this verse came to mind:

    "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"
    ~Psalm 34:8

    "Everything tastes good in Haiti."
    ~A.M. Feldman

    Your words show your heart is smiling.
    We continue to remember you & lift you to
    God. ♥

    {{* *}}

  3. Dear Alayna
    It is so nice to read your blog. Thank you for posting so often. Everybody reads it;even Miss Pat from the library! We love you.

  4. Hi Alayna
    Thank you so much for taking the time to give us an example of a day in your life. I love the pictures. It looks beautiful there. Do you interact with the locals often?