8:20 a.m. - Rusty and Alex leave. Rusty takes Alex to school most mornings. It is a 15 minute bus ride, followed by a 10-15 minute walk. Then, Rusty has to get himself back into town for our class at 9:30. It takes the better part of an hour to take Alex to or pick him up from school using public transportation. (Look for a documentary featuring Alex entitled "This is How I Go to School" in a future post.) I finish getting ready, start a load of laundry, and straighten up the house a bit.
9:00 a.m. - Ana comes to stay with Stephen while I leave for class. I grab my stuff and walk down the hill to the bus stop. I don't have to wait long for a bus this time of morning. I listen to the "grupo" (mini-conversation) we were to have prepared today for homework over and over on my iPod on the way into town. I get off the bus and walk to the school. Eunice isn't there yet, so I sit on the steps across the street and listen to the "grupo" a few more times. Then I listen to my irregular verbs, present and past tenses. The repetition, especially when done daily, really helps me implant these in my brain.
9:30 a.m. - Eunice is running a little late because she missed her bus. I listen to a few more tracks from my "Portuguese Sounds" playlist. Rusty shows up and we sit on the steps together.
9:50 a.m. - Eunice is here, and we are ready to begin class. Class usually consists of going over our TPC (trabalhar para casa = work at home or "homework"), lots of conversation practice, and drilling new concepts. Right now, we are working on the past imperfect tense. We recite the grupo and Eunice corrects our pronunciation. Then she times us, to see if we can recite it under a certain time limit. She gives us more homework for this afternoon.
11:30 a.m. - Class is over. I hurry out to try to get a bus up to the mall near Alex's school, but I've missed it. So I sit on a bench near the bus-stop with Rusty and we work on some of our homework together.
12:00 p.m. - I get on the next bus that comes by. Rusty heads home, the opposite direction, to relieve Ana and have lunch. The bus winds through town, up a big hill, and past a giant construction site where they are building a new hospital, finally dropping me off at the mall. I find a place to sit and work on homework for awhile.
12:50 p.m. - I start walking to Alex's school. From the mall, I walk down a steep hill and across a field to get to the housing complex where his school is. It takes about 10 minutes to get there.
1:05 p.m. - Alex and I are walking back to the shopping center. The bus is supposed to leave at 1:15, so I hurry him, not wanting to miss it. We get to the bus stop at 1:14, then proceed to wait for the next 15 minutes. We watch the work going on at the construction site. Alex loves to watch the trucks and cranes. The bus is running so late today, I begin to wonder if we have missed it. I ask a lady at the bus-stop in my halting Portuguese if the 204 already came. She says no. I feel good that I am able to communicate a little, even about something as simple as a bus schedule.
1:30 p.m. - We are on the bus and heading home. Rusty is going to be late to his afternoon class, and I feel bad about that. We get home about 1:45, only to find out that Rusty isn't going to class because his teacher cancelled today. I have a late lunch, then work on homework and expense reports for most of the afternoon. Stephen takes a long nap. Alex watches a little TV while Rusty walks to the store to buy a new notebook for school and to the bakery to buy some bread. When Rusty gets back, he takes Alex to the park to throw the Frisbee for a little while.
5:30 p.m. - I start working on dinner. Stephen is now awake, so Rusty takes both boys and walks to the bank so I can make dinner in peace. I get the soup put together, and while I am waiting for it to cook, I wash dishes.
6:45 p.m. - Dinner is ready -- sausage potato soup with fresh bread from Didu, our local bakery. Most nights, after dinner, we have a short family devotional. Rusty reads the daily selection from "Streams in the Desert," our current devotional book. Then we pray for one family in our "Prayer Album," a little album I made with pictures of our friends and family (mostly using pictures from Christmas cards).
Sausage potato soup -- a family favorite!
Ready to eat!
The boys love to look at all the pictures in our prayer album
A close-up of our prayer album. It's not quite finished yet... I need to add the names to the cardstock page opposite the picture. But it serves its purpose just the same.
7:30 p.m. - It's time to start getting ready for bed. The boys take a bath together most nights. I let them play and splash for awhile in the tub. After everyone is dressed and ready for bed, we pick up toys, and then they each get to choose a story or two, depending on how much time we have. We finish with a Bible story, a song or two, and then bed.
These pictures were taken about a month ago, but they give you an idea of the size of our bathtub, about 2/3 the size of its American counterpart.
8:30 p.m. - The boys are in bed. I put away the leftover soup, wash the rest of the dishes, hang out some more laundry, send a few emails, and finish up my homework. There are two pieces of apple pie leftover from dinner on Friday. We eat them with a little icecream before going to bed.
11:30 p.m. - To bed!