Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning to Relate

This past weekend I spent "learning to relate" to the lives of easily half the women I know in Iquique. In what way, you may ask? What I am referring to is the fact that most wives of mining men in our city must accustom themselves to having their husbands home only every other week. While schedules vary it seems that the "siete por siete" or "seven days on, seven days off" rotation is by far the most common.

While I did not lose my husband for an entire week (that is forthcoming in July when he travels to Santiago to teach a module at the FTBB) he did go away for most of the weekend. The ABWE missionary men from Santiago and Iquique gathered just outside of town here for several days of work and fellowship, and by all accounts had a profitable and enjoyable time. Meanwhile the wives flew solo, and I know better than to complain because at least I saw my husband from time to time (kudos to my sister in Santiago who had to really do it all alone!)

At any rate, maintaining the family schedule and sanity by myself over the weekend was a challenge. It was a busy weekend, especially Saturday with soccer games and a Teleton activity and the monthly ladies' meeting at church. Add to that a lot of sibling bickering and by the afternoon as I was loading kids into the car for the umpteenth time Eva asked, "Mom, why are you so de-stressed?" And I answered, "I think the word you're looking for is STRESSED!" because that's exactly what I was.

All I can say is that my respect for the women who do this week in, week out was multiplied exponentially! I am thankful that in a small way I can better understand the ladies with whom I rub shoulders daily and to whom we minister in this community.

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