Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Living in Africa, and especially with a house and yard so large, one must have helpers.  Before arrival, Joe and I were both nervous about hiring people to work with us, mainly because we had never done it before.  We wanted to be able to have a good relationship with them, and bless them as they bless us.  From other families that had gone before us we knew that depending on culture and personalities it can be a very difficult thing.

But oh dear me.  We hit the jackpot.

And the boys?  Well, they have found their new BFFs.

I present to you, Khadija and M'Barek.

Khadija runs our house oh so smoothly.  She spoils us to no end.  My sheets have never been changed so often and my dresser drawers so neat.

Barek makes our garden beautiful, keeps the cars clean and the trash at bay.

J is Khadija's baby.

And Barek, well, he has daughters, but not a son.

Khadija is here 3 days a week, but on Wednesdays and Fridays they are both here.  And oh happy day!  At 9 am when that doorbell rings, little boys run and crawl towards the front gate with huge smiles and one of them shouting, "Dija! Barek! Dija! Barek!"

J follows Khadija from room to room "helping" and I swear, he responds to her Arabic commands better than my English ones.  When he is in a grumpy mood she straps him to her back and oh boy, he is really proud of himself up there.

G spends the days outside with Barek running, laughing, playing and otherwise wrapping him around his little finger.  Barek takes him on walks around the neighborhood, lets him help wash the cars and brings him to the back door for cookies when G asks for them.  And he gets them depending on who happens to be in the kitchen.

Truly, Khadija and Barek have made our time here so much easier.  It would be pretty ugly around this house if at the end of a day fighting demanding jobs, learning French, crazy driving and grocery shopping we had to try to tame a huge yard and house.  And of course they do it so much better than we ever could in the first place.  

Although it's a year and a half away, I am already dreading saying good-bye.  Not because of the help, though it is nice, but because they have become family.   

We are lucky indeed.  

(And come visit and meet them yourself!)

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