This Global Home | Day 25: Uruguay
Hey guys! I'm Sara. My family and I have lived in Montevideo, Uruguay, South America (not Africa) for almost 4 years. I have three kids. The oldest, Jairus, is 7, Evangeline is our little lady and she is 6, and Agustin, our Uruguayan born, is 3. Despite all the sweet little kids stateside praying that we wouldn't get eaten by lions when we moved overseas, our jungle isn't so green. We live in a large, flourishing, modern city. The truth is, I was wary of even sharing because our home here isn't too much different than our home in the states, but I decided to open my doors because I think it is helpful to see that overseas living comes in many different forms. My hope is not only that you see our home, but that you see a bit of our life. Our bathrooms still smell like pee from a three-year-old still learning to aim, humidity is causing pieces of nearly every wall to come off, and our hand-me-down furniture isn't exactly Joanna Gaines approved. But we live and love and serve here. And I hope that in sharing, those who may be called to a life overseas will be encouraged by the diversity of home life represented during the Global Life Series.Connect with me: Instagram
My favorite place to be in our home is actually outside of it. Moving to a large city meant that we had to adapt to a life that we didn't ever imagine ourselves living. We always thought we would be in the middle of nowhere or on a farm or in the mountains. Never did we ever consider being in a city until the opportunity came to help form a church in Montevideo. Our first house here reminded me of the house from the movie, UP, completely surrounded by apartments with only a tiny humid patio. We had horrible issues with mold and started praying for a new house, with a giant yard. After a year, we found our dream city house complete with a giant miracle backyard. It has done wonders for our three energetic kids, and this mama, whose heart yearns for the outdoors. While it's small in comparison to most, we couldn't be more grateful for the little bit of green that brings rest and repose to our concrete filled days. The dining room takes the prize for my favorite space in the house. The glass roof represents an antiquated architectural style found in Montevideo and provides gorgeous natural light. Unfortunately, the sides of it leak a bit and we have pieces of plaster constantly falling off the walls, but it's a small price to pay for a room where light pours in during the day and stars can be seen during the night. The armoire is my favorite piece we own and we got it (and the table) at a local auction house. Actually, my husband took the table home on the top of a borrowed van and on the way it fell off in the middle of traffic. Whoops. The auction house is the cheapest place to buy furniture, but the auction house in another language is a whole different experience. Our first few trips we ended up with furniture that we didn't know we bought. Whoops...again.Without a doubt, the most Uruguayan part of our home would be the parilla. A parilla is a built-in grill, and an "asado" is the Uruguayan version of a cookout (but even better). Amazingly, we have two at this house, one in our dining room, and one out on the porch. Asados are the center of Uruguayan culture and community, and if done right, produce amazing food, mostly meat, and rich fellowship. We have heard that when people are constructing houses they often build the parilla first so the workers have a place to cook their food. Learning to cook on the parilla is a skill all its own and one my husband is only beginning to master. We use the indoor parilla when it is cold, but in-between asados it is sadly piled high of ins and outs that can't find their home. I'm sure that is the unpardonable sin in most Uruguayan homes, but the tools need a place to lay their head. The kitchen was a big surprise for us. When we arrived it didn't have any shelves, and I admit to having winced at the thought of having to creatively figure out storage without drilling into the tiles. But our owner came through and put up these Pinterest worthy shelves that I have since filled with treasures my mother in love brings every time they visit. Anyone else love super practical gifts? It's fitting that it is in the middle of our home because our life revolves around the kitchen. To keep dishes from overcoming the entire house, I hand wash 1,000,000 times a day, but that juicer is the bane of my existence. I juice every morning, but cleaning that bad boy is my least favorite chore. The questions most frequently asked by North Americans visiting our home are about the bidet in the bathroom. What is it? How do you use it? Do you sit forward or backward? Do YOU use it? The bidet is a sweet little bottom cleaner and yes we use it and yes we think North America needs to bring those babies back! Is that enough bathroom talk for one day? And no bathtubs. I know. Take a moment of silence for all the mothers in the world without tubs to throw their babies in during the witching hour. Do you ever look at your life now and see real life pictures of how you imagined it would be before? That is the children's room for me. All their little beds all lined up in a row like a little story book, all the beds half way made by the kids, and the piles of books and stuffed animals spilling out everywhere. We had bunkbeds but there was unanimous hatred of the upper bunk. Thankfully, the kids’ room is big enough that it allows for each of them to have their own beds. During the freezing cold winters we push all the beds together and they snuggle up to keep warm. Our bedroom is our office so it is always a bit of a wreck. We need some serious organization in the office side of that room, but I do love the simplicity of our bedroom. Sometimes the bedroom side looks nice and neat and other times it looks like this. But that sweet little baby laying on the bed reminds me that if the little ones feel loved and welcomed in their homes, they could care less if there are sheets on the bed. Our homeschool room would be my second favorite room, probably more because of what happens in here rather than what it looks like. We spend our mornings in this room learning and growing alongside each other and our time is so rich. The vintage map of the US we found at an antique shop here while I was actually looking for a map of Uruguay. We have an inherited homemade desk that I hope to one day exchange for a bigger one, and another auction finds to hold all our homeschool materials. This room stays a wreck until I have to clean it to teach an English class, but I love walking in to see the little projects they are working on. Do you have a room that feels as though it belongs in someone else's house? For me, our living room is that room. It is full of inherited (or cheap) furniture in colors I don't like with styles that don't match, and it almost always has at least one of our dry racks stuffed in a corner with drying clothes. It reminds me that our homes aren't all about what they look like or the things inside of them, but how God can use them to bring life to the people who live in and visit them. Rarely do people mention the decor or the cleanliness or the furniture? But they mention that they have felt loved and welcomed. Our home is for more than looking good, it’s for living and loving and enjoying, not only for our family but for anyone God brings through our door.
Caring is Sharing!