Tropical Living


Just a cute picture of us on a family walk along the sea wall!

There are many romantic notions, many of which I subscribed to prior to the reality, about tropical living….I pictured the beach, the palm trees, the clean tile, the warm breezes.  The reality of that has been far from the pesticide covered manicured resort lawn with beautiful ocean view.  This is not a complaint or whining (okay, it might be whining just a bit…if you don`t like whining you should stop reading), it is more the reality check of tropical living.  I think the reality hit home hard this week as the bedbugs invaded and I thought I would have a mental slip, okay, I did have a mental slip but it doesn’t seem permanent.  We`ll see what happens when I see another bed bug (did I mention it`s like having a bed full of woodticks with the breeding and hiding capabilities of lice……shiver).

I won`t belabour you with all the ways I dislike tropical living, there are many good things….but I have found some coping techniques that help me get through the day to day (obviously they did not work with the bedbugs….so not fool proof!)

IMG_6488So here we have 10 ways I am coping with tropical living….

1. I brought my norwex mop, duct-taped to my guitar case…worship and cleaning…there must be some sort of super spiritual allegory for that one!  Adam thought this was the most ridulous thing ever and when I got to the airport the first thing thee lovely Westjet check in people told me was how smart I was to bring my mop!  Oh sweet validation! When we first came I washed the floor after every meal…the ants were intense and I was just trying to cope.  That has worn off (thankfully) and we now have less ants in general but it was and still is part of my ‘keep me sane I’m way out of my league’ routine!

2. I always shake my bath towel.  There was only once when something fell out…okay maybe twice.  It’s just good practice!IMG_6473

3.I use essential oils and make my own toiletries.  This includes lots of goodness in our body oils, sprays that help our skin stay healthy, diffusing things, drops in laundry etc.  I really feel that this has helped our family, we haven’t had any trouble with boils or skin infections (okay….except for Adam who is an EO hold out…meaning he won’t use them!  Isn’t that interesting!).  I even make my own deodordant which works way better than anything I can buy!

IMG_64834. This broom is called a sa-sa broom (that may be spelled wrong) and people make them and sell them everywhere, sometimes door to door, sometimes at the grocery store, often in the market.  It’s this funny thing where you never know where they will show up…especially when you are looking to buy one ($5 FJD)!  These are awesome for dealing with spiderwebs, cleaning out corneIMG_6475rs where you can’t see and my kids love using it!!

5. When things get tough, when the sweat won’t stop (not the case right now….it’s much cooler), this fantastic invention has made coping just a bit easier…yes, the lowly fan…and you don’t realize how much it helps you cope with the heat until you go somewhere without one and think you may die of heat exhaustion 🙂  True story!

20150616_1022056. A sense of humour. I live with a household full of jokers.  At the first sign of bedbugs, as I melted into a puddle of tears, my little boys jumped into action, making posters on sticks and walking the hall of our house chanting “Go away bedbugs!”  Like honestly, I may have chuckled inspite of myself.  Adam is quick to laugh when things get really tough and often has a joke ready to cut the tension.  You know it’s been a hard day when I see him watching youtube videos of people falling off trampolines and there are tears streaming down his face as he laughs until he falls over….stress can make you do weird things folks!  IMG_6472

7. I make cleaning spray, which I try to use instead of chemicals.  When I am at my wits end and don’t know how to deal with the mold, bugs or smells anymore I spray this and walk away…a job well done…it just makes me feel like I have done something helpful…instead of throwing my hands in the air in frustration!

8.We realized early on that living in the tropics is just a lot more work.  The daily shopping, the menu planning, the constant cleaning needed to keep away unwanted critters.  I had a major meltdown (imagine that….) very early on when Adam went away and I got sick and my amazing children stepped up…Gideon made toast, Malakai swept, Jude did the dishes….I realized then that my kids are capable and kind and responsible and a huge blessing!  We began to divide up the daily living stuff…it is a much lighter burden when it is shared!  Adam carries a huge part of the daily living burden.  He finds the market challenging where I just find it overwhelming!  He likes going to 10 different stores to get the 10 ingredients for supper…he is just super amazing!!  I haven’t even included food in this list which is a huge one for us! However, I think along with this is just family support in general…we are in this together…laughing or crying!

9. Our online library services….there once was an amazing woman who purchased a Kobo reader from Costco for a sweet little missionary family heading to Fiji.  That missionary family thought, “We don’t really like e-books, but we’ll give it a try…”  That family has taken out over 300 e-books since they left home and listened to many an audiobook.  When we are overwhelmed, need encouragement, or are bored we have access to many many different books online and it has saved the day many a day!  I also include in this podcasts, good music, skype and streaming church services….let’s just say the internet in general!!  We are so much ‘closer’ in time with instant access to our friends and family around the world…it’s such a lovely thing…..

10.  The last thing has to be our ‘raison d’etre’.  When things get tough and I feel like I am going to snap…or have already snapped and stop…there is the still small voice.  I run into the arms of my daddy God.  I ask Him to reclarify, “Did you really call us here?”  “Is this part of your plan?” “We aren’t doing enough” “I can’t do it…” He has patiently put of with lots of whining, complaining and some fist shaking.  At the end of the day sometimes He asks me….”Am I still worth it?”and it takes the wind out my sails, what is all of this compared to eternity?  Whose eternity will be different because I put up with a few bedbugs?  I feel sheepish to even compare those things. What purposes and plans go on each day that I will never see…not some cosmic collision waiting to happen but the daily laying down my life to serve a great King.  I don’t know that I am expressing this well, but I am here, I endure because of Him and Him alone.

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Categories: Living


  • Lorn & Laura says:

    Powerful testimony of reality … of hardships and God’s grace. Love you all.

  • Inid says:

    So wonderfully written, relateable in ways( though my only tropical adventure and experience included you 😉 ). I love how you go steadily to Him and how He corrects(?) your perception and realigns your mindset. I love how easily I see Him in you, and in your moment by moment living. How real you are about the day to day and how you don’t hide yourself away. There’s no “pretending”, know what I mean? It’s a blessing to “experience” all of this with you and pray with you and see the reality. The reality responses to the day to day. The reality God that meets you in it and covers you all. Love you.

  • Elaine & Terrence says:

    We love hearing how you guys are doing but especially how God is working in your lives. You inspire us to seek what He has in store for us to each day here in our bedbug free home.
    Blessings to you all!!

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