djiboutijonesHi, I’m Rachel.  I live in Djibouti with my three kids and husband, Tom Jones (not the singer, though he thinks life might be more interesting as a musical). Raised in the Christian west saying ‘you betcha’ and eating Jell-O salads, I now live in the Muslim east, say ‘insha Allah,’ and eat samosas. My work has been published in the New York Times, Family Fun, and Christianity Today, and I blog for Brain Child and Babble.

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On my morning run I sometimes see flamingos, parrots, or the sunrise. Today I am passed by French soldiers. #cantkeepupwithsoldiers #shortshorts

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For six months our fridge has been broken so while I cool down from my run, I remove all the food and melt the frost in the freezer with a hair dryer. When will my husband agree this is unsustainable?

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Here’s our house. The steps lead to…nowhere. A wall and then a rickety door to a rooftop terrace.

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I bike with my daughter to school.

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My husband is the school director and I am the secretary/whatever other role needs filling. I helped decorate the preschool classroom which was a true act of love and service because #ihatecrafts.

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The International School of Djibouti launched in September, which means every day, all day, almost all our cumulative family waking hours are spent thinking about and planning and smoothing out bumps related to everything involved in starting something new. 

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While working office hours, meeting parents, directing students, and figuring out all the millions of things that need figuring out, I try to write. 

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Lunch is our main meal of the day. Before we ate on this day, we checked our rat cage up in the rafters. Then we lost our appetites. It gets really hot and yes, we keep a cage up there and yes, it was full. We had three rats and they were all dead. 

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Afternoons are for errands, visiting friends, and getting more work done. And sweating. How hot is too hot?

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Market stop, I’ve got a swiss chard guy, a watermelon guy, a fish group…They know what I’m looking for and how I like it.

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Trip to the dentist for back-to-school cleanings.

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One of my friends, a former Olympian, works in a village and comes to town on weekends, so we prepared her room.

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Interviewed the girl in black for an airline magazine story, she just returned from the Rio Olympics where she was the only Djiboutian female athlete and earned a National Record in the 1500-meters. 

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He loves me! My husband finally heard my cries of ‘rotten food’ and ‘its BROKEN’ and bought me a new refrigerator. It took seven men and one woman (me) to figure out it doesn’t quite fit. We will make it work.  It only took six months!

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