Friday, December 19, 2008


Americanized--is that a word?
This morning i ventured out with my mom...and i unexpectedly found myself going into two of the most culture-shockish places.  Kroger and Target.  If there is such a thing as Super Kroger then Jackson has it.  oh my word...I m sure some local Jacksonians thought I had totally lost it b/c i walked around with my mouth hanging out partly b/c the store is new but mainly because i was having complete culture shock.  I saw one aisle and then directly went and found my mom and said all too loudly..."They have a whole aisle devoted just to chips!"  I then illustrated for my mom what would constitute as the Malawi version of the cheese selection there compared to the American whole wall full of cheese here.  Mom even pointed out the speciality food selection with a designated Oriental aisle followed by an International aisle.  I felt more at home in those aisles than I did in the chip or bread area. Interesting. 
Target is a whole different scenario.  I dont want to be overwhelmed the week we are packing to return so tried to pick up a few things that other missionaries have asked us to bring back...not a great idea.  Should have gotten through the first week before I was so confident.  I quickly learned I m going to have to do this in stages.  There is just too much!!
I find myself being gawk-eyed everywhere I go.
Driving is a whole different ballgame.  Mom and I had to pick up my dad's car from the shop...well it s a standard.  I have JUST learned how to drive a standard in Malawi...desperate measures I know.  So...this would be my first time driving a standard on this side of the pond.  I usually do better when I am driving solo (all my friends who have had the unfortunate experience to ride with me during the early days of shifting gears would laugh to hear me say that) it s a good thing mom was only following me.  I didnt stall which is a huge improvement.  But...i still panic when turning b/c I m used to driving on the left side! Crazy...
So heres to becoming reacquainted to more Americanisms.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"I'll be home for Christmas"

My sister randomly played this on the way to the airport...admist Britney Spears...and "Come fly with me."  She is the designated deejay.
We have made it home!  Strange...very strange to say that.
We are jet lagged, weary, ready to eat, sleep and be merry.  
It's weird being would think.. "oh you ve only been gone 4 months."  Yeah, well that doesnt change's still weird being here.  I feel like I am living a double life right now. My mind (and heart?) is still in Africa but my body is in America....America in the middle of Christmas that is.  

The trip over was interesting from start to finish.  I spent the first 20 minutes or so of the flight from Jo-burg writing out all that had happened.  Rachel and I were very disruptive as we laughed our way through each event and quote.  I went from hysterically laughing to about feeling bipolar.  We were beyond delirium.  
It all began with trying to load the car with 4 trunks and two large suitcases admist the two campus Christmas turkeys running around our feet.  There is no other car that would have fit our luggage...thanks to Danny!  Then came the Lilongwe airport...I was very rachel's words "on edge."  It was everything from being frisked in the Lilongwe airport...I wish you could have seen Rachel's face and she went first and had no idea what was coming...i had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard... o our roommate Michelle saying from the airplane window (we flew together to SA) "you know Africa is not that different than any other place in the world, it has trees and dirt" to which I said "Yeah...everything looks the same from 10 000 feet in the air" to spending 7 hours in the joburg airport followed by 4 hours sitting at the upon arrival in Atlanta having the trajectory path of customs, toilet, about providential...the Starbucks was across from our seeing your mother pseudo-prancing around in her high heels at the Jackson airport with her blinking reindeer antlers upon your hearing your sweet nephews voice over the phone just after you arrive emails from friends and students back in Malawi... to many tears and hugs and telling stories about living in Africa...
Merry Christmas!