Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We made it!

John Michael's aunts made us this sweet sign!

Well, we are back in America. It is weird. And good. And fun. And overwhelming. And exciting.

Furlough so far is a lot of things.

We were certainly blessed by a little "cold front" in the South when we arrived. I think Jesus just wanted to give me an extra special little gift after I spent ten days in Wewak sweating so much that my neck became a waterfall cascading down my chest and creating a wading pool in my bra.

I have been nice and dry since we left PNG on May 11th. Hashtag blessed.

We are currently staying with my in-laws so things are pretty laid back for us right now. We did have to get new drivers' licenses since ours were expired and new credit cards since those were immediately stolen when we got into the country (that was a nice welcome home). But all of that went relatively smoothly. Not like in a third world country where we had to wait two weeks to get our drivers' licenses because the camera at the office was out of film, and no one had any idea when they would be getting new film.

Along with not sweating I am also not cooking, so we haven't had to do heavy duty shopping yet. We have been to a few stores and bought very little each time so we wouldn't be overwhelmed, and that has worked very well.

The first time I went to Wal-mart the cart was so big that I could barely handle the stupid thing. I can't imagine having to steer it around full of junk.

It very much reminded me of when the guys taught our Hewa men to drive the big lawn mower for the first time.

I pretty much looked exactly like this
We skipped church on Sunday because we are horrible missionaries most of our veteran missionary friends told us to.  In fact the director* of all of NTM PNG told us to, so if you have problems with this just email him. We were only following orders. :) Most people told us that church is the biggest culture shock you will have on your first furlough, so you kinda want to ease back into it. That was definitely a good call as we all still have jet lag pretty bad and my kids are sleeping until 9 or 10 everyday. I am gonna milk that for as long as it will last!

Right now we are just enjoying the simple luxuries like ice and water just coming out of the refrigerator door with the push of a button, and me not having to go through 14 steps to get a glass of cool drinking water.

And the fact that there are virtually no bugs. Anywhere. We are even sitting outside in the evenings and maybe see one. Normally I have so many crawling on me when we are outside that it is really only worth it to brush off the big ones.

We got the van we had before furlough back and even though I haven't driven in 3 years it felt pretty natural to be behind the wheel. I guess it is just like "riding a bike"...except that I ride a bike like a drunk orangutang so that analogy is lost on me.  JMG had more trouble than me because he has been driving on the left side of the road for the last three years and now has to get used to the right side again. 

I guess our biggest struggle so far is trying to get back on a regular sleeping/eating schedule. I forgot that when you have seasons and daylight savings time the sun doesn't go down until almost 9 o'clock. On the equator the sun pretty much sets at the exact same time EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The sun only moves slightly to the left or right throughout the year in our village and we all got used to that consistency. 

But by far the best thing about being home is seeing the faces and hugging the necks of the people we love and have missed so much. My family all lives out of state but being with John Michael's parents has been amazing and I have been blessed with seeing some of my closest friends.

Barbara, one of my best and oldest friends!

Tahya, a sweet friend and kindred spirit.
The main event will be when I get to see my mom in 12 days! I can't even think about it without tearing up!!!!!

Overall I think we are adjusting pretty well. The key for us has been just taking it slow. I am very thankful for the advice I got from my co-worker and other missionaries who told us not to over do it- especially at first. We are following that advice and loving every minute of it!

*His name is Keith Copley. Feel free to email him with any problems, concerns, theological debates, complaints, or just general thoughts on life. He also loves forwards...especially ones about cats.

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