Our trip home this summer was the first time in my adult life that I have just “visited” the United States. It was an odd feeling—coming back to so many places that I have lived for so long, but only visiting. Like other times we have gone back to the States, I felt “out of it” and somewhat lost… I found myself longing for “home”—here in Tanzania—because here I feel comfortable and settled. I decided that the States is a great place to visit—sort of like Disneyland…I love to go there, but wouldn’t want to live there—it’s too much, too fast, and if you see it every day, it loses its magic. We got our fill of American life and food and entertainment, and even a trip to Walmart was thrilling...everything in one place and all of it so inexpensive!
These were my thoughts while in the States. And then I came back to Tanzania last week, and started feeling the “same old” culture shock feelings (though far less this time), and found myself discouraged with the inconveniences and difficulties of living in a third world country. And so saddened because Grace is growing up without her grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. My conclusions? Life is often just difficult, wherever you live. In the States there is the superficiality and excess and discontent that come from having everything you want. In Africa there are the problems with water and electricity and bad roads. Thus, I will do my best to live contentedly wherever God has happened to put me at the moment, knowing that each place has its joys and sighs. And I long for the day when I will live in my forever home…with everyone I love...and there will be no more sighs.
Anyway, below are pictures of some of the "magic":
One thoroughly spoiled girl! Grace at her shower.
One of our 8 dessert nights--wonderful times with friends and supporters.
Disneyland with Tim and Autumn (and no kids!)
Crazy Uncle Paul at Bass Lake!
Grace's absolute all-time favorite toy. That one made it back to Tanzania!
At Hillside's Family Camp in Lake Tahoe. Grace learned to say the word "dirty" that week!
With Babu and Bibi, Uncle Paul and Aunt Kimmie
On vacation in Sonora, Mexico with the Medina clan
She learned to hold her breath under water...for up to 7 seconds!
Kisses for cousin Maddie!
So many cousins...so little time!