Aug 31, 2012

U.S.A. part 1 of (let's face it) way to many!

I wish I could have blogged along the way while in the U.S., but I find that there aren't any margins in the U.S. No white space on the side, top and bottom of  life.  It's just all filled up - and so it goes with our time while we are there!  It's all filled up with people, places and things we love that we miss (ahhh - tap water . . . air conditioning . . . . reeses' peanut butter cups).  And so, I'm left to unpack it all in hindsight.

After less than 24 hours in Dallas, we headed to the booming metropolis of Lake Jackson, TX, where we feasted, slept in late (thanks Mom and Dad), enjoyed donut runs and pigs-n-the-blanket, baths in the bathtub, celebrated the 4th of July, colored and re-colored hair, etc.

Somebody took their aunt seriously when she said she would be there at noon.  As soon as the chimes on the grandfather clock struck 12, she was at the door with her backpack on READY to GO!

There were bubbles

and baths (we don't have a bathtub in the D.R!)

We even had a 24 hour overnight date!  (Thanks Belinda and Ken who kept the little Sawyers busy while we got away!)  It was glorious and we had not been away from our kids even for our anniversaries while in the D.R. so it was GREAT for us to get away!

The face of a dude who just dropped off four hyper children with someone else!

Of course, I am totally skimming over all the details for the sake of getting the U.S. posts done before too much more time passes.  More to follow . . . . boat rides, hairstyles, fourth of July, etc. etc.

Aug 20, 2012

Confessions of a missionary: re-entry trauma & living extravagantly

Trauma might be a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe.  If you've been down this road before or in these same shoes, you'll get me.  Otherwise, you might just think I'm a little over dramatic and go on with your way.  I'm okay with that but right now I feel the need to roll with the raw emotion, for the sake of mentally moving into our life here.

We've just returned from six weeks in the U.S.  It was beautiful - so much more than we ever anticipated.  There were surprises and personal gifts for us along the way.  We slept in.  Past 7 a.m.  Multiple times (thanks mostly to our mothers!) We visited, shopped, talked, listened, relaxed and enjoyed.  I will make a Bayahibe -esque  (like 18 part) blog about our time in the U.S. soon because I really do want to share all about it.  It was suh-weet.

And now, here I sit on my porch overlooking this

and yet still wanting to crawl (deep) into a hole.  Not because I don't LOVE it here, but simply because there are days that are, shall we say, frustrating?  I know what you're thinking - you have frustrating days there too . . . I know.   This is a little bit different - this is culture shock all over again in the form of re-entry into the country.  You would think after 7 years of being here, that the culture shock would dissipate.  NO.  Even though we know to anticipate it, it can still slap us in the face like we never saw it coming.  And even that is frustrating because I'm like - "oh ya, I know this bit.  I've got this." and in the next breath I'm like "WHat?  Really?  The money exchange place is closed in the the middle of the morning on a Monday?  REally?  I need to get money!  WHy. WHy? WHY?"

Such unlovely outbursts with situations that were 6 weeks ago familiar and no big deal are suddenly the source of major upset.

"Oh, hello Mr. Culture Shock, I didn't see you there.  I thought  you had moved onto other victims."  Um, no.    

So, here is my first confession:

1) Even though I LOVE it here, there are many days that I want to just blubber like a big baby because sometimes I don't like it here.  There.  I said it.

Here is my second confession (one that the Lord pelted me with recently and for which I feel like I need to share):

2)  We don't lack much here.  Really.  House - check.  Curtains - check. Decor - check.  Van - check.  Entertainment - check.  Cell phone - check.  Throw pillows - check.  Artwork - check.  Potted plants - check.  Tire swing - check.  Sam's club (Pricesmart) - check.  Mall - check.  Medical facility - check. Nice restaurants - check.  Fast food places - check. Life is still difficult here, but I just want you to know that if I've ever given the impression that we are living in a hut with a dirt floor, that is not the truth.  There are things we live without here, but there are many things that we could not experience anywhere else.  We live extravagantly in terms of the depth of the things that we get to drink up in the culture in this setting.

So, while I need a little time to readjust to life in the D.R., I do feel really blessed to live, work, serve, love here.  Thanks for being a part of my re-entry recovery :)