Sunday, November 13, 2011

Life in America

After having lived away from the U.S. since 1997 and raising our children outside the country, coming back and dealing with life here has been challenging at times. We have been back to the states 3 other times since we originally left, but only for short visits and during the summer. This is our first extended stay with older children.

Many things have been surprising or different for our kids. Will took a mid-term test using a scantron sheet where you don't write on the test but fill in the corresponding bubble on the scantron. He had never taken a test using these before. Instead of asking what to do he simply read the directions and figured it out. Bless his heart. He says that he asks lots of questions in Geometry (his most challenging class) and the other kids make fun of him for asking questions. I don't get that.

I guess we are used to the layed back African way of life but I've noticed that Americans don't take time to visit with each other.  Everyone is so busy.  If they stop to visit, it's in the aisle at the grocery store or in between services and Sunday school at church.  People don't meet for coffee or lunch and if they do it has be to scheduled way in advance.  Everyone is in a hurry, always moving to the next thing.

We also are not used to having so many things scheduled at night.  In Mozambique you pretty much stay home at night because a. It's not safe and b. Transportation is an issue for folks without their own car.  We are accustomed to a life where after supper you are pretty much home for the day.

All of these differences doesn't (or is it don't) mean that I am not enjoying life in these United States......I am, very much.  I love the convenience of foods already prepared for me.  The other night I only had a short window of time to make dinner for my family so I ran by the store and picked up tortillas, pre-cooked chicken and beef fajita meat, already cleaned and shredded lettuce, already grated cheese, and tomatoes (that I had to cut up myself! :-) ) and VOILA I had a great Mexican dinner in the time it took to reheat the fajita meat (which was 4 minutes!).

I also enjoy: American TV (HGTV, TLC, The Food Network and morning talk shows), Gain detergent, diet Dr. Pepper, the dishwasher, Pine Sol, Clorox Wipes, scented candles everywhere, getting my mail delivered to our door, very little dust, church in English, the FANTASTIC music at our host church, Christian radio in the car, oldies radio in the car, a dvd player in the car, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Starbucks, being able to text or call my sister or Kecia or Cindy (and now my parents) anytime I want to because we are all on the same continent and are in the same time zone.

I have not had ONE person beg from me or step in front of my car since we arrived in this country in June.  I have seen approximately 3 potholes.  The temperature in my house is controlled!  I have seen maybe 2 flies in the house since June.  I have not seen any other type of crawling or flying insect in my house since June.

I'm sure I'll be back with more observations.  But that's all for today.


Kecia said...

Come visit me again and my kids will beg from you.
jk! :D
(wd ver: prite...a delicious 'oft drink?)

Katie Nalls said...

Loved this Angie! Love and miss you!