Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coming Home

I can't even settle in my mind how it felt to be home, let alone describe it in words.  It felt surreal to say the least.  People talk about reverse culture shock often.  While I sort of poo-poo the extreme emphasis put on culture shock within the missional community, I do understand how one can experience it when moving into a different culture and again when returning to their own.  I didn't feel shocked going back to my home country, but I was much more aware of how it compares to the world in which I live now.  Needless to say, it is vastly different.

We were so excited to see everyone, especially our parents and siblings.  Throughout out trip, we were also able to see and visit with many of our dear friends, as well as all our grandparents and all my aunts and uncles.  We burned up the road between SC, NC, FL, AL, MO, IL and GA.  But it was great to see everyone.  Fortunately my family was able to travel with us along our two and a half week journey through FL and on to the midwest, for which we were all so thankful.  Kyle so enjoyed playing with his Aunt Maggie and Uncle Caleb on any playground we could find.  Plus, it's great to have extra hands around to help with Little Miss.

Bedtime stories with Pops

Leaving is always hard.  It just hurts.  The flight is a miserable reminder of just how far we are from where our family lives.  Thankfully, the internet really does help close the miles between us and makes it seem like we aren't quite so far away.  Spending hours over the Atlantic, though, reminds me that we can't just hop in the car and road trip back to grandparents' houses for a visit.

Can I just say that our kids are the best travelers?  They put up with being in the car for I-lost-track-of-how-many hours.  Then, we boarded the miserable Atlanta to Joburg flight Tuesday evening and they took it like champs.  The Delta ladies in Atlanta saved us the perfect baby spot on the plane, complete with attachable bassinet.  I think Ellee girl had it better than business class.  She did really well sleeping in that thing most of the flight.  We made Kyle a pallet on the floor underneath her with Delta issued pillows and blankets and he also slept most of the flight down there.  When he was awake, he was playing the iPad, snacking on plane food and visiting the lavatory.  He seemed to be infatuated with the itty-bitty can't-change-your-mind-in-it airplane bathroom.  Sleeping for Mom and Dad on the plane was pretty much impossible, but at least we all made it back to South Africa in one piece.

Dinner in the Atlanta airport..... The Varsity

Upon our entry into South Africa, however, we were detained for hours because of a false alert that was scanned into Jonathan's passport by someone in Maseru.  We've tried and tried to get it overwritten but alas...  I almost lost it a few times during the two hours we spent arguing with immigration about not paying a $100 fine over something for which we are not at fault.  By the time we finally got out of that office, our bags were way past the carrousel in luggage pick up and we had to go hunt those down in an office somewhere.  There we found one was missing.  After hunting that one down, we took a taxi to where Rocky was parked.  It took us nearly an hour to find someone who could get us the keys to the office where the keys to Rocky were hanging, as it was after-hours by that time.  We unlocked Rocky to find that he was dead as a doornail and then had to locate the biggest vehicle in the property to try to jump that giant engine.  Finally....... hours after landing........ we headed to our friends' house in Pretoria (about thirty minutes from the airport) where we were to spend the night.  The next day we got Rocky a new battery and visited our friends and their new baby.

The kids love baby Ty

Friday we started the ten hour drive from Pretoria back to Mokhotlong.  We stopped half way with friends and fellow AIMers and spent the night before trekking up the mountains on Saturday.  We arrived late last night, Rocky full of suitcases, groceries and a few small furniture items we procured whilst in Pretoria.  It felt so nice to be home after days of traveling to get here.

While we were gone, our landlord (and dear friend) did some maintenance on our house and it looks wonderful. The coal stove we bought has been pretty much installed, which just a few lose ends that need to be tied up before we actually start using it.  The ceilings, which up until now were unfinished, were painted white.  And our guest room ceiling was completely repaired, eliminating the bubble wrap that was in some places patching the existing ceiling,and leaving it looking much more welcoming than before.  I was so excited to see that!  I will post photos once it is photo worthy.

Because we have now entered into freezing temperatures at night, we purchased some much needed heating paraphernalia.  We bought a mattress heater for our bed, two wall heating panels for the kids room, and a hot water bottle wrapped in a plush dog for Ellee's bed.  I spent all day Sunday putting things away and doing laundry.  Today I deep cleaned this place because the ceiling repair left the house full of dust.... as if Mokhotlong isn't dusty enough to begin with.  Tomorrow we go out to the village of Molumong to visit our AIM teammate for our weekly prayer get-together.  It's about a 40 minute drive from home.

It is good to be home, to spend time alone as a family and to have time to play with my kids.  It is nice to sleep in my own bed.  It's fun to watch Kyle meet his toys all over again.  Truly, there is no place like home.


1 comment:

  1. Abby it was so wonderful to see you all in Dahlonega. I pray for you all with my Five Roses Tuesdays and Saturdays ☺ Love Aunt Beth