Back in blog, yeah..... I'm Back in Blog!!! (Sing to the tune of "Back in Black" that wonderfully wholesome song from the 70s)
Okay, so if anybody is still checking my blog, I haven't died or anything serious like that. I just moved to the other side of the world. A few highlights (or lowlights) of the journey so far:
Thirty hours of air travel to get here, about twelve days of jet-lag recovery, strep throat infection, my son having a staph skin infection, meeting new friends, eating new foods, learning how everything works in our new place (I could write a whole book on that one,) trying to get enough sleep to handle the stress, major culture shock, thanking God for Skype, good communication with family and friends back in the States, a week of intestinal upset, observing a funeral at a house across the street, cows--cows--everywhere, monkeys everywhere too, and just general an entirely different way of life than anything we've ever experienced.
I wish that I'd had the energy to blog on here regularly over the last few weeks and give my impressions as they came along, but the truth is that I've been having a hard time adjusting to being here, and have needed way more sleep than ever before. I've been told this is normal, so I'm not feeling bad about it. But I'll be updating the blog more frequently from now on!
The thing that overwhelms me most in this new country is the lostness of the people. Fewer than 1% are Christians. I feel as though we moved back in time, in some ways, to about 3,000 years ago, with all the temples and statues of idols everywhere. And yet, we both now have cell phones (called "mobile" phones here) and have high-speed internet, which we've never had before! The technology is available here if you have the money to buy it.
The main thing about life here is that everything is harder. It's harder to get your food, it's harder to have running water--you have to pump it twice a day up to a tank on the roof of your house, it's harder to do the laundry, it's harder to buy furniture or anything else you need for your house, and the beds are harder, too. Most of the time I feel like a wimpy westerner who can't handle the toughness here. I know I'll toughen up, and get used to it, but right now it is draining me.
The thing that keeps me going is to not lose sight of the big picture. I am so blessed compared to the majority of the people here. Our family has a nice apartment with running water and hot water in the bathrooms. We have plentiful food, and blankets to stay warm at night. Many of the people here sleep outside on the streets every night, and it does get cold here these nights--down to 50 or even lower. Many people have no warm clothing, no blankets, no hot water, and not enough food. So I count my blessings and enjoy the time I have with my family and with new friends here. I thank God that our city got a McDonald's right after we moved here. I praise Him for yummy food here, for the fact that we actually found a tiny artificial Christmas tree in a store here, and that we can fellowship with other Western believers safely every Sunday.
I still miss everyone from home.
More soon from halfway around the world.