Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is where the missing starts

I can think of two times in the past three years that I have used this blog to link to something else that I thought was worth your time. Once was to show a YouTube video of a cute baby who bites his older brother's finger then laughs about it, and the second was to share a link to my friend Brent's blog on how much he misses Mexican food while living in Armenia volunteering with the Peace Corps. So, it's safe to say pretty much never do I share external links. I guess I figure that those of you who read this blog are reading to hear how things are going here in Natal, and not to know what videos I think are funny (although that one of the baby is pretty funny...you should watch it) or what political commentaries I'm following as of late. That's what Facebook and Twitter are for. :)

So, in my reasoning, if a person almost never does something, then one day does that thing, there must be a reason. My aforementioned friend, Brent, has been in Armenia for 16 months. I've followed his blog since he arrived as we have had a lot of the same cross-cultural adjustment experiences. Recently, his mom got to be his first visitor. After 16 months of seeing his mom through a computer screen, he was able to spend a week with her, showing her off to Armenia and showing Armenia off to her.

Please take 5 minutes to read the post he wrote about that time. He beautifully, eloquently captures the love, joy, and excitement that I believe all of us who live away from our loved ones feel that first time we are reunited with them away from "home." You won't regret it. And you might cry a little.

Read Brent's post by clicking here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

3 years

Today marks 3 years since the day I arrived in Natal. Coincidentally, I was just tackling an email inbox clean-up and went to the very beginning. I found a lot of emails from that time. It's pretty cool to read how excited I was...how clueless I was...how anxious I was...how bad my Portuguese was.

It's amazing that it's been 3 years. I'm reading these emails as though it were a completely different person who wrote them. And in a way, it was. Usually on these anniversaries I blog something sentimental, showing you pictures of the past 12 months or whatever. But today I don't feel like doing that. I think maybe the past two anniversaries I felt like it was momentous, I felt like looking back. Not today. Today feels like a normal day, just like any other. I don't feel sentimental, nor do I feel like I accomplished something huge.

Maybe it's because now Natal is home. My life here is my life. It's not a vacation, it's not a trip, it's not an adventure anymore. It's not something I feel like blogging about all the time like that first year, because now I think it's normal to buy eggs one at a time.

So how have I celebrated this non-momentous momentous occasion? Last night 5 of my friends from church came over. We watched a movie, ate some pasta, played some Uno, and laughed with our friend as she tried to catch a slipping 2-liter Sprite and inadvertently sprayed it ALL OVER my dining room wall. It has been so, so long since I laughed that hard. I told them about this special day and we all kind of just sat there staring at each other. "Wow," one said, "has it really been three years?" And then we went back to laughing about the wall.

Like I said, this is home. This feels normal. And that's exactly how I think it should be.