Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Back in the USA

Well friends, we made our first visit home to Atlanta. We went to all our favorite places - Chickfila, Longhorns, Chickfila, Starbucks, Chili's, Chickfila..... we ate our way through Atlanta, those old North American habits came back with great ease. So many people asked how it was to return home after four months in Guatemala???

First day in town - #1 combo, no pickles w/Coke

Big Bite!

Maybe we should get some advertising kick-backs...

Well, it was easy. It still feels like home. It seemed as if we were on a long vacation and nothing changed much while we were gone. Certainly, there are some changes, but we still feel comfortable there. We don't feel like outsiders yet. Several days into the trip, I kept thinking, "oooohhh, I missed this about home or I loved that, things are so ..... civilized in Atlanta. My southern sensibilities really like it here."

I realized I need to careful in my thinking. If I keep this up, I won't want to go back to my new home. I decided that every time I thought of something I love about being in the US, I had to also think of something about Guatemala that I really love too. It wasn't easy because the things that I noticed are the things that make life in Guatemala hard. After two or three days, I stopped comparing. I enjoyed the US for what it is, knowing that I would return to Guate and enjoy a different but equally blessed life.

Here are a couple things I found to enjoy life in both homes:
1. USA - I like being able to rinse my toothbrush in the sink and drink from the tap. (Unlike most Guatemalans, I am blessed to have access to clean water. I'll take any minor inconveniences that come with it.)
 Guate - I love that I can go to the market and buy a huge bunch of Calla Lillies (or many other flowers) for Q8 = $1.

2. USA - I love driving in the civilized world. (I know you all think that traffic is insane where you live - but I dare you to drive from Pana to the airport in Guate City!)
Guate - I love the slower pace of life here (other than the driving which cannot be considered slow!) I also like walking through town - you see, hear and feel your town and the local people from a completely different perspective than when you are secluded in your private vehicle.

3. USA - I love shopping in clean, well-lit, well-organized and odor-free environments.
Guate - I just walked to the market, where I purchased 2 bouquets of flowers, 2 lbs. of potatoes, 1 lb. of green beans, a pineapple, 5 oranges, 8 jacotes (small fruit) for a grand total of Q43 = $5.50. Then I rode a tuk-tuk home for Q5 = $0.65.

My new market basket along with today's purchases!

So, what do I think after our first trip home - I think God is changing our hearts. We love the USA and we love the life we had there. BUT we also love our new life here Guatemala. It's different, but different isn't bad, it's just different.

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