As we shift our thinking to living in America, there have been several discussions about what life might be like.
When the kids left America they were 7, 5, and 3.
Now they are 10, 9, and 7.
Surprisingly, there is not a lot my 10 year old remembers, so I don’t expect my 7 year old to remember anything at all.
These are some things I’ve heard since January:
*What is a driveway?
*Why doesn’t anyone in America have gates to their compounds?
*Me: “Try it. You’ll like it. It’s Uncle Ben’s rice from America.”
“Who’s Uncle Ben?” (child A)
“I don’t have an Uncle Ben.” (child B)
*Me: “I’m sorry you won’t be able to take art lessons in Yoakum. It’s not really a big enough town to offer all kinds of services, and…” (before I could finish)
She said, “…they don’t want to go to war to get more land?”
*I don’t know if I have a favorite planet…It’s probably earth.” (not really about America – but funny)
*No wonder they are the Dallas Cowboys! – They are in Dallas! Dad, were you a Dallas Cowboy?”
*(Still learning about American football) I like the Buccaneers because they are pirates.
* I showed them an eraser mate pen, and they were in awe.
*Me: “You will have to carry water carefully to Doc & Doe’s table from the kitchen because they don’t have a water filter by the table.”
Child: “Where will we get water from?!”
*Ever since I was robbed the second time, Caleb has been hypersensitive about how I hold my bag, what I leave in the car, and our car, in general. The other day we were in Kampala, and Caleb watched our car the whole time we were eating. He told me if anything happened, he would call 9-9-1. Too bad it’s the wrong number AND the right number is not supported in this country.
*One of my children has a shirt from her grandmother with a longhorn head on it. She asked the other day, “Why do we call it ‘Boo Horns?’” (No offense Soroski’s J)
Doug’s been trying to explain the rules of American football to Caleb. He’s never seen a game played, so it’s a little difficult. Thankfully, Xbox has helped. My kids only know “football” as soccer, and since we don’t have television access, they haven’t seen much of that either.
Our kids don’t know the rules to baseball, basketball, or pretty much any other kind of organized sport.
Our kids don’t know many team names for any sport except the Texas Aggies and the Yoakum Bulldogs.
Our kids have been using shillings as money for three years. We’ve been working on the coin amounts in the United States, but sometimes we get confused. Whereas your kids may know easily that 3 quarters can buy a soda, my kids won’t quickly know how to make $.75.
In the culture we have been living in, picking your nose in public and staring at complete strangers are completely acceptable actions. Unfortunately, we may or may not have been known to do this on occasion.
Our kids are not used to wearing shoes. We have been known to show up at a restaurant, only to find that one or more children had forgotten their shoes at home.
A couple of our kids aren’t great at saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” or singing the “Star Spangled Banner,” but they are learning.
We’ve also lived for three years under the metric system. Miles and kilometers are now blurred together. All of their sodas have been in liters and milliliters, and we buy flour and sugar by the kilo.
Another scary thing is “toilet flushing.” We never know when the town is going to shut off water for the day, so from the beginning, we’ve had our children only flush the toilets on the “necessary” times. After three years, we are trying to re-train them to flush EVERY time, and the training is going slow.
I saw a sign on Teen Challenge Primary School in Malaba, Kenya, last year, and it wraps up a lot of the confusion in my kids’ heads right now. Their school motto:
“Challenging the Challenging Challenges”
So with all this in mind (and more things I haven't thought to mention), watch out America, the Taylors are coming. :)