The story intrigued me, and I really shouldn't even dare a comparison after living overseas for three years, but many things he said struck a chord with me. For me, TV seemed foreign at first. I don't turn it on like I used to, and even if I did, I wouldn't recognize many of the shows. I also don't recognize many songs on the radio. Restaurant food doesn't taste like I remember it tasting, and the list goes on.
The list is longer and different for my kids. They don't remember much of anything, so most of it is all new. My oldest remembers the most, but the younger two (who can talk) don't remember much of anything.
(By the way, as a side note, this post is in no way written to make fun of my kids.)
I love my kids all so dearly.
If you ever want to sit down sometime and hear about how wonderful they are, I'll be glad to tell you... I think any kids who go through transitions that come about because of parents and the things we do and life decisions we make, deserve a lot of credit.
My kids have experienced a lot, just like yours, and like most kids, they have been resilient and come out of it with their heads high and as champions in my eyes.
Back in June, when we went to a conference in Virginia our first month here, all of our kids went to classes, as well as Doug and me. Caleb learned the Pledge of
--> Allegiance, all about American holidays, the months of the year, and about...Daniel. They discussed how we can be like Daniel, who succeeded in another culture without letting the culture consume him. I think there is a lesson in there for all of us.
So here are a few observations that have been made and some funnies that have been said since we got home and we juggle the culture we have just entered.
June 14, 2013 (Landing in America)
We landed and saw a big sign that said, "Welcome to the United States of America." There were some big smiles in our group.
Kylie took a deep breath through her nose, and said, "It even smells like America!"
We were all excited to see the United States flag, and we noticed that security was tighter in the airports compared to when we were here last.
Keira needed some water, and I filled her sippy cup with water out of the sink. Karis' jaw dropped that I was actually using sink water, and she tried to stop me at first!
The carts to get luggage were $5!!! They were always free overseas.
Caleb bought a McDonald's Happy Meal that came with apples???
I realized, driving home from the airport, that there are no RV's in Uganda. I hadn't seen one in a while. That kind of living-vehicle would totally blow their minds.
I also took a fresh look at subdivisions with matching roof tiles, straight streets, and driveways. Wow!
We stopped for our first meal at Whataburger on the way home. The lady behind the counter gave Caleb an empty cup, and he looked at me puzzled.
I took him to the drink fountain and told him he could have any one he wanted and fill up his cup as many times as he wanted. His eyes and smile got so big. He was SO excited! We all filled up on Dr. Pepper!
(In Uganda, you get glass bottles of soda, and we never ordered them until our food came, which sometimes was upward of 1.5-2 hours, and we never allowed them to get more than one bottle).
June 15, 2013 (first day at my mom's)
Karis: What is that?
My mom: A dishwasher
Karis: You have a machine in your wall that washes dishes!?
Caleb in tub
Me: "That's enough water."
Caleb: But I can't find the stopper!"
Me: I already did it with this lever.
Caleb: How? There are still holes.
Me: It shuts off the water under the holes.
Caleb: Ooooh! Cool.
June 16, 2013 (Father's Day)
Parking at church in my dad's truck:
Caleb: Something weird just happened. When the truck stopped, the lock on my door went up, but I didn't touch it.
After church, Caleb was thirsty and asked if I had brought a bottle of water to church (because I always had in Uganda). I said no, but he could use the water fountain. I explained how to use it, but he didn't know to close his mouth and swallow, so the water was just splashing into his mouth and falling back out onto his shirt and onto the floor. Then Karis tried with adults looking on, and it was a similar experience with her. They had a good time with it, though, and didn't seem embarrassed.
Doug: We're going to stop at sonic on the way to Nana and Pop's.
Caleb: No! I want to go back to Whataburger to get free refills.
June 17, 2013 (at Doug's parent's house)
Observation: Wrestling has increased tremendously with carpet around.
The same length of toilet paper we would use in Uganda for one bathroom visit can be used for three different visits to the bathroom in America because it's so thick.
Doug: Caleb, what do you want me to get you at Chick-fil-a?
Caleb: Do they have hamburgers?
Caleb: That man has a lot of "chair hest"
Caleb: Are there mosquitoes in America?
Caleb: Can I get malaria?
June 18, 2013
Kylie: Why does dad have to pump the gas?
(In Uganda, it is all full-serve. You never have to get out of your car)
Observation: It feels a little weird to turn on the radio and not know ONE SINGLE SONG!
At a fast food Mexican restaurant in Waco:
Karis: I want tacos, but I don't want spaghetti on them (she saw a picture of grated cheese on the taco).
July 21, 2013
Keira's top two teeth broke through. (you wanted to know that, right?)
July 25, 2013
Caleb "informing" one of our Mississippi friends: Your mosquitoes don’t have malaria because they don’t really suck blood.
July 29, 2013
Seeing the Ross Barnett Reservoir boat arena:
July 30, 2013
Keira stood up on her own for the first time
(You can't forget about Keira, right?)
August 1, 2013
Kylie, helping Doug and I find some place to eat: “There’s a Whataburger in 24 hours."
When they get home, I'm sure they will have stories to tell.
I can't imagine what they will think about electric pencil sharpeners!?