Friday, May 16, 2008

Home... whatever that means

So we are finally "home", whatever that means nowadays.  I have been perplexed by trying to answer the question "So, where are you from?" lately.  Several times this week, I have been in situations where I was meeting new people, etc. and they always ask me, "Where are you from?" or "Where do you live?", to which I have no real answer.  Home used to be here (Texas), but now we don't really feel like we are "home"... we are just visitors, back "home" for a time.  We don't really have a place to put our stuff, a closet was partially cleared for us, the living room is piled high with luggage yet unpacked... it just doesn't feel like home really.  Costa Rica isn't home, although it was for the past year - and we REALLY miss our friends from the language institute.  Peru isn't home yet, although it soon will be.   We don't have housing arrangements in Peru yet, we don't have our visas yet...  Everything is just a big LIMBO right now and feels kind-of weird.  

We are pretty tired.  We haven't been in Texas for a week yet, and already I have been to Dallas for two days to see my brother direct his Spring pops concert, been to a big welcome home dinner in Navasota (really neat - they even had Welcome Home Drum Family on the restaurant marquee), filmed a video at the church, transferred the title on the used car we bought for Miles, made a video / slide show for next week's speaking engagements, designed and printed bookmark prayer cards for next week, and have done countless hours of shopping that we needed to take care of before Peru.  We have sent Ryan back to TAMUK for a week or so and gotten his VW bus insured.  Culture shock on the USA end is compounded by the North American lifestyle of "super fast, super efficient, pack in as much as possible into one day" attitude.  It is taking it's toll on our very Latin American cultural mindset that we spent so many months getting used to... slow, calm, laid back, nothing happens fast, everything takes time, and you'll only accomplish 2 things on your list on any given day.  I really got used to that!!!  

By the way, my plan to eat my way across Texas came to a pretty quick demise.  Our first meal on the ground was at Chili's on the way home from the airport.  Billy and I didn't sleep that night because our stomachs were rebelling (more food and more fat than we are accustomed to).  On the second day, we had a nervous breakdown in the grocery store when my mom asked us to pick out a couple of bags of potato chips to go with sandwiches at lunch... there are WAY too many kinds of potato chips in this country!!!  We finally just threw up our hands and told Mom to pick.  That night, we ate at La Casita and again, my stomach was not very happy with me... I made a trip to WalMart to buy Tums since this seemed to be quickly becoming a trend.  In Dallas, we ate dinner at IHOP after the concert and I only managed 1/2 of my plate.  Sarah fell asleep in my lap and I could have done the same -- we just aren't used to these late nights!  In Costa Rica, it wasn't unusual for us to pass out in bed by 8:30 or 9 each night!  The mental exhaustion of language learning and a different culture was rough and we really needed lots of sleep.  Since we have been "home", we haven't been in bed before 11:00 yet!  Last night, it was 1:15 before we turned out the lights.

And there is no relief in sight... Today Billy attended his old Bible study coffee at 6 a.m., this weekend my girlfriends are taking me out for some pampering and lunch tomorrow, our old small group from church is having a social for us tomorrow night, Sunday we deliver the sermon at two services, have a Q&A forum at the Sunday School hour, attend at going-away reception for a pastor/supporter, hold another Q&A forum at a dessert reception in our honor in the afternoon...  Yep, I think we will be pretty exhausted by the end of Sunday.  If anything, we just haven't had time to really feel the effects of culture shock because we are so busy and so tired!

Love to all of you.  Pray for us and our transitions in the USA, and for the transitions that are in the works for our move to Peru in June.  


Sonia said...

Wow, your days are PACKED. But I'm glad to hear that you're keeping busy and busy preparing for Peru. Miss you all terribly, San Francisco feels weird without the Drum clan. Be encouraged! I'm praying for you guys :)

mikepettengill said...

stop the madness...I hope you're doin' your daily walking....hah!

So remind me to tell you my story about the bomb drill while I was at the US embassy.

Pray for Lalo if you hadn't issues.

CA RN to Honduras Missionary said...

Love you guys, miss you guys. Said hello to Lizbith (spelling?!) from you...saw Narnia at VIP, IHOP, Chili's, I truely hope your stomach makes the return trip QUICK so you can enjoy the rest of the cuisine!

The McClain's said...

Hey ya'll!! We miss you guys too!!! Love to all,
Matt and Brooke

Shay & Gwyn said...

We miss you more than I have words for. I keep seeing you two on campus and then you turn around and its just some new student and not my dear friends. For the record your ghosts are driving me crazy. By the way is my "flat Laurie" in the mail yet? I know you busy but I really would like to talk to her!

CA RN to Honduras Missionary said...

Hey...where are you guys?! I miss your posts!