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.