Or… church shopping? It does feel a bit like shopping, to tell you the truth. And just like grocery shopping, where there are far too many options, it can tire you out. And if you are an introvert, it can tire you out even more. So what should you do? How do you find a place of worship?
If you are coming “home” from working cross-culturally to the same city or town you left from, you may already have a home church waiting for your return. They may be excited to have you back – that is, if you were very actively involved before. If you were not actively involved before you left, then don’t be surprised if you are welcomed with something along the following lines: Continue reading
I forgot how hot southern summers could be here. I have been hearing peoples’ complaints and thinking to myself, “It can’t be worse than the Honduran North Coast.” It can’t be worse than a sunny, hot, humid, breeze-less day with no electrical power to allow your ceiling and floor fans to cool you off for a few seconds. It can’t get any worse than that. But, once upon a time, it actually felt worse… at lest to me.
A few Saturdays ago while husband took the kids on an outdoor adventure, I stayed home to enjoy a quiet morning. Then I decided to drive to a trail along our city’s river for a 45 minute jog. It was around 10:30 a.m. when I began; but twenty minutes later, I was exhausted! I arrived to one of the bridges, slowly picked up my legs to cross it, walked halfway across the bridge when I realized I was too tired to keep on going. That is when I decided to turn around. I did never made it to the other side of bridge or jog the 45 minutes I had set my mind to jog.
When you move to a foreign, unfamiliar country or region, perhaps an exotic place like France, India, Peru or even New Mexico (where they put green chili on everything), you know that food and flavors will be different. You expect it will be so and it is. But when you move back “home” or, in my case, a place you have once lived in before, you may not be totally prepared for the changes in diet that many of your friends and family have made. It may take some time to accept these changes and adjust your pantry accordingly. If you love to host people for meals, you will just have to accept the fact that it will be much more difficult to do so! But how much should you compromise? What is just a diet fad or food fear? What is worth keeping in your pantry? What advice or food items should you toss? I’m asking myself all these questions and I still don’t have all the answers. Continue reading
Unfortunately, for the longest time, I had believed the myth that a Honduran woman had to have special hands to be able to make flour tortillas. And since I grew up in the south-central region of Honduras, I never learned to make flour tortillas. When I moved up north, I was told by a northern-coastal lady: “You are not a real Honduran woman if you do not know how to make flour tortillas.” But in the seven years of living in the north coast, I never really learned how to make flour tortillas; therefore, I never really felt like I was a true Honduran woman.
But… I moved back to the United States of America and I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO MAKE FLOUR TORTILLAS!!!!!! ¡Eso! One of my dear American friends provided me with the best flour tortilla recipe ever! Here it is: Continue reading
I miss my full time house help: 8 hours a day for five days a week. She cleaned, washed clothes, prepared lunch, loved and cared for my kids. Oh… I was so spoiled! Sometimes I ask myself: Why did we move to the US?
It is culturally acceptable even for lower-middle class families to hire full or part time help in the home. For foreigners, it is almost expected. Labor is cheap in the developing world. Work is also scarce, even for highly educated people living in urban areas, not to mention people who live in rural areas. I needed to run a home in a hot, humid and dusty environment where floors needed to be swept and mopped daily and clothes and sheets got moldy – not to mention we did not have a dishwasher nor air conditioning, and had to hang clothes to dry on a line because electricity is really, really expensive. That was my “old normal.”
A month or two before we moved back to the US, we had our yard sales and set aside our treasures to ship. Each child got a plastic storage crate for their special toys, books, and keepsakes. We had our hammocks, our Honduran carved entry table, my guitar, special paintings, my husband’s grandma’s silverware – mainly things we couldn’t replace. Most of the items we shipped reminded us of special places and people, not only of Honduras but also of other seasons past.
It took us over 2 months to move into the current house we are renting and it has really been an answer to prayer. I was getting tired of not having a place to put the little stuff that we own. Now that we have a place to call home, the house fills up and the our bank account depletes. We are now proud owners of a couch and we hope to get a dinning table delivered in a few weeks. I almost cried when I went to Sears with my husband to buy a washer and dryer only to find the last box of exactly the same pots and pans (click on Adiós Microwave post) I owned in Honduras! I was so excited!
We had a house rental secured even before we left Honduras. We were only going to stay at my in-laws for about a week and then move to our own place. So a few days before we were scheduled to move, we went to see our soon-to-be rental home only to find that it was not exactly what we had hoped it was.