Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A year ago...

last minute goodbyes at the airport before we leave
In one of his sermons, Francis Chan says something to the effect of, "There is nothing like moving to remind you that this world is our temporary home."  How true that is!

A year ago we were saying goodbye to all our friends. We packed up our life into 10 boxes and suitcases and got on a plane to move to a new country. And what a year it has been.
Finding Mexican food after living in London for about a month. Dave was excited! (and cost us a fortune! one of the most expensive meals we've ever eaten)

An absolute whirlwind. Living in a hotel. Finding a house. Work trips for Dave. Buying furniture for our house. Registering at the hospital. Ultrasounds. Having a baby. Trying to figure out how to get around without a car. More work trips. Finding a church. Figuring out how to set up utilities. Waiting a month for internet. Meeting people. Feeling settled.

For those of you who have never moved internationally or even just across the country, it can be difficult, to say the least. Culture shock hit us quite unexpectedly. The first month or two we were here, it was a challenge just reading a menu, let alone figuring out where to buy a vacuum cleaner. Things that we thought should be simple like opening a bank account proved to be a challenge when you needed an address to open an account. But to rent a house, you needed a bank account.

Right around the time that Georgia was born, things got easier, only to get difficult again a couple months later. I now knew where to buy my groceries, which buses to take to go shopping, how to use a credit card, etc. But, things were so frustrating and made me mad. It is part of the culture shock. I looked it up. On Google. And Google knows everything. Anyways, everything just made me mad. Grocery checkers that sit down (and are SO slow).  People who ignore you when you walk past them on the street. Our stupid carpeting all throughout the house. White carpeting. With a baby. Not being able to watch the TV shows I like. Not having an outlet in the bathroom to plug in a hair dryer. Having to blow dry my hair without a mirror.
I just found this one and it has nothing to do with this post.  Isn't it so cute??!! Georgia is taking a nap on Christmas day.

There were many days I trudged to the grocery store, upset at our tiny fridge that makes grocery shopping a daily affair, muttering about the stupid people drinking beer at 11am sitting outside at the pub in the cold, rainy weather (even though it was May), or the stupid youths that walk slowly across the entire width of the sidewalk completely oblivious that you - the lady with the baby - are trying to walk around them, the stupid cars that don't stop for people crossing the street and the stupid groceries that were so dang expensive.

I tried not to complain a lot. I knew the things I was upset about were unreasonable and it was part of moving to a new place. Things are different here. Much more than I would have ever guessed. And then one day, it was gone. It was right after our trip to the US in July. Before we left we were homesick. Very much so. Missing the food, and the people, the nice weather.
Georgia with some church friends over the weekend.

And something changed. I'm not sure what it was. I think it was time. We arrived back in the UK in the beginning of August.  It felt like home.
Hannah and Dot, some friends from church

There are still days which are rough. Certain situations you encounter that are unfamiliar. Days when you want some Taco Bell. Haha. I don't think I will ever say that I like the weather. And I will probably complain about the food here a little more. Sorry - just being honest. But overall, this is our home. Friendships have grown. We have gotten involved in our church and community. We are trying to serve and love. We are home.

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