Thursday, December 22, 2011

My kids can't get me to shut up...

...and now everyone here wants me to speak!

Today I went out to lunch with my dad and his crew--many of whom have watched me grow up and even worked beside me when I was a student at LU. It was neat to get to catch up with them (and enjoy the Chinese food!) and hear a little about what they are up to. My dad asked me to give a brief update after the meal, so once again I found myself trying to condense 2 years of intense experience into a few minutes. I managed to get through it alright, so I guess I earned my lunch!

Mother and I went up to the fabric store to try and catch our elusive friend Regina--the dear lady who has not only sent me a bunch of craft kits, but takes a very active interest in my life and work in Zambia. She was extremely busy, but found time for a hug and a little chat. I've promised to come back after Christmas when hopefully life will be a little saner for her.

I splurged on a jug of Red Diamond Sweet Tea while in Wal-Mart the other day--oh, there are some things of the South that I have missed! (Dr. Pepper is also in this category) I didn't realize how much Texas was in me until I went to Zambia; while I will always love my little school in the bush, I will also always love the place where I was born and bred. The state where oak is live, big trucks abound, folks speak with a drawl, and the rebel spirit lives on. I hope I never get to the point where my heart stops jumping as I step off the plane in Dallas and think, "This is my own, my native land."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You might be celebrating Christmas in Texas when...

You see a truck with rolls of barbed wire in the fabric store parking lot!

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How I love my state...

I shared my presentation at the church we used to go years ago and had a great time visiting with all the dear folk there. It was so good to catch up a little bit with their lives, and share what I'm doing with mine. Most of those folks have known me since I was 6, so it's like having lots of extra grandparents.

I'm going to try and put some pictures up to make up for two years of thumbnails--this was a picture taken at our "Has Sakeji Got Talent?" show this last term. I'm not sure why the red noses were a part of the evening, but the kids enjoyed them!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Pink Trees and Santa Fans

Today I got to chat with a dear old friend who was a nurse at RVA for many years. While I have had a blast getting to catch up with friends my age, there is something special with talking to a veteran in the lifework I have just embarked on. To visit with someone who understands how hard it is to hold two so vastly different places in your head--while you are here Africa almost feels like a dream, and while you are there, your life in America seems like it must have happened to someone else. It's also great to have someone who understands the challenges of station life, and knows how two places can both be home.

Yesterday Flynn had me over for dinner in his apartment--I was was so excited to get to sample some of his cooking and just have some quality time hanging out with my brother. Flynn's apartment is an awesome mix of nerdy-geek, things from home, and that unique brand of crazy that is my brother. The Christmas tree cracked me up-

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Not many guys would be man enough to have a pink Christmas tree!

Today I took Mercy and Lucy shopping at Wal-Mart and the mall, and while there I was tickled to see this:

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In Texas, we make sure we treat Santa right. We give him a fan so he will be comfortable in that silly red suit!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm home for Christmas!

Well, at long last the term is over and I'm home for Christmas with my family. Getting home involved-

*Taking a 3 hour flight from Sakeji to Lusaka.


*Making a quick stop at Mukingi, the mission station my family was at when I was a kid, to drop off two students. Talk about a flood of emotions!

*Fly from Lusaka through Jo-burg, London, and Dallas.

*Arrive to find out that I can't get both myself and my luggage on the flight to Gregg County.

*Get picked up by my amazing friend Elise and finally arrive home after 10pm last saturday.

Now that I'm here, I've been doing some of the following things-

*Going to Starbucks, and even taking my littlest brother on his first ever trip


*Enjoying my family's two adorable kittens!

*Helping decorate the Christmas tree

*Buying yarn!

*Getting to see something totally East Texan--Hot air balloons!

I'm going to get my brother to help me get this pictures a little larger--for now I hope they will at least give you an idea of what I've been up to! The days are busy and I'm often up way to late, but it's so good to be HOME!

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm home!

Well, after about 27 hours in the air, a missed flight, and a scenic road tour of East Texas, I finally ended up back home at about 10:30 on Saturday night. I've been catching up on sleep, spending time with my family, sorting through my stuff that I left behind, and trying to get some shopping done. I also managed to get a cold somehow between all the stress and traveling, so I'm comfortable ensconced with medicine, vitamin C drops, and a box of tissues. Oh well, at least I'm sick where my mom can be sympathetic!

I'm working on trying to find a way to get bigger pictures to post on here as I'm sure you're all anxious to see a little bit of where I've been for the last two years. I must say that it's nice to have easy internet access again!

Yay for being home!