Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back at it

I haven't felt much like blogging.

There's too much to say, too much to share, so it just feels like I can't start.

We had a Home Leave for 40 days. We spent time as a family, we played, we rested. We didn't check work email, not even once. That was pretty awesome.

It was nice to be "home." (It was interesting to realize we said "home" about the Pacific Northwest, even though we also call Guatemala "home," and haven't lived in Oregon in several years.)

It was nice to be around family and things familiar. But also, it was hard. Hard to leave. Hard to say good-bye for another long stretch. Hard to be faced with things that aren't part of our lives here. Not just people, but things like going to the library. Going on walks whenever we want. Having access to parks and green spaces and things to do with our kids on the weekend.
When I think of our time in the States, I think of this. The girls laughing and playing together, especially in a park, something we don't have a lot of here in Guatemala.
I'm not gonna' lie. When we got home, it was hard. It didn't help that we literally came home to a dirty, stinky house. (We had someone who had planned to come to our house while we were gone to clean and check on things, but never came.) I had left dirty, peed sheets from the night before we left, thinking they'd be taken care of while we were gone. At least the trash was taken out and the dishes had been washed. 40 days is a long time.

So our "welcome back to Guatemala" was a little rough. We were sad to say goodbye, but also very ready to be back to a routine as a family. Living off of others' kindness and generosity and hospitality for that long has its own implications. We ate differently. Slept differently. Played differently. It's not our "normal."

We are back in full swing, with work and school. The girls are happy to be back, though they don't cease to ask when they will see their cousins or their grandparents or their aunts and uncles again.

A few highlights of Home Leave: we celebrated Hazel's 3rd birthday, Ellie broke her arm falling off a zip line, Ruby slept through the night for the first week, and then went back to waking up every few hours. Michael and I went on a 2-hour bike ride around the lake where his parents live in McCall, Idaho (we rented a tandem bike). Seeing so many good friends from college and high school. Meeting our nephew, Finn, for the first time. Lots of cuddles between grandparents and grandkids. There are lots more, but I'm not about to write them all...

Here are a couple links to our Home Leave albums, if you're not on Facebook and want to see pictures:  Here, here, and here.

There, I blogged.