Any of you who have been out of the States for an extended period of time will know what these faces mean:
There’s a mixture of “Wow, this is great!” and “Woah, this is way too much!” in those faces. =) Despite the fact that we’ve both traveled quite a bit and both lived overseas for extended and varied times before we were married, coming back to the States still takes a few days to get used to. The biggest culture shock we’ve experienced so far has been merging on the freeway. You realize too late that you can’t change your mind as you go speeding down the on-ramp at 70 mph, hoping someone will let you squeeze your little car into the flurry of activity… and all this on the right hand side of the road!
Besides the shock of merging in traffic, our adjustment back to the States has been fairly simple. It’s almost like the “African file” in our brains closed and the “American file” opened up. Everything American seems normal in this context. The internet is fast and reliable, the electricity never goes off, there are white people everywhere, the pace of life is quick and full… and while we notice these differences, it all seems normal.
With very little culture shock, we hit the ground running – meeting with people, stocking up on home and office supplies to take back to Malawi, figuring out medical status and plans for Baby Flo, spending time with family, and sharing with churches. We’re so thankful for all God has allowed us to do in these first weeks, and we’re looking forward to the coming weeks of spending time with so many more of you. If you’re in the southern California area, we’d love to see you in the next couple months. Send us an email or a comment, and we’ll make a plan!