Wednesday, June 29, 2011

44 Cents of Fun

One of the challenges of coming back ‘home’ is that everyone’s lives are already filled with tons of busyness and it’s hard to fit into it all. So, I’ve had to put on a sort of creative thinking cap to come up with ways to weave my life back into that of some of the people I know love me, but just aren’t used to me being around.

I’m volunteered to help a bit with a huge fundraiser garage sale. I have poured myself into fixing and cleaning the missionary apartment (not really social). I’ve just showed up at offices or small groups. Most of the time these methods of finding fellowship have been successful.

This week I was talking with a girlfriend that is on the other side of town. I’ve seen her and her brood a couple of times and we talk often, but I don’t get to really spend time with her, at least not yet. Last week I told her about the recipe I was trying for this bake sale. I’d eaten it before but this was my first attempt to make the recipe. As I described it to her over the phone she thought it sounded yummy and asked me to send her the recipe sometime.

Part of being in transition means I have a little trouble with short term memory. I did however manage to remember her request, I typed up the recipe in order to send it to her. But I then realized that she doesn’t get on the computer very often with her busy life and I even wondered if when she did she had a printer nearby.

I printed it out and mailed it. As in snail mail! Does anyone even do that anymore? I know we all seem to collect mail from the box, but what’s out there? Usually ads or bills. Who ever get something really fun in the mail?

I hope this will cheer her the way a handwritten note from a friend who moved to Ohio while I was gone cheered me this week. All that for 44 cents! And if you do it right you might even get to lick an envelope.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

When in Doubt; Bake

I’ve stalled out on processing this major live change, so to bide my time I have been baking a bit. I tried a recipe yesterday that I have sampled once, probably over 3 years ago. Since I still remembered it I thought I’d give it shot. Here it is. It’s super yummy.

Back to reality later.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Very Berry Coffee Cake

Sorry about the silence. There is too much going on under the surface to be able to find the energy to pull it up and write about it. But for the most part it's enough to keep me from writing at all.
I did just post a recipe on the other blog I'm a contributor to. Please check out this easy coffee cake recipe for summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reverse Culture Shock

The main problem I have with the title is that it doesn’t really seem “shocking”. It’s actually very subtle. But it’s there, and I’m trying so hard to catch the nuances of it to share here.

For example: we’ve had a couple of kind of cold days here in Minnesota (super hot ones too since I’ve been back) but when you order a soda, servers still put ice in them! I could be sitting there shivering and I still get a drink with ice.

Sometimes I wonder why there is so much water in the toilet bowl, it’s totally unnecessary. Why do people drive during the day with their headlights on? I am still in wonder that I can get my vegetables weighed at the cashier and I don’t have to find someone in that produce department to weigh them (which I can never find anyway).

Christian culture is a little unfamiliar too: Prayer meetings are a little awkward because no one says “Amen” at the end of each person’s prayers. Not only are people not dancing in church but they aren’t even moving – even a little. Aren’t they happy to be singing praises to the Lord?

One thing that always does kind of shock me is the ride from the airport: I am asking myself, Where is everyone? If Hiawatha Ave was in Nairobi there would be people walking on the sides of the road, and probably down the middle too. Not only that but if you were stopped at an intersection there would be people trying to sell you fruit, sunglasses, car freshener, newspapers, bootlegged DVDs and so much more.

I keep thinking to myself, I’m different, can’t you people see? I’m really African and you should be explaining things to me here. There are moments in Kenya when I did actually forget that I wasn’t Kenyan, so it’s only natural that I will feel different here now. I’m sure I’ll soon get over it, but I don’t always want to.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The "New" Car

By the grace of God I found a reliable (I hope) used car that is “affordable”. I am the new owner of a 2001 Camry 5 Speed. It’s very much like the last car I had here, but a little newer and less rust.

I feel blessed to have found and been able to pull everything together to purchase it today. I did have a little help from my friends: One who did all the research for me on what kind of car to buy (because he’d already done the looking for a similar one for himself). Another who went to look at a couple of them with me, and ended up taking to out to get mine today. And still another who shuttled me to the bank this morning to get the money.

If you prayed I am especially grateful to you for that unseen help and directing me to just the right car. It’s a real blessing to be truly mobile.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pillow Overkill

Today I made a couple throw pillows for the guest apartment I'm staying in. It's an unnecessary addition to the master bedroom here but it gave me a creative outlet. I couldn't have done it without the help of my friend Debra and her boys.
It was pretty fun to make them since it's pretty quick project and therefore fairly instant gratification.
Of course this evening I was finally putting it all together and found a couple more pillows that were to go on the bed. Now it's a little much.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guy Magnet

I've been home about a week and I've had the privledge of driving a borrowed car from friends of friends. It's turned out to be a guy magnet!

Too bad I'm not keeping it longer. But God has provided a more practical car while I look for a good used car to purchase. It's been fun.