- It's long. Really long. Two months is a long time to not ever be at home.
- Speaking of long, we're driving all over the place. We're used to staying in town unless we fly somewhere. Here's hoping in the kids take it well.
- Speaking of kids in cars, car seat laws stink. I know it's about safety, but we all know it's getting out of control and let me tell you, it's nice to be able to nurse the baby en route.
- Having to remember to speak English in public settings. Yes, we're used to still speaking English at home, but the brainpower I spend mentally rehearsing (this is subconscious to do now, prepping for an encounter) what I want to order at Sonic is a waste. "Buenas tardes. Quisiera un Route 44 Coca Cola con vainilla. Y con mucho hielo, por favor. ¿Es la hora feliz? Ay, que bueno. Gracias." *Sigh*
(Side note: Spell check does NOT like it when I mix languages. I had to fix that last one more than once.)
- Missing Arequipa, from friends to our daily routine to the market lady that sells awesome fresh green peas to speaking Spanish...because I do enjoy it.
- Having to haul several suitcases down from the fourth floor, then back up again in two months.
- Trying to explain aspects of our lives. It's just hard to connect with no personal experience. It would be like a bird describing flying to a fish. "It's like swimming, but up in the air, and you can look down and see everything, and if you want to dive down, you can, but it doesn't mean you're falling..." You can kind of talk around it enough to make it make sense, but it's still not quite there.
- Friends. Really good friends that I want to meet at the cafe and talk until we realize they have closed up and are waiting for us to leave.
- Opportunities for new outreach that have to be put on hold.
- Kids on a plane. Kids on six planes. Three kids on six planes. Two parents. (That was very PD Eastman. "Two dogs in a house in a boat in the water. A dog over the water. A dog under the water." Name that book.)
Things I do like about furlough and/or will not miss about Arequipa for a spell:
- Sonic (see above)
- Quality time with friends and family, in their contexts (I like knowing what their life looks like.)
- Having to haul everything, including kids, up to the fourth floor and back down again...all the time.
- Peaceful driving. Cars stay in their lanes and make turns from the proper positions. Craziness!
- Clean air to breathe.
- Yards to play in.
- Singing at church in English
- Good radio stations
- Our tiny parking space, as in, if someone is on the passenger side, they have to exit either over the driver's seat or out the garage and in through the main door. There is no fitting around the car. Driveways will be nice.
I could probably come up with more, but I shouldn't put off packing any longer. To all those stateside folk, we'll see you soon!