Saturday, September 20, 2008


So I am obsessed with blogging. Many of you already know that, but even now, with limited internet access, the obsession continues. The difference is, where before I was obsessed with reading blogs, I am now obsessed with writing them. Seriously, I even wrote an SMS (text message) to myself last night in the McDonald's parking lot with a list of things to post on here. It's a sickness people.

Some observations first. It gets dark here super early. When we left Michigan, it was still light until 9 or 10 at night. Here it is dark by 6 or 6:30 at the latest. And I mean DARK. In a way it is nice because there isn't much we could be doing in the evenings anyway. We still eat dinner early according to SA standards (around 5:30 or 6), and then it is bath time and bed time for the kids. Darin and I get to bed a lot sooner too, which is great because we are usually up around 6, not by our own choosing, but the kids.

Out here, your feet are always dirty. Not just a little bit dirty, but filthy. I am over it now, but at first when you'd put a kid in the tub, the water would look a little brown instantly. How is it possible to carry so much dirt around on your body? It is great having all tile floors, because I would hate trying to keep carpet clean out here. It would be a full time job.

I have not driven in over 2 weeks. I have gone for a much longer period (a whole semester in the Netherlands and one in Chicago), but I also had other means of transportation at the time. Yesterday, Darin said “If the kids are still sick on Sunday, maybe one of us should stay home and the other go to church”. Alrighty then, I guess Darin will be going to church as I cannot drive. He hadn't thought of that.

This past summer, the kids and I had a weekly, sometimes twice or even thrice weekly habit of going to Hudsonville Lanes for ice cream. I love ice cream. So far out here I have not been enjoying my ice cream as much. It is just different. I had a much anticipated chocolate shake yesterday and after the first sip I had to make myself drink it. It wasn't horrible, just not what I wanted.

I have become an SMS pro. I love sending text messages. In fact, after sending Darin a brief “i luv u” text and then writing myself a list of things to post, I briefly considered SMS'ing some of you who are reading this right now, even though I knew you wouldn't ever receive them. Strange, I know.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to Pick 'N Pay for the first time. It was like being in a Super Wal-Mart. Everything you need under one roof. This should have made me feel much more at home than shopping at our local Super Spar, where we are usually the only white people around. Oddly enough it made me way more homesick. I almost burst out crying at one point. When we are at Spar, it is such an abnormal experience that I don't feel uncomfortable. Being somewhere so normal, surrounded by so many unsmiling white people just left me feeling sad. Hello, do you not notice that I am wandering around here with a confused look on my face?

So far, our kids have not seemed to notice the color of people's skin. I think this is awesome. I do wonder what is going through their little minds. Do they notice and just not say anything or what? I have found that I am super aware of the color of people's skin, especially when it is outside the new “normal”. Yesterday at the mall one of the “parking attendants” was white. That really caught me off guard. I am also not used to seeing white cashiers, although it also strikes me as odd that at a place like Pick 'N Pay, all the cashiers were black. I have not seen or heard another American (other than the Innotec folks) since we got here. Just something I realized yesterday.

Now for some rambling. Yesterday Tyson asked if it ever rains here. I'm not sure if he's noticed that it's so dry or heard the adults talking about the lack of rain, but it was just kind of funny that he asked about it so out of the blue. He also said that he misses his Michigan house. He thought it would be a great idea to break it into small pieces that could fit on an airplane and then have our house here “with all the people”. I took that to mean that he is liking all the people he has met, but just misses the familiar things from home, especially his toys. We went to a big home improvement place yesterday and the kids were beside themselves when they saw the carts-they were just like the ones at Home Depot, with the cart in front of a little “car” with two steering wheels. They had so much fun “driving” and racing away from Darin and pretending that it was a forklift that they used to pick up a whole bunch of items in the garden center. We needed to get some screen for our front door and it is very hard to come by.

McDonalds's was so good. The fries tasted just like back home and the kids chowed down on their nuggets. We have been trying to limit our going out to eat, but yesterday we didn't plan well enough and were still in Montana at 6 pm with a 45 minute drive ahead of us. Good thing we stopped, because we ended up hitting traffic and had to backtrack and take the toll road home.

Life is good. I actually feel a lot better today thanks to the awesome medicine I got at Clicks. It totally knocked me out and Darin said he didn't hear me cough all night. The medicine I got for Jori was pretty sweet too. She slept until almost 8 this morning without ever waking up. I'm looking forward to drugging myself again tonight. Good times.

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