17 August, 2008

US Soil

The caffeine from the Starbucks cafe americano begins to course through my veins.  It has been over a year since I had my last one; the familiar cup and the little cardboard don’t-burn-your-hand thingy bring back a flood of memories.

We are in the Houston airport, in route to Denver, Colorado.  The layover is long by choice (if you have every tried to navigate US Immigration and Customs with two small children you will know why).  Our flight doesn’t leave for another hour and a half, so we are killing time at a relaxed pace.

Three days from now will mark the one year anniversary of our move from Kansas City, MO to San José, Costa Rica.  Just yesterday we walked down the isle and received our diplomas at our graduation from Spanish Language School.  What a wonderfully difficult year it was; full of highs and lows, challenges and victories, laughter and tears.  By God’s grace we made it through to the other side and now have a great foundation of Spanish to continue building on.

We had heard stories of missionaries going back to the States for a visit and experiencing reverse culture shock.  Although we have only been gone for one year, it is a bit of a shock to be back in the American culture we had lived in for so long.  Keeley and I were saying how strange it is to navigate the airport process without having to think ahead about how to say something important in Spanish.  I found myself having to be intentional about using English with the guy that sold me a sandwich at the food court.  A good problem to have I suppose, it means the Spanish has become much more a part of me than I think I realize.

There is a forecast of snow in the mountains of Colorado where we are going to spend this weekend.  Both Keeley and I are salivating at the thought of playing in the wonderful white stuff.  We enjoy our two seasons in Costa Rica, rainy and less rainy, but admittedly the more drastic changes of seasons we were accustomed to have been missed.  I think our friends are going to loan us some coats since ours were sold to the highest bidder at our everything must go garage sale a year ago.

One of my goals for this visit is to not gain much weight.  In case you didn’t know it, the portion sizes in the US are HUGE compared to those in most other countries.  The fine custom of sharing time with good friends over a meal is one we enjoy, but it is also one that could send us home to Costa Rica with some extra pounds as souvenirs.  There are several foods that I have been missing from the states, but I think the one at the top of my list is Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage.  Crazy, I know.  But I really enjoy some greasy Jimmy Dean for breakfast.  Yumm.

It is good to be back.  We definitely miss people and relationships, although Costa Rica has become home for us.  This will be a great visit and we are grateful for the opportunity to re-connect with people in person.  I plan on posting again soon with some of the things we have learned in the past year in addition to Spanish.

Lord willing I will get a chance to bump into you in Denver or Kansas City.  Pura vida!

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