All of life is a learning experience. The past two years has put us in situations and cultures that were outside our present realm of experience. So much to take in and apply in our lives. I imagine that more will come to us as time passes.
These are the things we learned:
1 - To appreciate the high standard of living we Americans enjoy.
2 - We can be happy, even in a small apartment in a crowded city.
3 - To appreciate the quality of our US government despite its flaws.
1 - I learned that we don't need all the "stuff" that we have in the states. It's nice, but I can be completely happy without it. What I missed most was Stephen when we were on opposite sides of the ocean at times.
2 - That missionaries are real, ordinary people. I grew up in mission friends, GAs, and Acteens. All missons awareness groups within the Baptist church. In my mind, missionaries were set up on a pedestal. Now that I have lived in a tent next to them, cooked over an open fire with them and for them, and listened to them debate the best way to solve a problem, I realize that they are just believers following God's will for their lives. It was great to really learn from them over these past months.
3 - I learned that I can parent without "the Granny" living next door. This isn't anything against her, she encourages my parenting and has never stepped over into my authority with Maria. When we decided to take this assignment both my Dad and Stephen questioned how I would be without my Mama living next door. And while Maria and I have both missed her terribly - we survived - and thrived. The nagging little doubt in the back of my head is silenced and now I can just enjoy the benefit of having a close relationship with my parents. **Jill on the other hand is spoiled rotten and will probably never be the same again!**
1 - You can do many of the same things in another country.
2 - Blogs are cool! (Thank you sweet girl)
3 - Small apartments are nice.