Day 18: Reflections Two Weeks In…
Last evening, we had the opportunity to take another walk on the beach as a family. We strolled north for a while and then stopped and set up house. The kids jumped right in and had a blast playing with each other and throwing sand “snowballs”. Finally, when they were exhausted, they sat at the edge of the water, half submerged, just chatting. Their silliness and laughter was infectious and we eavesdropped for quite a while, taking it all in. Ryan and I enjoyed watching them interact with each other and their environment.
We also had a chance to just sit quietly and reflect on the last few weeks of our new life! So many changes, some difficult, some not so difficult. Saying good-bye to friends and family was quite possibly the hardest challenge of our new adventure. We are all still missing everyone quite a bit.
Packing up our home was another challenge. It was physically and emotionally strenuous and I still can’t believe it all got done on time! I honestly don’t think it would have happened, had it not been for the kindness of friends and family who surrounded us with meals, help cleaning and packing, and even taking the kids for a night or two so that we could stay focused and on task.
And some of the challenges upon arrival? Well, there were many but most of them we expected. The heat…not so much. We knew it would be hot, but life on vacation at a resort is quite different from life in a condo in the very same destination when you are working, studying, and paying the utility bills. (Exactly where are the men with their fruity umbrella drinks, anyway?)
Also, you realize you don’t have to have the air conditioning on all day! Well, maybe you do have to…but you realize that it may just not be worth it, when the electric bills can get as high as $160 – $200 a week in US dollars. Yes…this is not a typo! We are very glad we monitored our use in the first week. This enabled us to make a few slight (actually, quite major) changes to our habits. For instance, we purchased three huge fans and turned off the A/C when we could.
This has alleviated a bit of the heat, but we are still hoping our bodies adjust to the heat sooner than later. Poor Kathryn’s body had a really challenging time yesterday, and she fainted during her Spanish lesson! She scared her poor teacher half to death. Thankfully, she only hit her chin and recovered quite nicely, but we realized that monitoring our bodies and drinking plenty was just as important as monitoring the meter.
So..what else? Well, we’re also learning that as a family, we have been very blessed. And so, it’s easy to find ourselves grumbling about the heat, or the cost of taxis (that’s a whole other story!), or even the lack of good Internet connection (only in our first week). There are so many things we take for granted. Of course, everyone reading this already knows these things, but I mention them because these are areas that we want to really work hard on over the next few months…just being thankful!
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” ~Col. 3:15
This is one way you can be praying for us! Another way? Well, we’d love to find a church body and just really fold in. We are in the process of visiting a few different churches and are excited about where we will land. We know we will be here for only a short while, but we don’t want that to keep us from investing 100% of ourselves in a body of believers as God allows.
This may be a bit challenging in a destination that caters to vacationers, even within the church. Members are accustomed to foreign visitors, but of course, they are only there for a week or two and then fly home again. Is it really necessary to invest time and effort into a family they know will not be present too long? So yes, we understand the dilemma but are hopeful that despite this, we will be able to connect. It’s one of our deepest heart desires for every destination we visit…so please pray for us.