Month: November 2013

The itch (be careful what you wish for!)

In late September Michael and I visited Mexico City for a few weeks.

There are parts about traveling that I like and other parts that I don’t. I don’t really like airports. I get really stressed out going through security because no matter how many times I do it, it feels like there’s always something I’m doing wrong or forgetting. But once I get on the plane I’m fine and don’t really have any problems. And then again after we arrive in a new place I’m generally on the anxious-side rather than excited. Mostly because I’m in an unfamiliar environment and I usually don’t have a chance right away to process everything.

When we were in Delhi, Michael and I wanted to get out of the city as much as we could because we were so uncomfortable there, so leaving and seeing other “nicer” places helped us. Our vacations were literally so we could vacate the “concrete jungle” and breathe.

But now that we’re living in a place we actually enjoy, having to leave our apartment feels like an interruption – not a relief.

So anyways, Michael went ahead and flew down to Mexico City and I hung back with Charlotte. We’ve been apart for longer than two weeks before, so I felt comfortable being by myself while he was gone. Only a few days had passed by and Michael called and asked about me joining him in Mexico City. Even though I missed Michael, I wasn’t really looking forward to leaving. I didn’t want to go through all the hassles at the airport or travel to a new place. I wanted to be a home-body and enjoy the fall weather and snuggle with my doggie. But we figured it would be as good an opportunity as any for me to see what Mexico City was like so I went. (see my footnote below)

…And I actually really, really enjoyed my time.

It was nothing at all like our first trips to Delhi. During the day I walked to a nearby Starbucks and ordered coffee and a pastry. In the evenings Michael and I walked to different restaurants all over the area, and almost everywhere you looked there was an artistic statue or monument. Over the weekend, we walked through an area known as the Zócalo and booked a tour to see Teotihuacán. During the week, Michael worked a later shift so we could check out different museums and sites before he went into work. There was so much to see and do that it really felt like when we went to Madrid or Rome. It was that nice.

I guess after everything you hear on the news and then just based on my experience with Delhi, I really wasn’t expecting that. I figured I’d go down there, check a few things out and not really want to go back. But I was wrong.

And now I’ve got the itch.

I felt a level of confidence and empowerment in Mexico City that I never experienced the entire time we lived in India. And that surprised me. I’m not saying that if we had the opportunity to move there that I wouldn’t go through culture shock or have a hard time with things. But I think I learned a lot about what I value and what I need to thrive in the place I live.

Compared to living in Delhi, there would be some big areas of improvement in Mexico City:
– Being in the same time zone
– Being able to fly home in less than 24 hours
– Being able to speak Spanish
– Being able to go for walks by myself or with Charlotte
– Being able to find things at the grocery store that aren’t expired or chalk full of weevils (or smell like stale lysol because they’ve been sitting on the shelf for only God knows how long).
– Being able to goto a decent museum or concert for a date night
– Being able to sit in a park and not be gawked at
– And most importantly: THEY HAVE COSTCOS!

We did experience SOME of those things in Delhi, and I’ve already gone round and round with myself about why I never felt motivated enough try more. But that was just it, the entire culture wore me out. I felt like it was a constant battle living in Delhi and I (we) never had the energy to deal with any more of India’s “unique” experiences.

We still don’t talked about traveling as much now that we actually like where we live. And we go back and forth on whether either of us would be willing to ever do another LTA again after how rough Delhi was. On the one hand I’m pretty sure I could handle living just about anywhere now, but on the other hand, I don’t know that I want to be locked in to testing that theory for another two years to find out…

But Mexico City is different than Delhi in a lot of ways. A lot of really good ways. And you never know what a little time at home can do to change your mind.

——

Update: At the time of writing this post, Michael and I had no idea whether or not he would be given an offer to move to Mexico City for a work assignment. Obviously, as most of you know by now, in the past few weeks Michael’s name was been submitted for a work assignment in Mexico City. There is still a long road of paperwork ahead of us and it’s always a possibility things could fall through, but we are fairly confident we’ll be calling Mexico City home before long. We need prayers for this process to go smoothly and not to drag out the same way it did with Michael’s assignment in India. Also, prayers to find a strong, spirit-filled community in the city and near our future home are definitely appreciated! Thank you!

There Is Still Time, a short film by Ainda Dá Tempo

I found this video on wimp.com the other day and I was so challenged by it. It just goes to show you that being experienced and hardened in the school of life isn’t everything.

Hope is everything.

Seeing the potential good in others is everything.

Being an instrument of love, change, and charity is everything.

The end of this video asks this question: “Como os sonhos dos seus filhos vão se realizar se um mundo menor não existir?” (Translation: “How are your children’s dreams to come true if a better world doesn’t exist?”)

Hope is what keeps the heart soft and alive. It’s what keeps us compassionate and human. If you loose hope that things could be better, what do you have left?

“Let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:2-5 AMP)

——

From the director:

“This is an independent project aiming to make people realize that to make a change, we must first believe that it’s possible. The world belongs to all of us and needs our optimism so that our will to change becomes a real change, and we believe this is only possible when starting from within. By changing our way of thinking, we change our way of acting and by acting we change the world. There is still time.”

A belated post from our anniversary in Alaska

In June Michael and I went on a seven-night Alaskan cruise for our five year anniversary. Coming back from India, it was an awesome way to hit the reset button and enjoy a part of the world largely untouched by man.

The pictures we took will not do Alaska justice. Everywhere you looked there was something spectacular to see: humpback whales, mountains, bald eagles, waterfalls, sea lions, icebergs the size of semi trucks and as bright blue as the sky. The air was some of the purest on earth – so pure, people actually experience giddiness after breathing it for extended periods of time.

Every evening for dinner we sat with the sweetest group of people. They all had military backgrounds and had travelled the world. We have stayed in touched with them since the cruise. My heart was so full by the end of our trip. Just a really, really refreshing experience.

After making our way through Tracy’s Arm Fjord, the naturalist on board asked passengers to write a haiku or short poem to summarize their experience that day. Later on he was reading a few of the submissions, and one passenger wrote a single sentence to describe the fjord and glacier. All it said was: “Today, I found my soul.”

My heart was totally wrecked.

How marvelous and beautiful our God is… He fashioned this world in so much love and it’s his delight to watch us enjoy it.

Anyhow, pictures! You want to see pictures!

This first batch of pictures is from our first and second day on the cruise (click the images to see them in full size):

Whale watching in Juneau:

Hike to Mendenhall Glacier and pictures from downtown Juneau:

Skagway and White Pass Mountain Train Ride:

Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier:

Ketchikan, Victoria and Seattle:


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