Saturday, July 18, 2015

All the Small Things

It's been awhile - and for good reason: my husband and I moved back to America at the end of June. We left behind so many wonderful people and experiences, I'm having a hard time processing, believing it was even real. Such are the throes of culture shock, I guess. 

This is also the exact best time to keep writing. 

One of the things I love asking people is what they miss - either where there coming from or going to. There are big ones of course (friends! family!) but today I find myself ruminating on the small things:

The small things I enjoy about returning to America:
  • Being able to wear high-heeled shoes, and not wonder a) how I’m going to navigate a rocky (or gravel) road or b) if my heels are going to sink into the grass at any point during the day.
  • Ice cream, Dairy Queen or otherwise, and the subsequent takeover of the Caramel and Sea Salt flavor. 
  • Caribou coffee shops – being able to get coffee to go and/or just sit in a cozy coffee shop and chill out with the free, fast, wi-fi.
  • Free, fast, wi-fi.
  • Hot water, anytime.
  • Being able to call anyone in the US at any time. Including my sister and my best friend, whom I missed texting.
  • My beautiful Raleigh road bike. Love. Swoon. Love, love, love.
  • Showing my legs in public. Legs! Everywhere! And mine aren’t even the worst.
  • Target. This could also go on the worst list, but I’m still only three weeks out.
  • The softest bedsheets I have ever felt in my life.

The small things I miss about Malawi;
  • WhatsApp. Man, that thing was amazing.
  • Having a routine. This will change, as I get more into a routine here, but I wow. I do miss that structure right now. 
  • Running into the same great people at the same events/places all over town. I felt like I had a handle on all the activities that were going on in a given weekend.
  • Community.
  • Getting excited about finding asparagus (or insert other hard to get item) in the grocery store.
  • The hustle and the open air awesomeness of the used clothing market.
  • My Rav4.
  • Game night.
  • Dare I admit it, Porcupine Ridge.

I know that many of the small things from Malawi will eventually find there way here. We've already talked about instituting a game night, for example. However, one of the neat things about blogging is capturing the in-between times. I am in the tweeniest of in-between times right now, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other until things feel "normal" again. 

Until then, I'm writing a lot of lists. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Billboards of Lilongwe

One of the things I'll miss about Lilongwe are the random billboards. I know good money went into putting these up. However, until someone shows me a direct link between seeing a billboard and behavior change, I'm going to find them inadvertently amusing...

Stop your cars! Have responsible mining! Also, check out the token woman in the business room. Why does she look like the maid?

This one is not so bad, really. It's true, young girls need to speak up. But I would've preferred the message to be one about stopping abuse, rather than stopping the silence around abuse. It just makes it seem more like their problem because they are not speaking out.

My absolute favorite, on my way to work. It helped, because otherwise I would've engaged in money laundering and terrorist financing that could've tarnished my image.