Thursday, January 10, 2013

What do you miss the most?

Every missionary knows and secretly despises this question. We get asked it when we're talking about leaving for the field and we get asked it when we're talking about coming home from the field. And it's the hardest question to answer. Of course, we miss EVERYTHING!

Today, I decided to think about what I missed most about our home in Minnesota while we lived in Honduras so I could be reminded to enjoy those things as long as we're still here. So I made the list below. It's by no means all-inclusive, but captures the little things we tend to most take for granted.

15 Things I Will Enjoy While on Home Ministry Assignment*
  1. Carpet. Every floor in Honduras is either concrete or tile. There's nothing more luxurious than sinking my naked toes into plush carpet or plopping myself down in front of the fireplace or t.v. and spreading out on the soft floor. As long as I have Nick to vacuum, I'm going to enjoy every moment of our carpet.

  2. Dogs. We are naturally terrified of the dogs in Honduras because they roam in packs through the streets growling and stealing scraps of food. And while some missionaries do manage to keep a pet while working there, it would be difficult to do while living at El Sembrador. We can't actually have a dog while we're on HMA, because we don't know how long we'll be here. So I am forced to rely on the animals of our friends, family and neighbors to meet my puppy love needs. Thankfully we reside in the pet building at our apartment complex, which has helped immensely.

  3. Squirrels. We saw only one the whole time we lived in Honduras. Even if it was a really cool squirrel that would come sit on your shoulder or crawl up and down your legs, it just wasn't the same. Nevertheless, some little critters sitting in the tree chattering away and that won't eat your face or inject you with deadly poison is definitely missed.

  4. T.V. Maybe we'll get a t.v. when we return to Honduras, but it does some like an unnecessary extra expense that we could live without. Besides, it won't be the same in Spanish anyway.

  5. Air Conditioning. No explanation required.

  6. Privacy. It's been said that living at El Sembrador is like living in a fish bowl. With constantly open windows, a revolving door of students and staff with needs and tasks to be accomplished, it can really make you really cherish any moment alone. Since I'm home most of the day, I'm really catching up on Kelly-time!

  7. Mexican Food. I do love Honduran food, but it is decidedly different than that of the neighbors to the north. I plan to make as many trips to Pablo's as Steve will tolerate!

  8. Knitting. I did manage to find yarn in Honduras, but it was about as cuddly as Nick is these days. And since I can't stand the idea of scratchy sweaters, I guess I better get my knitting fix while there's plenty of the good stuff available.

  9. Internet. We are blessed at El Sembrador to be able to communicate via e-mail, Facebook and even Skype. But the internet is so slow it makes me want to punch a kitten in frustration. And since that is not very good missionary behavior, I try to take lots of deeps breaths and use surf only when in the best of moods.

  10. Nyquil. Inevitably, someone gets a cold (or malaria). And there is nothing worse than a snotty nose, cough and sweaty sheets when all you want to do is get a good night's sleep. There's plenty of medications to treat such symptoms available in Honduras, but sometimes you just want to be knocked out cold. This winter, I'm going to sleep through my cold!

  11. Smooth roads. Seriously, I sometimes worried that our entire car might actually fall into one of those potholes!

  12. Shorter Church Services. OK, don't get me wrong here. I love that we want to worship the Lord without a timetable for most of the day. But when you don't understand a single word of what's being said, a one-hour time limit is much appreciated. Also, there's only so many times a person can sing the same chorus without secretly wanting it to end. It may not be very reverent or missionary-like, but for now, I'm going to enjoy understanding everything and still having time for lunch with the family.

  13. Ice. We just never seemed to be able to make it fast enough in Honduras. I plan on having at least 6 cubes in every glass for as long as I'm here.

  14. Debit cards. At least out where we are, Honduras is a cash-only economy. And many times store keepers rarely have the money on-hand to provide change, making it difficult to shop with any amount over 50 lempira (about $2.50).

  15. Snow. Just kidding. I'm so over that stuff!

*By far the most important thing a person misses about a place (especially home) is time spent with one's friends and family. I think this is a given, so I did not include this fact in my list. Rest assured, making memories with these special people is a priority I have not forgotten nor taken for granted.


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