Trips have come and gone and none of them nearly seemed long enough. Flew from Lamu (where I was having a Holiday and visiting my boyfriend) to Nairobi where I then boarded my plane for Amsterdam. Oh wow how unprepared I was for the Amsterdam winter chill. My first thought when I got off the plane was “its ok I have a pair of socks AND a Northface jacket and some laiso’s to wrap around me”… what I didn’t think about was how none of that was even close to keeping me warm and I truly looked like a homeless person. No shoes but a old pair of socks, second hand blue jeans, north face jacket (my one blessing that I had with me) and many bright colored small blankets (called laiso’s) wrapped around me. Crawling into a corning and trying to sleep did not help the image either... However, I bought a bag of peanut M&M’s and watched Love Actually in total bliss because I knew that in only 12 hrs. my life would be just like its opening scene. Except it wasn’t at all… After getting off the plane that was kept at a below freezing degree and waiting like a zombie in hours of baggage claim, I walk out to finally see my parents waiting in their warm car outside Delta airlines…Instead I was slapped in the face with even more freezing air and no car that I recognized. Once again, shivering homeless girl wandering alone…After waiting for about 30 min. finally borrowed a phone from the second person I asked (first guy literally ran the other direction…I’m hoping its because he didn’t hear me??) and called all their phones which they were conveniently not answering. My big brother did tho! THANK YOU! And finally found my parents, who were waiting in a different part of the airport…isn’t that always the case?? But FINALLY I got my scene from Love Actually of hugs and smiles and a few tears by my mama (bless her heart). My cousin Mandy and her little boy came to pick me up as well…wait…LITTLE?? He grew like 2 ft. since last I saw him. I left him as a child and he has grown into a little man. Nothing made me feel like I had been gone for 2 years except for kids. I remember growing up, adults would always comment “Oh wow, look how big you’ve gotten,” and I would roll my eyes and think, well of course! I now take all those eye rolls back and apologize, because I am still in awe of seeing some of those kids. I literally thought Alex Briehl was a different person when I walked into the their house…unbelievable. My little Miller cousins couldn’t be more adorable and pictures don’t do them justice because they both have the fullest and brightest personalities. Gracie with her ballerina leg pop and Will with his charm and laugh. They truly put two years into perspective for me.
Now, I know I made you feel real sorry for me this past paragraph, however all that sympathy is about to end, when I now tell you how pampered and spoiled I was while staying at Mom and Dads. The comforts didn’t end. With my first dinner being filet mignon, bubble baths and ice cream every night, Christmas cookies for breakfast. I can’t believe the luxury, and yes, I INDULGED!!! Christmas was so FUN, full of fun presents and Fondue meat and sauce!!!! With much help from my mom I got all my necessary errands done and found a Masters program that I will be starting next month for teaching. I tried my hardest to get around to see all friends and family and I would like to think I did a good job, however, I know there are some that I didn’t get around to and that was very sad. I apologize, but all are still in my thoughts and I hope to see you next year! All in all the trip seemed like a whirlwind, but was so nice. Many people while I was there asked what sort of culture shock I had, but honestly with only being there a month it was more vacation mode, BUT the things that shocked me were…
1) As I said before, how much kids grew
2) Iphones…everywhere…and I had to ask my parents how to use it…
3) Body ideology…either overly unhealthy or overly worried about how your body isn’t perfect.
4) Ginger beer!! Its just like Stony! YUM!
5) So much stimulation!! And not from TV, but driving was hard for me, because I wanted to look around so much and there are just so many things to focus on!! Traffic lights, cars on every side of you, turn signals and road signs.
6) How little things actually changed…towns are the same, people the same. Everything that I love and don’t are still there and that is the most comforting thing to experience.
I’ve tried to explain many times to people that it’s because I have an amazing, comforting home and support system that allows me to be over here and enjoy it. I couldn’t do it without knowing that my home is always there for me to fall back on, and the unwavering support system. So Thank you, to my family and friends and most importantly my parents, who I miss so much already.
90 degrees, sitting on my veranda, trying to keep cool with thoughts of that winter chill!!! xxxxoooo