Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thursday 13 - Things We Miss

Here is a list of 13 things we miss while living in Mozambique:
  1. Taco Bell. At least that means less fast food on our waistline.

  2. Chocolate Chips. They are itty bitty and come in itty bitty bags for outrageous prices, if you can find them at all here. But Mommy says it's a little early to start my chocolate addiction now, anyways.

  3. Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries. Well, just give us 3 months and we'll be in mango season again, so the lack of berries will be less painful.

  4. Produce. Noticing a food trend here? We miss the ability to find just about any kind of produce at the grocery store. There were no bananas yesterday - and there are plenty of bananas in this country. Often there is no lettuce. Or no onions. Or something else very basic. And those cool recipes with exotic produce? No chance of trying those. At least we don't have to stress over whether we're buying local or not.

  5. Michaels (or other craft stores). We've got to look long and hard to find simple things - still haven't found tempera paints here yet. It does make us more creative, and before we throw away trash, we think, "Can we make something out of this?"

  6. Garage Sales and 2nd Hand Stores. We miss hunting for barely used books, craft materials, educational toys, dressup costumes, etc. It does cut down on clutter, though.

  7. Smooth Roads. The potholes here are a bit much, not to mention the crazy drivers. It keeps Mommy from driving just for the joy of it, though, - and that conserves fuel (and our pocketbooks).

  8. Reasonable Cell Phone Companies. Argue with this one if you will, but how many of you have had a phone company turn off all your phones for a bogus $35,000 phone bill? And they insist it's your responsibility that they have no record of your request to cancel the stolen phone's card and that someone forged letters to acquire 8 new phones on your account? At least the company reps don't speak English, so Mommy doesn't have to be the one to deal with them.

  9. Clean Roads and Beaches. The roads here are completely littered with trash. There are periodic little "official" dumps on the sides of the road, and some smaller roads are overtaken by the dumps. People here are great at sorting through and reusing that trash, though, which has got to be good for the environment in some way.

  10. TV. Well, we could pay to get cable, but choose not to. And too much TV is bad for little developing minds, they say. Plus we've got . . .

  11. Sense of Security. Maybe it's a false sense, but there's a feeling of relief upon arriving in the US that not everyone is out to grab your purse/diaper bag or hijack your car. We are reminded here that God is our only sure security, though.

  12. Libraries. Can't come up with any positive spins on this one.

  13. Gyms. With day care centers. Or safe walking/jogging trails. No positive spins on this one, either. Well, we do have a pool that will be really nice once hot weather kicks in.
And we do get to meet lots of cool people here, and while we don't like saying goodbye, we'd have to do some of that no matter where we lived. Tuesday we had a farewell dinner for George and Jack, who volunteered for a month on our well project.

And here are the beautiful African place settings my friend K and her family put together for the dinner. They made animal shapes from black "play dough" (using charcoal) for each spot. And they had candles, and a punch bowl, and hibiscus flowers, and everything. The African animal place mats were gifted to the departing men at the end of the dinner. This was my first dinner with my very own place setting!


Yasmin said...

Wow...the things we take for granted in how long will you be in mozambique.
Check out my blog ova here;

kailani said...

What a great reminder not to take things for granted. I can't imagine not being able to get into my car and going to Taco Bell!

pussreboots said...

The lack of libraries is a shame. What about bookmooch? Happy TT.

Christie O. said...

I love how Taco Bell and Chocolate are at the top of your list!! (This coming from soneone whose had both in the past week).

I think I might have cold sweats without a Michaels, although you're doing such wonderful things there that all of these things you mention seem totally worth it!

Pam said...

You amaze me! Not only are you doing wonderful work over there, but you do it without so many modern conveniences that I would not do well without!

Ali la Loca said...

Oh, I do sympathize with the whole grocery store one...though it is a hundred times better here in Maputo than when we were living in Chimoio.

I miss farmer's markets (not ladies selling produce that is actually from bags brought up from South African supermarkets), I miss Nia and other dance classes, I miss leisurely walks around my neighborhood all by myself, I miss bead shops, I miss green chile, and I miss makeup counters. :)

perilloparodies said...

I am in italy, and I lack a lot of what you mentioned as well. At least McDonald-s followed us here. it is not a convenient local for us, but if i am desparate, i can get my "fix". good thing i love pizza as that is pretty much the only fast food around here. up north in italy it is different, especially in the cities, but we live in the country, and in the South. um, are you entering Scribbit's August write-away. just wondering. thinking of you...have a great day... when do you hope to make it back to the States? Do you know how far Mozambique is from southern Italy? That may seem like an odd question? okay, it is. but I was wondering... :-)

perilloparodies said...

oh, I have too many other things i miss that are not on the list, but, Ladies, let us try to be "content in all circumstances", and build each other up in thanksgiving. Count our blessings. there is a purpose for where we are, and as we trust God for that purpose, He teaches us to be grateful for even the small things. That has been one of my many lessons living away from the Land Of Plenty (America). Italy has "plenty" of other things, but I have to work with what i have... and it has been a good lesson in "recycling" and not wasting. please do not take this as a lecture, as REALLY I am trying to remind MYSELF to be positive, grateful, and full of thanksgiving. that is a tremendous testimony to God's faithfulness, goodness, and Kindness if we can be that way. By the way, thank you for sharing, as it does help to know that i am not alone in my "missing's"... ;-)

White Hot Magik said...

I am dropping by via Wifeys. Nice to meet you and find out about Africa. I have a cousin who was a missionary to Kenya for 20 years she is in a more dangerous place now that we aren't really supposed to talk about so she stays safe. I enjoyed my visit.

African Kelli said...

You summed that up SO well. Do you have the AADP Second Hand shops where you are? They are becoming very popular -- and I couldn't believe what you could find! -- in Beira.

Damselfly said...

Wow. I would miss the produce, libraries and of course the security. You are so dedicated.

Breanne Vasquez said...

Yes, thank you for a reminder of all we take for granted. I can not imagine being so far away from home. How wonderful yall are willing to do that.

Donna said...

Oh my! I would miss all those things too. Thank you for visiting my blog and I am going to make myself at home here and read what you have been up to!

Smilingsal said...

I think that I'd miss #11, the sense of security that US citizens have.

I wish I could send you a greasy Taco Bell taco and a paperback book to read!

elaine said...

wow, you must really be the adventurous sort.. I would run back home from missing those things! i hope you didn't have to pay that cell phone bill! love love the picture of the place setting for bebe... it's obviously beautiful there, but no taco bell... i got food poisoning at one, and STILL miss it enuff to eat there lol... thanks for stopping by my place, it's very good to meet you!

casual friday everyday said...

great list. and the taco bell one cracked me up. i do like me some taco bell on occasion I do admit!

:--) Nell

Michal said...

when i lived abroad for 18 months (in ural russia,) there were so many american things that i realized how i had taken them for granted. a clothes dryer comes in really handy in the winter time. screens on the windows really cut down on the mosquitos in the apartment during the summer. and my kingdom for an avocado! we did have lots of european chocolate, though, which was heavenly.
i'd never miss taco bell, i'm afraid!:)
hang in there. what you are doing is more important than all of those things and you will be all the stronger for giving them up. we have a saying in our church that comes from a hymn: "sacrifice brings forth the blessings from heaven." it is so true, and i know that you are being blessed for your sacrifices.

Good N Crazy said...


First I'm moving to Oregon! Will you be back there at some point?

And second, thanks for the comment.

And last...we had friends who lived in Zambia for a few years with the US Government, and we so wanted to visit! I'll check back in and see how you are managing, your baby will get so much out of it!!

Kori said...

Am I losing my mind? Becuase this is NOT the post I was just reading; not. And now I can't find it. And I am sitting her freaking crying and my heart is breaking and I just-wow.