I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. In fact, it’s had this title since I first learned what it meant- We’re going home. I hear it at the beginning of the year until the kids learn to say the phrase in English.
I have a ridiculously mixed up amount of emotions swarming around our departure. Is it normal to have such concrete endings to different stages of life? Regardless, I want to tell you a few of the things I”ll miss the most about this part of my life.
- No Phone. I think it’s hard to believe. In fact, sometimes I can hardly imagine how I’ve done it, but I haven’t had a phone for the last two years. I’ve loved not having one. It’s so freeing. The only thing I wouldn’t mind having one for is tell the time because I have also been living the last two years with…
- No Watch. Along with that,
- No Car. It’s not that everyone in Slovakia has adapted this simpler life, but I do think that this country affords the possibility whereas many others would not.
- Slovak Nature. I’ll miss it. Slovaks love it- they live for it. Because of that, it’s easily accessible by everyone, so much so that when I go for runs in the mornings, it only takes five minutes to be on a path that cars rarely traverse. The opposite of that is that I’m also running through tall grass, mud, or uphill, so I guess those things just keep it challenging. You know, because running is never challenging on its own.
- Narnia kids. Hands down, no contest, they are what I’ll miss the most about our last two years. I know so much about some of these kids- it’s almost like there’s no language barrier at all. I’m going to be really sad saying goodbye to them tomorrow, but it helps that I will be able to visit them next year!
- Plastic paper sleeves. Moving that paper from this room to another one? Here, put your paper in here, you never know what could happen to it in that ten foot transfer.
- Slippers. No matter the weather, when you arrive anywhere you take off your shoes and replace them with slippers.
- Bread and white rice. Okay… you got me. I won’t miss this at all. But I will miss their love for it, and their denial of their dependence on it.
- Skillfull hunt and peck typing. I’m sure this trait will fade as a characteristic of the people of Slovaks over time, and for that, I am seriously a little bit sad.
- Fear of the Draft. No, not any military service, just a fear of drafty weather. Slovaks LOVE to be bundled up and will give you a staredown if you bare your forearms or ankles before the temperature reaches 80F.
- Color-Coordinated outfits by Occupation. This has come to be one of my favorite things about this country. You can tell what someone does for a living just by the color of their outfit. Blue = Construction Worker, Red = Electrician, Neon Green + Orange = Trashman, White (be careful here) = Nurse, Painter, and Butcher.
That’s quite a list of things I’ll miss. Good thing we’re coming back in only three months. On the flip side, there are so many things I’m happy to see and experience in the US this summer.
- Family and friends! Both my parents and Burke’s parents visited while we were here, but I am so excited to finally see them and everyone else again (My grandma turned 90 this year and I didn’t even get to be at her birthday party!).
- English! I’m excited to hear more English than my brain can even process, and especially going to church services in English. We’re so thankful and blessed by Jarka who always translates for us at church here, but it will be so much more personal to be able to really understand everything firsthand.
- The color red; I can’t prove it, but I think all Slovaks are orange/red colorblind.
- Fresh spinach and unlimited spinach salads.
- And last but not least, I’m happy to spend the summer in a country where the daily shower and deodorant are two cultural mores that bind us as Americans.
See you in TWO days people.