We have been back in the US for four months now, which is how long our entire furlough was last time! We have just gotten settled into our apartment in Lincoln, IL and the kids have all started at public school.
Katrina is attending Lincoln Community High School for Junior year. Heather (8th) and Jonathan (4th) are attending Chester-East Lincoln Elementary School. They are doing well.
----We are also looking forward to the addition of another baby in March!------
"Things You'll find in America that you won't find in Tanzania"
1. Free Water at Restaurants
Here in America, you usually get a glass of water at a restaurant before you even order, complete with ice. Water is free in America! Not in Tanzania! Since the tap water isn't safely drinkable, if you want water at a restaurant you will have to order a bottled water.
2. Huge Portion Sizes
Speaking of restaurants, we are taken back by how large the portion sizes are here (in America) when we order food! We could serve the whole family off of one portion of food! We are used to portion sizes in Tanzania in restaurants being enough for ONE person. We usually just take the rest to go and have another meal the next day with the left overs.
3. Convenience Stores
I like to joke that in Tanzania we have "InConvenience Stores". The hours are NOT 24/7 in Tanzania for shops. The hours of operation are roughly 10am-12pm and 3:30pm-6pm. But, the owner is preoccupied for any reason those hours are up for negotiation. Also, there are not 15 types of bread, 5 kinds of milk including soy, lactose-free or chocolate, and 100 kinds of cereal. We are lucky to have two choices between foods, and usually the choice is "do they have it or not". Also, the customer is NOT always right in Tanzania. If you buy something and later find out it was broken when you bought it or if it was food and it was spoiled.... that is on you! Tanzanian shops do not believe in the concept of "returns". The only RETURN that will be happening, is you will be returning to that store again because there is nowhere else to go!
4. Some of my Favorite Foods
Gyros, cottage cheese, Gluten Free Pretzels and Oreos, Dr. Pepper, affordable grapes and kiwis, peaches... these are some of my favorite foods that you can't find in Tanzania. I am definitely enjoying foods I have missed. It's so convenient to buy Gluten free products here, and most pizza places even sell gluten free pizza! It's nice not to have to bake my own bread and pizza all the time.
5. Vast, Open Spaces
This summer we drove from the West Coast to Chicago, through 6 National Parks and 7 States, including Wyoming. We were able to see Yellowstone and Old Faithful, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands. It made me realize how big America really is. And, how much open space there is. In Wyoming, we would drive for miles and miles without seeing a house or person anywhere. That is NOT the case in Tanzania. Even in rural areas, you will find people almost everywhere. The only places that aren't full of people are inside the Game Parks.
7. Fast Food
There are many good restaurants in Tanzania, none of which I would call "Fast". Food usually takes from 1-2 hours to come at restaurants in Tanzania. We take along cards games to pass the time while we wait. It can be relaxing to sit and talk while waiting for your food. I have noticed that it is not just Fast Food restaurants that are fast in America. Even sit-down restaurants bring your food out within a few minutes! Where is the time to talk and relax? Haha. It's nice that everything is so efficient, we are just used to a much slower pace.
Ok, That's all for now! We are enjoying our time in America even though it is so different from Tanzania. We do miss Tanzania a lot, and look forward to returning next June.