Question: What do you miss the most from home?
Short Answer: People, my job and our church.
Long Answer: Here is my Top 5!
1) Friends and Family. Although we are SUPER thankful for the new friends that we are making AND for the blessing of having family in São Paulo (we love you Joe!), there are still so many people who we miss tremendously. And not only do we miss them, but sometimes we feel really far away. Like when something tough happens and we can’t be there. Or when friends get engaged and have babies and I can’t just hop on a flight to see them. Or the fact that my sweet niece is growing up so quickly and I feel like I am missing it. That is the hard stuff. So, we treasure our visits home and welcome visitors at any time. 🙂 Seriously.
Our families (just missing Brad, Suzanne & now AC!) – Thanksgiving 2010 – Hidden Valley Ranch, AZ. And yes, we are all wearing custom-made, matching vests. So what?
2) My job. I have said it before, but emotionally, this has been one of the toughest parts of moving to Brazil for me. I don’t have a work visa and therefore the process of getting a job is VERY difficult. Thankfully I have been finding some cool things to do that keep me out & about and busy, and I am feeling pretty adjusted to this new phase of life, but I do miss having a career. Plus, I worked with some pretty awesome people in SF (FM shout out!) and I miss it!
3) Our church. City Church. We miss you! We have been really blessed by some of our Christian friends here who have brought us to a really cool, international, primarily English-speaking church called Sampa, and we think that this is where God has us for now. We also continue to go (about once/month) to our neighborhood Portuguese Catholic mass that has an awesome priest who is super fired up about the gospel (as much as I can tell since he is preaching in another language). And so we are thankful to be so blessed here. Thankful to have Christian friends and community. Thankful to be in a country where we are free to worship the Lord. But our hearts still miss City Church. It is the community in which Michael and I started our married life and where we made some very dear friends. It is where God taught and fed us as a couple. And so while we are thankful for His provision here, we are still missing City Church.
We miss you friends!
4) Conveniences — sort of. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss having a dryer, a big dishwasher, heat and AC, a car (although we do hope to get one at some point), online bill-pay, and oh yeah – speaking the language. So, yes, I miss these things. But at the same time, they are all reminders that we are here. We are doing this. We are not just recreating the life we had in the US. We are making a new life here in Brazil. And that makes me happy.
5) Peanut Butter. OK, so not really peanut butter per se, but that is almost like the expat code word for all food American that you can’t really buy here. My list in this category includes: Safeway Salsa (it’s amazing), brownie, cookie and muffin mixes (don’t judge me for using mixes!), tortilla chips, easy mac, good oatmeal, fruit snacks, etc. etc. etc. That being said, we have been pretty good about loading up on these types of things when we go home so we have a pretty good stock-pile and would, of course, survive just fine without any/all of them (I think). AND, I have an equally long list of Brazilian things that I have fallen in love with and now cannot live without, too. 🙂
Treasures. Don’t judge me.