Tuesday September 4, 2018

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Not much to share about today, so I am going to share about some my thoughts and feelings thus far. Tought I am still amazed at how normal and at home we feel here, without our belongings, our friends, our car, etc. All those things we left behind that we thought for sure we would miss over this year and, granted, we have only been gone for just over one month, but some of these I really thought we would miss. For example, I was certain that the kids would miss at least some of their toys and I thought I would miss my clothes/shoes and even having our own car. But here we are, with only the belongings that we can carry in our backpacks, no car, only a handful of clothing items, and I miss none of what I left behind. I haven’t even heard the kids complaining that they miss anything other than their friends (which we totally expected). The things that I really miss are not the material things, I miss people (family and friends), I miss the weather and the seasons, certain foods, etc., not my stuff.

On a little more of a personal note, I have been struggling a bit today. I am not sure why, but I am feeling very overwhelmed and it is not a reasonable feeling—I don’t hav enough stuff going on right now. I have a deep feeling of inadequacy. This is going to sound ridiculous, I am sure, but I am going to share anyway. Between yesterday and today I feel like I am being constantly corrected and told that I am doing something wrong. And to be honest, they are mostly right, especially when it comes to my attempts speaking German—heck even my kids are correcting my German attempts. The student that I have been working with at the school is constantly pushing or hitting my hands away when I try to help him. I can’t speak with any other the teachers at the school. I guess all in all I am feeling inadequate and alone, mainly while I am at school helping. And just to be clear, I normally do not mind being corrected because I want to do things right, and if I am doing it wrong, I want to know about it. But for some reason these things are really starting to get to me. I am hoping that this will pass. Jeff and I talked a bit about this tonight and he always has a way to bring me back to reality. I have a new respect for those people that either choose or are forced to move to places where they don’t know the language, and how scary, frustrating, and lonely that can be.

On the more logistal side of things, Jeff and I have been trying to figure out our situation with Visa’s for both Thailand and India. We realized that when we researched the Visa’s we didn’t account for the fact that we were not coming directly from the US, but rather another country. What this boils down to is that after numerous calls and lots of frustration (and some help from our great friends here in Germany), we finally figured out that we can only get a 30 day Visa for Thailand once we arrive and then we will need to go to the immigration office to get an extension for another 30 days. As for India, we could be eligible for a 90 day Visa, but only if we apply at a US based Indian consulate, and since we are not heading back to the states, the best we can do is a 60 E-Visa. But this puts a wrench in our plans, as we were planning on spending an extra 20 days in India before heading to Sri Lanka, but we needed to revamp our plans. Basically we are now going to plan a vacation during those 20 days, so all is well.

Tonight after dinner, Johannes invited Jeff and I over for some drinks (actually he sent us a picture of whiskey, bourbon, and scotch bottles and said he needed help!). Jeff headed over to his house first while I finished making sure the kids were asleep and then headed over with my bottle of wine (I can’t drink that other stuff). I love our conversations with Johannes. His English is wonderful and he seems to enjoy the practice, Jeff is actually starting to remember a lot of the German he learned in college so he is actually trying to speak more in German. I on the other hand am completely lost and am only picking up a few words here and there. Tonight Johannes talked with us about his time in Laos visiting his son who was teaching English there. Both he and Birgit spent several weeks in the area and he was sharing his experiences with us, knowing that we were headed to northern Thailand after Germany. I soaked it all in and tried to remember as much as I could from what he shared with us. I am so thankful for his advice and information.

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