Well, I have been a little absent from blogging the last few weeks. I've started a couple of posts. But each time I sit down with the intention of blogging, I get pulled away.
The last few weeks have been too full to go into much detail at the moment. In a nutshell, we had a few situations come up culminating in a very sudden and unexpected trip to Dubai for visa renewals and various appointments. More on that later.
Right now, I'm full of thankfulness. One of the posts I started about a week ago was about our Thanksgiving experience here, and I feel that the theme of giving thanks has been recurrent for us the last few weeks.
For Thanksgiving, we had a great opportunity to spend time with some great friends and eat some great food. There were around 70 people at the event; 4 turkeys and countless fixings to keep everyone happy and fed. It wasn't quite Thanksgiving at home, but it did the trick. Joey's happy because he got some Pumpkin Roll which he considers an absolute staple.
As I reflect back on the 5 months we've been here, I can't help but think of how the things I am thankful for have changed. It used to be the basics: friends, family, health, wonderful husband, place to live, general things like that. And while I'm still thankful for family, friends and Joey (increasingly so), I find that life over here makes me appreciate a whole new set of things. Here are some of those things:
- Skype! I am so thankful for Skype and friends and family that use this wonderful, free invention. Although Afghan internet is not always up to speed, on nights when it works and I get to see my niece Karis whistle or my dad talking about the Christmas tree. . . it can't be beat.
- Keeping with the technology theme; Facebook, emailing friends and regular blog posters, readers and commenters are things that help keep me in the loop. It's so nice to wake up in the morning to wall posts and email messages from back home. (So keep wall posting, blogging, emailing. . . and if you aren't doing these things, start!)
- Hot water. We live a luxurious life here with a generator that works most of the time, hot water from the showers after 3 minutes of warm-up, and space heaters that we can leave on during the night.
- Our APO. Mail in Afghanistan is unreliable and verging on non-existent. Any semi-reliable shipping methods cost an arm and a leg and have no guarantee that what your sending/receiving will make it to the final destination. We are so blessed to have an APO even though we're non-military. It usually takes letters/packages about 6 days to get here from the states. It's great for receiving little pieces of home. (If you want the address, email me!)
- I'm thankful that there are daily flights to Dubai. Generally speaking, I'm not so much a fan of Dubai. It's a big city with construction everywhere, traffic everywhere, malls everywhere, sand everywhere. But for visa emergencies, healthcare, and getting our fix of little things like Starbucks or Mexican food . . . it's really a nice place to go for a day or two. While in Dubai we enjoy little luxuries like eating out, holding hands, bath tubs, being able to walk places (did I mention we're on walking restriction here?), comfortable hotel beds and pillows, grocery shopping, and STARBUCKS! After our quick little three day visa trip we feel revived and refreshed.
- Neither of us have gotten too terribly ill. And this despite the fact that we recently found out our "cook" has not been iodining our vegetables. This may be too much information, but we're thankful to be worm and hepatitis A free!
- And finally: Our prayer partners. Over the last few weeks the importance and power of prayer has really been stressed in our lives. We've also realized that we have an incredible network of friends and family all over the world that are partnering with us in prayer. From here in Kabul all the way back to the US, we're so thankful for praying people. Your prayers for us are such a blessing, we thank God for you daily. Thank you!