We have been missing home a lot recently but as we approach the one year mark of living here we were discussing some of the highs and the lows, the best and the worsts, and the result was the following top tens lists….

Top Ten things that are better in Africa:

10. You can never be too late!

9. beach days and swimming in the ocean anytime…oh yeah and wearing flip flops YEAR ROUND!!

8. getting gas and NOT having to get out of the car (it is especially hilarious when the attendants shake your car to get more in the tank) Also, being able to buy most anything from along the road; cell phone chargers, pictures for your house, fruit, ice cream; you name it and they sell it.

7. sinks in the dinning room (seriously this is brilliant for kids, why do we not do this?!)

6.”butt washers” as we call them. They are little sprayers installed in many bathrooms since most people do not use toilet paper here they allow you to clean yourself after ..you know……..We think they are absolutely brilliant in giving that “so fresh and so clean, clean” feeling and we must agree with the Africans that simply using TP is pretty gross.
*TMI I know & it would not truly be an overshare without a photo:

5. fresh veggies and fruits (not genetically modified) sold everywhere!

4. Soda in refillable bottles for 20 cents a bottle. Although there is no formal recycling here everything is repurposed and used over and over again; it is amazing how resourceful people are!

3. Amazingly kind & welcoming friends, neighbors, and people. Always people to chat with and spend time with (as long as you can understand what they are saying:) The focus is always on people and relationships vs. just getting tasks accomplished. Very chill & laid back for us anal-Westerner types: we are learning a lot!

2. More time spent together as a family!! We see each other a whole lot more than we did running the “daily grind” back home.

1. learning the world is a whole lot bigger (at at the very same time smaller) that you thought it was…..

Top Ten things we miss desperately from home:

10. touching household appliances or anything metal without getting shocked

9. cheap take out food or any food that is reasonably fast

8. predictable power, or having power more often than not!

7. going to bed with jammies, socks, in flannel sheets and a comforter and STILL having the potential to be cold

6. Target…or the ability to know what you need, know where to get it, know the hours of said store, the ability to go anytime, easily find what you are looking for, and not have to barter for 30 minutes for said needed object and actually return home with what you needed.

5. Doing anything quickly (see #9,6)

4. access to reliable medical care (see all experiences last November)

3. Food, food, and food. Just to name a few things (not that we think about them ALL THE TIME or anything)…Mexican food (for those Chi-town folks Garcia’s), proper juicy American burgers (for Jason), Chili’s, Starbucks anything, Thai take out, Chicago style Pizza (we might consider petty crime for some Lou Malnati’s), diet coke with lime or cherry (for Roxanne), Subway sandwiches (or any deli meat), boneless, skinless, hormone induced thick and juicy chicken breasts, milk that you actually would drink with cookies, snack foods.

2. Chicago….specifically bike rides and runs along the lakefront path, downtown, our friends, our church family, the food (did we already mention that?), inexpensive gas, the smell of fall, the crunch of leaves underfoot while pushing your daughter in her stroller with peppermint mocha in hand, the festivals in the summer, the lake, our condo, the library, park outings with other Roger’s Park Mamas, holiday decorations, shopping in air conditioning, the El and public transportation where you get your own seat, the promise of spring after a long cruel winter, the noise and hum of too many people living in one place. Yes, we miss Chicago.

1. our dear family & friends…we miss you so much. Know that we think of you and pray for you often!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not as much as we miss all of you. Got my shots yesterday! $430.00 And that was fromthe Health Dept. Think what I could have bought you guys with that money if you had stayed here! One month and 2 days before I am on the “de plane” to see Anni.:)Tell her Grammy is coming soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rox, I love the top 10 lists! I laughed out loud at a few! I definitely miss Starbucks and take-out as well. I don’t think I’ll ever not miss Starbucks, although I don’t dream about obsessively any more like those first few months in Sudan. I hope you fam is bringing you some yummy stuff. Is it possible to bring a whole pizza on a 2-day journey? Worth a shot, hey!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ll look forward to trying out the butt washer when we come!!!! Ha-ha!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey – do we need to bring our own toilet paper??

  5. Anonymous says:

    we have TP- no worries!