Monday, November 17, 2008

Home 'Sweet' Home

What is the one thing that makes a place home? I’ve always heard the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ which is not well worded because your heart is always wherever you happen to be. I had taken the saying to mean that home is wherever the people are that you care the most for. In today’s modern age of satellite internet connections, cell phones, and internet phones even though you may not be near people you can still keep in pretty close contact with them from anywhere around the globe. Because of that and the fact that I have multiple homes due to my family living all over the world I’ve decided that there must be something else that makes home, home. This past week I came to the realization of what that certain something No matter where you are the food of home can make the place you’re staying seem like you’ve always been there. This outstanding epiphany came about because of a couple of packages that Neil received last week. They both contained seasonings, something that we have been doing mostly without for a while now. Saturday night Neil decided to use one kind of seasoning to make a dish like his mom makes. I forgot what it’s called but he did a remarkable job and the kitchen reminded me of smells from his house back in Roseburg (thank you Mrs. Patel for sending that’s amazing:). So that meal and Neil’s and my recent talks about how soon we’re going to get to eat at Taco Bell have settled in my mind the issue that food makes a place home. Oh and on a side note we aren’t going to get to eat at Taco Bell until June 10, 2009 at approximately 3 pm in San Francisco during our layover.

Let’s see, what other interesting stuff have I been doing? On Sunday evening we had our first group movie night. Neil and I have had movie nights each Saturday night be we finally got together with Lydia (German nurse) and Lucas (pharmacist) to watch a movie we borrowed from the doctor. Oh, last Thursday a new nurse, Ina, arrived here from Germany. She’s going to be here for a whole year. She stopped in Arusha on her way here and brought us a package from our friend Katie who’s working at Cradle of Love there (thanks tons Katie! :).

The weeks are in a nice routine and have been flying by. It’s hard to believe that we left Portland two months ago. Also rapidly approaching is our trip down to Maputo, Mozambique to spend Christmas with my family. I’m looking forward to that very much! Between seeing my family, eating lots of amazing food, and getting access to unlimited internet usage I’m sure that the time there will be quite enjoyable! It is also going to involve a train ride. I’ve never traveled anywhere by train before but we’re going to be spending two nights and one day on a train going from Kigoma all the way across Tanzania to Dar es Salaam. Should be pretty least for me:), Neil loves going places just not all of the traveling it takes to get there:).

Even though Thanksgiving hasn’t come yet I’ve already started listening to my Christmas music in preparation for the holiday season. Some people have said that Christmas music should only be listened to from Thanksgiving to the 25th of December but I am of the opinion that Christmas music can be listened to all year long. When discussing this with others I then cite the study that has shown listening to Christmas music lowers the chances of a person becoming depressed (I just need to find out if a study like that has been done yet).

Well I’m writing this late Monday evening and I don’t think my brain is fully functioning anymore so I apologize for any muddled ideas and jumbled sentences. Have a fabulous week!



MoziEsmé said...

I can so relate to that Taco Bell countdown. So glad you've learned the meaning of home so young in life - it will save you much heartache in the years to come... :)

The Patel Family said...

So great that you've enjoyed the spices...and you are most welcome!
I bet you can't wait for Taco Bell...but then again maybe you will forget about that once you and Neil have learned your Iron Chef skills! =)
Hope you have a great week!
The Patel Family

Andrew Waldrip said...

Hey Justin and well Neil as well! sounds like things are going well, even with the little things you have. I bet it makes you feel even more appreciative of what you do have but yet realise that you do not need a lot of stuff in life to make you happy. But its nice when you do!

I was thinking about your food and Christmas point, I will have to agree that food definitely helps you settle into where you feel you are safe and belong... as to "home is where your heart is" I think you took that too literally because I feel its more of where you feel like home is, where you yearn to be. I too seem to miss a few things from the US like Taco Bell, but I realise that when I was over there I missed things about here too! So yeah, it is hard to figure out where exactly 'home' is.

As for the Christmas music, if you feel like playing it all year long, go for it! The only reason why people feel like there is a certain time to play it is because they got sick of it and or are pigeon holing it into a certain time of year. If you think about it, you should be thinking about Jesus all the time and living for him and if playing songs that relate to his birth helps you in that, I'm all for it!

All the best, and lucky for you that you get back in time for Big Lake again!


Anonymous said...

ah, familiar food. My brother-in-law in Spain misses Taco bell bean burritos so we're sending him dried bean flakes...maybe we should send you some too! Happy thanksgiving, Justin. As for Christmas music, a Japanese choral director said they use Christmas music year round since their nation doesn't know the Bible stories - I think anything done unmindfully as in hearing the Christmas ditties everywhere for one month gets old - I too am listening "early" to these happy songs. Vikki

Sheila May Garrow said...

Dear Justin,
Love reading your blog. I totally agree about Christmas music. I can listen to it in July. Doesn't have to be Christmas for me to enjoy it!!!So glad you guys have made some friends. Sounds like fun. Your folks will love having you for the holidays. Just want to wish you and Neil a very happy Thanksgiving. We'll eat at Taco Bell for you until you get home. My husband loves that place!! Love, Mrs. Garrow