October 28, 2013

Do You Miss Being THERE?

"Do you miss the other place?"  It's the question I hear more than any.  Paraguayans ask me if I miss the U.S. and in the states, I'm asked if I miss Paraguay.  How do I answer that?  Sure, I miss certain people, and sure, I crave certain foods from both places, but really, I think the answer I'd give and the answer people want to hear aren't the same.  So I end up humming and hawing and mumbling until I can change the subject.

The truth is, I am probably two different people inside.  If you could really see what goes on in my head and heart and maybe even my body, I'm pretty sure it's compartmentalized into two very separate worlds.

I land in the U.S. and drive familiar interstate highways, passing green signs to familiar towns and advertisements for fast food, and I feel like I was just on that same road yesterday.  Paraguay seems like some distant dream that I'm recounting, but not like a living breathing place with actual dirt and trees and animals.

Then I land in Paraguay and drive that long two-lane, passing through towns with soccer balls lining the road and slowing down for cows who've wandered onto the street, and I'm sure I never left.  The United States seems like a movie I once watched and recall with vivid detail, but not like the actual wonderland full of my blood relatives and everything I grew up with.

Is that normal?  Who knows.  But it keeps me sane, so I guess it's okay.  ;)

Here's another perspective along these same lines, from a fellow ex-pat in India.  Interesting thoughts.

Do you ever feel like you have two different lives?


  1. I don't know, sweetie. It seems like I'm never really going to feel completely at home till this life is over and the next one begins. When we lived in the mountains, I missed the sight of Spanish moss and the smell of saltwater marshes the most. Now, I kinda miss all those lovely waterfalls and quiet mountain trails. Don't think I'll miss anything in Heaven! Sandy

  2. You have a great point! There isn't really anywhere that we can feel totally at home here, is there? Holy discontent, I've heard it called. ;)

  3. I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie and I miss that big body of water. I miss being able to swim in the summer, sled ride in the winter and to just soak in the beauty of the sunsets over that beautiful lake. Then, when i am away from the mountains of SW Virginia for tool long, I begin to feel homesick. I love seeing the mountains and watching God show off every fall and spring. I am praying for you all as you settle back in to the Paraguayan way of, Aye Tiempo!

    1. Thanks for the prayers! With those two places you described, I can see why you'd miss them. :)

  4. Hi Christie,
    Wow, it's interesting that you brought this up because I have been feeling the same way and people are always asking me that too! Yes, it is two worlds all right and I enjoyed the article you found. It's right on track I'd say. Once I had someone ask me, "How can you STAND living here when you lived in America?" I smiled and said, "We just think about how happy we are to be here helping and making a difference." I know you folks are helping and making a difference too! Blessings and have a nice week!


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