I hear that alot these days. I started thinking about how I don't think I've even written about that here. So...
I'm not nervous. I don't know why. I'm excited. I'm ready. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet.
Here's what I'm not looking forward to...not being able to participate in conversations. Not knowing what people are discussing. Not being able to communicate my needs, wants, opinions. Things like not being able to fully take part in something as big as deciding what church we will attend. I won't even be able to understand the pastor and what he has to say.
I'm not just so super duper excited about the inconveniences of living in a place like Brazil. Things like no hot water except for at the shower. Things like not being able to rely on, say, electricity or water at all (although growing up in Readhimer, LA kind of prepared me for that...ha). In a way, it's kind of exciting to think about how we are going to get to totally start over...buying EVERYTHING for a house from beds to silverware. In another way, it's very overwhelming and tiring thinking about that.
The thing that (after I learn the language) I will probably have to get most used to is the lack of order and customer service. We went to a birthday party on Sunday...there are lots of Brazilian people in the Boston area (don't ask me why...it gets cold up here) and this party was for a little 1-yr. old girl. There were only Brazilians there. One of them said (as translated to me) that the thing they love most about the U.S. is that the law works. :) Things are much more gray in Brazil. People are used to getting the run-around there and it's ok because that's all they know. Joel says there is no such thing as customer service there. The whole "the customer is always right" thing does not exist. You buy something that doesn't work...too bad. I think I'm a pretty patient person, but that patience will probably be tried in that area.
So, it will be very interesting the person I will be when we come back to the states in 3 years. I will be spouting off Portuguese (that's so cool) for sure. About the language barrier...you may wonder why I haven't tried to learn it here. Well, I did...even bought the Rosetta Stone program (which is excellent by the way). But, it is just nearly impossible to do on your own...for me anyway. If I was single or even without kids, maybe. There has been so much transition in my life since I got that program...it just wasn't going to happen. I would use it and learn a few things, then not be able to do it again for a couple of weeks and forget what I had learned. Besides that, my friend Kristin who is a missionary there already and has been there for 8 years gave me some counsel...she told me to just spend time with family, enjoy my last few months here. The language will come quickly when I get there. And...I will actually have a language teacher and class with her (one-on-one) at least twice a week, so I'll be able to communicate before I know it.
Oh, I'm also not excited about missing family stuff here like:
--Joel's sister will be having a baby in July...we won't see him until he is 3 as far as we know
--I just found out that my cousin, Luke, is now engaged...we will miss that wedding
--chances are that we will miss many other weddings and births (and even deaths) of family members and friends while we are gone
--holidays, family traditions and get-togethers, family reunions, all of Tucker's softball games and basketball games and track meets, etc.
I'm used to not seeing family for 6-8 months at a time, but not 3 years, so that will take some getting used to. But, we do plan to come back sometime in 2010 and be here for Tucker's graduation. It will be crazy to see how things have changed and people have aged in that amount of time.
BUT...remember that there are plenty of planes going to Brazil. Come see us!!
Anyhow, just wanted to share with everyone how I am feeling at this point. Many have asked so I thought I'd let you know.