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Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's a wild ride. . .



I originally thought I’d post about our wild ride to the mall on the city bus. Then I realized that life in general has been a bit of a wild ride lately. With the ups and downs of language school, home schooling, and book deadlines, life is good, but never dull.

Take for instance the Christmas party we attended this past week. It was a dress-up holiday dinner hosted by our language school, held, of course, on the day it began to rain. We were to catch a ride that evening, but still had to walk the mile or so to the school where the van was waiting for us.

By the time we left, it was pouring.

We walked five in a row, each with an umbrella, up the drenched sidewalk, trying to stay as dry as possible. My sandals slipped off constantly as I sludged through ankle-deep puddles, dodged the spray of water from cars as they zoomed by, and balanced my umbrella, a backpack, and a cheese ball. Yes, a cheese ball. My contribution to the evening’s festivities that turned out to be a great hit, by the way.

The party was a mixture of cultures and languages from around the world. From Greece to Madagascar, and the USA to France, and even a couple from South Africa who spoke to Mariah in Afrikaans, a language she misses. We ended up having a great time, great food, and made some new friends.

Going to the mall the week before had been an even bigger adventure. We caught the first bus that dropped us at the spot where we could catch a second bus. With our vacuum cleaner in hand--the one I was so excited to have until it literally exploded in a puff of smoke after one week--needing to be returned, we watched for the number of our bus.

Within two minutes we saw it. . .and then saw it zoom past.

Obviously, we’d missed something in Bus Etiquette 101. Turns out, you have to step out and flag the bus down. Which we did after waiting another twenty minutes or so. Once on the bus, there was no place to sit, so I stood holding onto a pole for dear life with Jayden clinging to my leg as the bus wound it’s way through the city. There are no straight road, it seems, and the bus driver turned at every corner leaving us feeling as if we’d paid for a ticket on a rollercoaster instead of a trip to the mall.

At one point, I asked Scott if he had seen how close we’d come to hitting a passing bus. He hadn’t. His eyes were closed.

We continued down narrow streets where old men played board games along the side of the road, tiny shops sat sandwiched between fenced-in houses, and moms pushed babies in buggies. Colorful bougainvillea climbed garden the walls, spilling over the top for us to see, while in the distance, dozens of high-rise apartment buildings filled the sky line.

Strangely enough, it's all beginning to feel like home. I decided yesterday that home doesn't have to be a permanent address where I've live my whole life. It's a place where love and laughter ring forth above the challenges. Where I can smile across the table at my children while playing another round of Mexican Train and listen to Portuguese music compete with the now familiar sounds of cars zooming past our house with their horns blaring.

Blessings,

Lisa

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